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“ The spy-glass was recognised by a person on board, who told me that your husband still lives.”
I ran out for a glass of water, for Mrs. St. Felix fell back in her chair as pale as death. I
gave her the water, and threw some in her face : she recovered, and put her handkerchief up to her eyes. At first she was silent, then sobbed bitterly; after a while she sunk from the chair down on her knees, and remained there some time. When she rose and resumed her seat, she took my hand and said, “ You may tell me all now."
As she was quite calm and composed, I did so; I repeated all that had passed between Sir James O'Connor and me, and ended with his wish that I should accompany her at once to Chatham.
“ And now, Mrs. St. Felix, you had better go to bed. I told Sir James that I would be down to-morrow morning. I will come here at seven o'clock, and then we will go to the upper part of the town and hire a chaise. Will you be ready ? ”
“ Yes," replied she, smiling. “Heaven bless you, Tom I and now good night.”
I did not go to my mother's, but to an inn in the town, where I asked for a bed. In the morning I went down. As soon as Mrs. St. Felix saw me she came out, and followed me at a little distance. We went up to where the chaises were to be obtained, and in less than three hours were at the King's Arms, Chatham. I asked to be shown into a room, into which I led Mrs. St. Felix, trembling like an aspen leaf. I seated her on the sofa, and then asked to be shown in to Sir James O'Connor.
“ She is here, sir," said I.
SISTER VIRGINIA IS AT LAST PLACED IN A SITUATION WHICH IS
SATISFACTORY TO MY MOTHER AS WELL AS TO HERSELF.
I REMAINED very quietly in the coffee-room of the hotel, in case I should be sent for; which I presumed I should be before the day
In the afternoon a waiter came to say that Sir James O'Connor wished to speak to me, and I was ushered into his room, where I found Mrs. St. Felix on the sofa.
As soon as the door was closed, Sir James took me by the hand, and led me up, saying, “ Allow me to introduce your old friend as Lady O'Connor.” “My dear Tom," said she, taking me by the hand, “I
am and ever shall be Mrs. St. Felix with you. Come now, and sit down. You will again have to take charge of me, for I am to return to Greenwich, and leave it in a respectable manner.
I dare say they have already reported that I have run away from my creditors. Sir James thinks I must go back as if nothing had happened, give out that I had some property left me by a relation, and then settle every thing, and sell the goodwill of my shop. It certainly will be better than to give grounds for the surmises and reports which may take place at my sudden disappearance,
- not that I am very likely to fall in with my old acquaintances at Greenwich."
“Don't you think so, Tom? for Tom I must call you, in earnest of our future friendship,” said Sir James.
“I do think it will be the best plan, sir."
“Well then, you must convey her ladyship to Greenwich again this evening, and to-morrow the report must be spread, and the next day you will be able to re-escort her here. I hope you feel the compliment that I pay you in trusting you with my new-found treasure. Now let us sit down to dinner. Pray don't look at your dress, Tom; at all events, it's quite as respectable as her lady
After dinner a chaise was ordered, and Lady O'Connor and I returned to Greenwich, arriving there after dark. We walked down to her house: I then left her, and hastened to my mother's.
“Well, mother,” said I, after the first salutations were over, “ have you heard the news about Mrs. St. Felix ?”
“ No, what has she done now ?”
“Oh, she has done nothing, but a relation in Ireland has left her a lot of money, and she is going over there immediately. Whether she will come back again nobody knows."
“Well, we can do without her,” replied my mother, with pique; “ I'm very glad that she's going, for I have always protested at Virginia's being so intimate with her: a tobacco shop is not a place for a young lady."
“ Mother,” replied Virginia, “when we lived in Fisher’s Alley Mrs. St. Felix was above us in situation."
“ I have desired you very often, Virginia, not to refer to Fisher's Alley, you know I do not like it — the very best families have had their reverses."
“ I cannot help thinking that such has been the case with Mrs. St. Felix,” replied Virginia.
“ If you please, Miss Saunders, we'll drop the subject,” replied my mother, haughtily.
The news soon spread ; indeed I walked to several places where I knew it would be circulated; and before morning all Greenwich knew that Mrs. St. Felix had been left a fortune: some said 10,0001., others had magnified it to 10,0001. a year. When I called upon her the next day, I found that she had made arrangements for carrying on her business during her absence, not having stated that she quitted for ever, but that she would write and let them know as soon as she arrived in Ireland what her decision would be, as she was not aware what might be the property left her. The doctor, who had undertaken to conduct her affairs during her absence, looked very woe-begone indeed, and I pitied him; he had become so used to her company, that he felt miserable at the idea of her departure, although all hopes of ever marrying her had long been dismissed from his mind. Mrs. St. Felix told me that