"True, from Quebec last," he said, pleasantly, "but from Devonshire, England, first. That is my home, and you know an Englishman never denies his country. I am nephew to the Duke of Devon, and" hesitatingly "possibly the next heir to the title. At present I am a major in Her Majesty's Twenty-first Cavalry. I am just taking a run through your grand country, while not much needed at home.
"In your own house, my dear sir and your own nephew you will not surely persist in hurting his feelings by seeming to discredit what he is so strongly interested in affirming. No doubt, you are fully deserving of all his confidence, and I am sure, were there anything you could do to assist him in this strange affair, he would have recourse to your goodness.
The priest shrank back with an uncontrollable recoil and then stood still and silent, watching every movement of the tall figure which had reined up and was dismounting with the ease of a boy. The judge and his nephew had made an exclamation at the sight of him; but they were merely surprised at the unusual hour of his appearance and he explained this at once. "Where is Ruth? What is wrong?
"I do," replied Clarence. "I am surprised that you have forgotten me." Slowly Mr. Brown gazed, till at last his memory began to give itself the rousing shake. "God bless me, sir, I beg you a thousand pardons: I now remember you perfectly; Mr. Linden, the nephew of my old patroness, Mrs. Minden. Dear, dear, how could I be so forgetful! I hope, by the by, sir, that the shirts wore well?
He was not, therefore ill-disposed to resent on the part of Mr. Smirkie the spirit of persecution with which that gentleman seemed to regard his nephew. 'Is Mr. Smirkie in the house, he asked the coachman. 'He came by the 3.40, as usual, said the man. It was very much 'as usual, thought the squire. 'There isn't a doubt about it, said the squire to his wife as he was dressing.
I really would have taken him with me, or carried him down to a neighbour's room to be taken care of while I was away, but I never thought of him in the hurry of getting my presents and myself ready. Off I went without even saying 'good-bye, and never thought of my little friend till Freddy, my small nephew, said to me one evening at dusk, 'Aunt Jo, tell me a story.
"I knows him!" and, after a few convulsive efforts, the red legs took the shape of a pair of compasses, and the intelligent pupil triumphantly shouted, "It's a We, Dranpa, it's a We!" "He's a born Weller," laughed Jo, as her parent gathered himself up, and her nephew tried to stand on his head, as the only mode of expressing his satisfaction that school was over.
And he laid out upon the table a piece of parchment, five inches by three, and along which were traced certain mysterious characters. Here is the exact facsimile. I think it important to let these strange signs be publicly known, for they were the means of drawing on Professor Liedenbrock and his nephew to undertake the most wonderful expedition of the nineteenth century.
And one of these was an old man a French banker who must be seventy years old, but dyes his hair a kind of purple black and it seems that his nephew had got the firm into a terrible kind of scrape, selling 2,000 of my shares when he hadn't got them to sell and couldn't get them and the old man came to beg me to let him out at present market figures.
Make much of Sir Francis, Madam. Fra. Weele leave my Nephew and your sister, Madam, And take a turne i'th garden. Sis. You may be confident. De. I doe not like the fancie in his hat; That gules is warre and will be ominous. Sis. The gentleman's turnd statue! blesse me how He staires upon me and takes roote, I thinke.