"I will go to Mrs. Farnaby this morning," was all he said. "Would you please let me hear how it ends?" Phoebe asked. Amelius pushed his pocket-book and pencil across the table to her, pointing to a blank leaf on which she could write her address. He had heard Sally moving about. Would it be more convenient, under the circumstances, if she had her breakfast in her own room?
Farnaby was there, waiting at the desk where they pay the post-office orders. There must have been ten or a dozen people with letters, orders, and what not, between him and me. I got behind him quietly, and looked over his shoulder. I saw the clerk give him the money for his post-office order.
Amelius looked again at the letter. After what he had heard, there was no difficulty in identifying the invisible "young man," alluded to by Mrs. Farnaby, with the unnamed "person" in whom Phoebe was interested. Who was he? As the question passed through his mind, Amelius remembered the vagabond whom he had recognized with Phoebe, in the street.
Farnaby, in her sad moments, had a consoling prospect to contemplate. "Everybody but me!" Amelius thought. His reflections were interrupted by the appearance of an idle young member of the club, with whom he was acquainted. The new-comer remarked that he looked out of spirits, and suggested that they should dine together and amuse themselves somewhere in the evening.
Dry facts these I don't deny it; but there is something more interesting to follow. I have next to tell you how Mr. Hethcote first became acquainted with Mrs. Farnaby. Now, Rufus, we are coming to something romantic at last! It is some time since Mr.
Her natural force of character asserted itself once more. "You lie!" she rejoined. "Leave the room!" The door was opened, while she spoke. A respectable woman-servant came in with a letter. Mrs. Farnaby took it mechanically, and looked at the address. Jervy's feigned handwriting was familiar to her. In the instant when she recognized it, the life seemed to go out of her like an extinguished light.
Sixteen years ago, John Farnaby had put his own child into that woman's hands at Ramsgate, and had never seen either of them since. Entering the hall, Mr. Farnaby discovered without difficulty the position of modest retirement of which he was in search. The cheap seats were situated, as usual, on that part of the floor of the building which was farthest from the platform.
She stopped, evidently in the greatest embarrassment. Amelius tried to encourage her. "If I can be of any use to Mrs. Farnaby," he said, "tell me at once what to do." Phoebe's eyes dropped before his straightforward look as he spoke to her. "I must ask you to please excuse my mentioning names, sir," she resumed confusedly.
"You remember that she asked me to tell her Farnaby's address?" "Oh yes! And she wanted to know if he had ever gone by the name of Morgan. Ridiculous wasn't it?" "I'm not so sure of that, my dear. She told me, in so many words, that Farnaby owed her money. He didn't make his fortune all at once, I suppose.
It was the simplest thing in the world. He had only to make an appointment with Mrs. Farnaby for a meeting on a future day, and to take to flight in the interval; leaving a polite note behind him to say that it was all a mistake, and that he regretted being too poor to return the money.