’None, on my word; but Emily’s health is now, thank God, reestablished, and, to tell you the truth, I have little hopes of concluding the business which I have at present most at heart until I can have a personal interview with his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief; for, as Fluellen says, “the duke doth love me well, and I thank heaven I have deserved some love at his hands.” I am now going out for an hour or two to arrange matters for your departure; your liberty extends to the next room, Lady Emily’s parlour, where you will find her when you are disposed for music, reading, or conversation. We have taken measures to exclude all servants but Spontoon, who is as true as steel.’
In about two hours Colonel Talbot returned, and found his young friend conversing with his lady; she pleased with his manners and information, and he delighted at being restored, though but for a moment, to the society of his own rank, from which he had been for some time excluded.
‘And now,’ said the Colonel, ’hear my arrangements, for there is little time to lose. This youngster, Edward Waverley, alias Williams, alias Captain Butler, must continue to pass by his fourth alias of Francis Stanley, my nephew; he shall set out to-morrow for the North, and the chariot shall take him the first two stages. Spontoon shall then attend him; and they shall ride post as far as Huntingdon; and the presence of Spontoon, well known on the road as my servant, will check all disposition to inquiry. At Huntingdon you will meet the real Frank Stanley. He is studying at Cambridge; but, a little while ago, doubtful if Emily’s health would permit me to go down to the North myself, I procured him a passport from the secretary of state’s office to go in my stead. As he went chiefly to look after you, his journey is now unnecessary. He knows your story; you will dine together at Huntingdon; and perhaps your wise heads may hit upon some plan for removing or diminishing the danger of your farther progress north-ward. And now (taking out a morocco case), let me put you in funds for the campaign.’
‘I am ashamed, my dear Colonel—’
‘Nay,’ said Colonel Talbot, ’you should command my purse in any event; but this money is your own. Your father, considering the chance of your being attainted, left me his trustee for your advantage. So that you are worth above L15,000, besides Brere-Wood Lodge—a very independent person, I promise you. There are bills here for L200; any larger sum you may have, or credit abroad, as soon as your motions require it.’
The first use which occurred to Waverley of his newly acquired wealth was to write to honest Farmer Jopson, requesting his acceptance of a silver tankard on the part of his friend Williams, who had not forgotten the night of the eighteenth December last. He begged him at the same time carefully to preserve for him his Highland garb and accoutrements, particularly the arms, curious in themselves, and to which the friendship of the donors gave additional value. Lady Emily undertook to find some suitable token of remembrance likely to flatter the vanity and please the taste of Mrs. Williams; and the Colonel, who was a kind of farmer, promised to send the Ullswater patriarch an excellent team of horses for cart and plough.