When the lad arrived at an age to comprehend such matters, he perceived that he was differently treated from the other members of the household, and, from circumstances which came to his knowledge, was led to suspect that Provis was not really his father, but that he was the son of Sir Hugh Smyth of Ashton Hall, near Bristol, and the heir to a very extensive property.
We were out in mid-stream in a small rowing boat, moving quietly with the tide, when, just as the Hamburg steamer came in sight, a four-oared galley ran aboard of us, and the man who held the lines in it called out, "You have a returned transport there. That's the man wrapped in the cloak. His name is Abel Magwitch otherwise Provis. I call upon him to surrender, and you to assist."
"Herbert, my dear friend," said I, shutting the double doors, while Herbert stood staring and wondering, "something very strange has happened. This is a visitor of mine." "It's all right, dear boy!" said Provis coming forward, with his little clasped black book, and then addressing himself to Herbert. "Take it in your right hand.
There was at that time an elderly woman and a young girl living there, the former being Mrs. Reed, the wet-nurse, and the latter Mary Provis, who acted as nursemaid. He stayed at the house of Provis until Grace, Sir Hugh's butler, took him away, and placed him at the school of Mr.
In cross-examination he stated that although Provis had two sons, named John and Thomas, he only knew the younger, and had but little intercourse with John, who was the elder.
W.A. Provis, the resident engineer, on the 10th of August, 1819; but not the slightest ceremony was observed on the occasion. Later in the autumn, preparations were made for proceeding with the foundations of the eastern main pier on the Bangor side of the Strait.
Provis was to be strictly careful while I was gone, and Herbert was to take the charge of him that I had taken. I was to be absent only one night, and, on my return, the gratification of his impatience for my starting as a gentleman on a greater scale was to be begun.
In his savage taunting, he flared the candle so close at me that I turned my face aside to save it from the flame. "Ah!" he cried, laughing, after doing it again, "the burnt child dreads the fire! Old Orlick knowed you was burnt, Old Orlick knowed you was smuggling your uncle Provis away, Old Orlick's a match for you and know'd you'd come to-night!
I was so struck by the horror of this idea, which had weighed upon me from the first, and the working out of which would make me regard myself, in some sort, as his murderer, that I could not rest in my chair, but began pacing to and fro. I said to Herbert, meanwhile, that even if Provis were recognized and taken, in spite of himself, I should be wretched as the cause, however innocently.
He was to remain shut up in the chambers while I was gone, and was on no account to open the door. There being to my knowledge a respectable lodging-house in Essex Street, the back of which looked into the Temple, and was almost within hail of my windows, I first of all repaired to that house, and was so fortunate as to secure the second floor for my uncle, Mr. Provis.