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chaise at the upper end of the town, and walked down to Mrs. St. Felix's. I found her at home, as I expected, and to my great delight the doctor was not there.
Why, Mr. Pilot, when did you come back ?" said she.
“ But this minute-I come from Chatham." “And have you been home ?”
“No, not yet; I thought I would come and spend the evening with you.”
“With me! Why, that's something new; I don't suppose you intend to court me, do you, as the doctor does?"
“ No, but I wish that you would give me some tea in your little back parlour, and let Jane mind the shop in the meantime.”
‘Jane's very busy, Mr. Tom, so I'm afraid that I can't oblige you."
“But you must, Mrs. St. Felis. I'm determined I will not leave this house till you give me some tea-I want to have a long talk with you.”
· Why, what's in the wind now?"
* I'm not in the wind, at all events, for you see I'm perfectly sober; indeed, Mrs. St. Felix, I ask it as a particular favour. You have done me many kindnesses, now do oblige me this time: the fact is, something has happened to me of the greatest importance, and I must have your advice how to act; and, in this instance, I prefer yours to that of any other person.”
“ Well, Tom, if it really is serious, and you wish to consult me, for such a compliment the least I can do is to give you a cup of tea." Mrs. St. Felis ordered Jana
to take the tea-things into the back parlour, and then to attend in the shop.
“ And pray say that you are not at home, even to the doctor.”
“Well, really the affair looks serious," replied she, “ but it shall be so if you wish it."
We took our tea before I opened the business, for I was thinking how I should commence : at last I put down my cup, and said: “Mrs. St. Felix, I must first acquaint you with what is known to no one here but myself." I then told her the history of Old Nanny; then I went on to Spicer's recognition of the spy-glass
- his attempt to murder his mother, the consequences, and the disclosure on his death-bed. Mrs. St. Felix was much moved.
But why tell me all this ?” said she, at last : "it proves, certainly, that my husband was not hanged, which is some consolation, but now I shall be ever restless until I know what has become of him—perhaps he still lives.”
“Mrs. St. Felix, you ask me why do I tell you all this ?-I beg you to reply to my question—having known this so long, why have I not told you before ?”
“I cannot tell."
“Then I will tell you : because I did feel that such knowledge as I had then would only make you, as you truly say, unhappy and restless. Nor would I have told you now, had it not been that I have gained farther intelligence on board of a frigate which I this afternoon took into the Medway.”
Mrs. St. Felix gasped for breath—" And what is that ?" said she, faintly.
“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! 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 wbere 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.
I opened the door of the room, and closed it upon them.
NY 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 was over.
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
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 everything, 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 reescort 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 ladyship’s."
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 : 1 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 thero 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