It was more than a fortnight after Reardon's removal to Islington when Jaspe_ilvain heard for the first time of what had happened. He was coming down fro_he office of the Will-o'-the-Wisp one afternoon, after a talk with the edito_oncerning a paragraph in his last week's causerie which had been complaine_f as libellous, and which would probably lead to the 'case' so much desire_y everyone connected with the paper, when someone descending from a highe_torey of the building overtook him and laid a hand on his shoulder. He turne_nd saw Whelpdale.
'What brings you on these premises?' he asked, as they shook hands.
'A man I know has just been made sub-editor of Chat, upstairs. He has hal_romised to let me do a column of answers to correspondents.'
'Cosmetics? Fashions? Cookery?'
'I'm not so versatile as all that, unfortunately. No, the general informatio_olumn. "Will you be so good as to inform me, through the medium of you_nvaluable paper, what was the exact area devastated by the Great Fire o_ondon?"—that kind of thing, you know. Hopburn—that's the fellow's name—tell_e that his predecessor always called the paper Chat-moss, because of th_rightful difficulty he had in filling it up each week. By-the-bye, what _apital column that is of yours in Will-o'-the-Wisp. I know nothing like it i_nglish journalism; upon my word I don't!'
'Glad you like it. Some people are less fervent in their admiration.'
Jasper recounted the affair which had just been under discussion in th_ffice.
'It may cost a couple of thousands, but the advertisement is worth that, Patwin thinks. Barlow is delighted; he wouldn't mind paying double the mone_o make those people a laughing-stock for a week or two.'
They issued into the street, and walked on together; Milvain, with his kee_ye and critical smile, unmistakably the modern young man who cultivates th_rt of success; his companion of a less pronounced type, but distinguished b_ certain subtlety of countenance, a blending of the sentimental and th_hrewd.
'Of course you know all about the Reardons?' said Whelpdale.
'Haven't seen or heard of them lately. What is it?'
'Then you don't know that they have parted?'
'I only heard about it last night; Biffen told me. Reardon is doing clerk'_ork at a hospital somewhere in the East-end, and his wife has gone to live a_er mother's house.'
'Ho, ho!' exclaimed Jasper, thoughtfully. 'Then the crash has come. Of cours_ knew it must be impending. I'm sorry for Reardon.'
'I'm sorry for his wife.'
'Trust you for thinking of women first, Whelpdale.'
'It's in an honourable way, my dear fellow. I'm a slave to women, true, bu_ll in an honourable way. After that last adventure of mine most men would b_avage and cynical, wouldn't they, now? I'm nothing of the kind. I think n_orse of women—not a bit. I reverence them as much as ever. There must be _ood deal of magnanimity in me, don't you think?'
Jasper laughed unrestrainedly.
'But it's the simple truth,' pursued the other. 'You should have seen th_etter I wrote to that girl at Birmingham—all charity and forgiveness. I mean_t, every word of it. I shouldn't talk to everyone like this, you know; bu_t's as well to show a friend one's best qualities now and then.'
'Is Reardon still living at the old place?'
'No, no. They sold up everything and let the flat. He's in lodgings somewher_r other. I'm not quite intimate enough with him to go and see him under th_ircumstances. But I'm surprised you know nothing about it.'
'I haven't seen much of them this year. Reardon—well, I'm afraid he hasn'_ery much of the virtue you claim for yourself. It rather annoys him to see m_oing ahead.'
'Really? His character never struck me in that way.'
'You haven't come enough in contact with him. At all events, I can't explai_is change of manner in any other way. But I'm sorry for him; I am, indeed. A_ hospital? I suppose Carter has given him the old job again?'
'Don't know. Biffen doesn't talk very freely about it; there's a good deal o_elicacy in Biffen, you know. A thoroughly good-hearted fellow. And so i_eardon, I believe, though no doubt he has his weaknesses.'
'Oh, an excellent fellow! But weakness isn't the word. Why, I foresaw all thi_rom the very beginning. The first hour's talk I ever had with him was enoug_o convince me that he'd never hold his own. But he really believed that th_uture was clear before him; he imagined he'd go on getting more and more fo_is books. An extraordinary thing that that girl had such faith in him!'
They parted soon after this, and Milvain went homeward, musing upon what h_ad heard. It was his purpose to spend the whole evening on some work whic_ressed for completion, but he found an unusual difficulty in settling to it.
About eight o'clock he gave up the effort, arrayed himself in the costume o_lack and white, and journeyed to Westbourne Park, where his destination wa_he house of Mrs Edmund Yule. Of the servant who opened to him he inquired i_rs Yule was at home, and received an answer in the affirmative.
'Any company with her?'
'A lady—Mrs Carter.'
'Then please to give my name, and ask if Mrs Yule can see me.'
He was speedily conducted to the drawing-room, where he found the lady of th_ouse, her son, and Mrs Carter. For Mrs Reardon his eye sought in vain.
'I'm so glad you have come,' said Mrs Yule, in a confidential tone. 'I hav_een wishing to see you. Of course, you know of our sad trouble?'
'I have heard of it only to-day.'
'From Mr Reardon himself?'
'No; I haven't seen him.'
'I do wish you had! We should have been so anxious to know how he impresse_ou.'
'How he impressed me?'
'My mother has got hold of the notion,' put in John Yule, 'that he's no_xactly compos mentis. I'll admit that he went on in a queer sort of way th_ast time I saw him.'
'And my husband thinks he is rather strange,' remarked Mrs Carter.
'He has gone back to the hospital, I understand—'
'To a new branch that has just been opened in the City Road,' replied Mr_ule. 'And he's living in a dreadful place—one of the most shocking alleys i_he worst part of Islington. I should have gone to see him, but I really fee_fraid; they give me such an account of the place. And everyone agrees that h_as such a very wild look, and speaks so strangely.'
'Between ourselves,' said John, 'there's no use in exaggerating. He's livin_n a vile hole, that's true, and Carter says he looks miserably ill, but o_ourse he may be as sane as we are.
Jasper listened to all this with no small astonishment.
'And Mrs Reardon?' he asked.
'I'm sorry to say she is far from well,' replied Mrs Yule. 'To-day she ha_een obliged to keep her room. You can imagine what a shock it has been t_er. It came with such extraordinary suddenness. Without a word of warning, her husband announced that he had taken a clerkship and was going to remov_mmediately to the East-end. Fancy! And this when he had already arranged, a_ou know, to go to the South Coast and write his next book under th_nfluences of the sea air. He was anything but well; we all knew that, and w_ad all joined in advising him to spend the summer at the seaside. It seeme_etter that he should go alone; Mrs Reardon would, of course, have gone dow_or a few days now and then. And at a moment's notice everything is changed, and in such a dreadful way! I cannot believe that this is the behaviour of _ane man!'
Jasper understood that an explanation of the matter might have been given i_uch more homely terms; it was natural that Mrs Yule should leave out of sigh_he sufficient, but ignoble, cause of her son-in-law's behaviour.
'You see in what a painful position we are placed,' continued the euphemisti_ady. 'It is so terrible even to hint that Mr Reardon is not responsible fo_is actions, yet how are we to explain to our friends this extraordinary stat_f things?'
'My husband is afraid Mr Reardon may fall seriously ill,' said Mrs Carter.
'And how dreadful! In such a place as that!'
'It would be so kind of you to go and see him, Mr Milvain,' urged Mrs Yule.
'We should be so glad to hear what you think.'
'Certainly, I will go,' replied Jasper. 'Will you give me his address?'
He remained for an hour, and before his departure the subject was discusse_ith rather more frankness than at first; even the word 'money' was once o_wice heard.
'Mr Carter has very kindly promised,' said Mrs Yule, 'to do his best to hea_f some position that would be suitable. It seems a most shocking thing that _uccessful author should abandon his career in this deliberate way; who coul_ave imagined anything of the kind two years ago? But it is clearly quit_mpossible for him to go on as at present—if there is really no reason fo_elieving his mind disordered.'
A cab was summoned for Mrs Carter, and she took her leave, suppressing he_ative cheerfulness to the tone of the occasion. A minute or two after, Milvain left the house.
He had walked perhaps twenty yards, almost to the end of the silent street i_hich his friends' house was situated, when a man came round the corner an_pproached him. At once he recognised the figure, and in a moment he was fac_o face with Reardon. Both stopped. Jasper held out his hand, but the othe_id not seem to notice it.
'You are coming from Mrs Yule's?' said Reardon, with a strange smile.
By the gaslight his face showed pale and sunken, and he met Jasper's look wit_ixedness.
'Yes, I am. The fact is, I went there to hear of your address. Why haven't yo_et me know about all this?'
'You went to the flat?'
'No, I was told about you by Whelpdale.'
Reardon turned in the direction whence he had come, and began to walk slowly; Jasper kept beside him.
'I'm afraid there's something amiss between us, Reardon,' said the latter, just glancing at his companion.
'There's something amiss between me and everyone,' was the reply, in a_nnatural voice.
'You look at things too gloomily. Am I detaining you, by-the-bye? You wer_oing—'
'Then come to my rooms, and let us see if we can't talk more in the old way.'
'Your old way of talk isn't much to my taste, Milvain. It has cost me to_uch.'Jasper gazed at him. Was there some foundation for Mrs Yule's seemin_xtravagance? This reply sounded so meaningless, and so unlike Reardon'_anner of speech, that the younger man experienced a sudden alarm.
'Cost you too much? I don't understand you.'
They had turned into a broader thoroughfare, which, however, was littl_requented at this hour. Reardon, his hands thrust into the pockets of _habby overcoat and his head bent forward, went on at a slow pace, observan_f nothing. For a moment or two he delayed reply, then said in an unstead_oice:
'Your way of talking has always been to glorify success, to insist upon it a_he one end a man ought to keep in view. If you had talked so to me alone, i_ouldn't have mattered. But there was generally someone else present. You_ords had their effect; I can see that now. It's very much owing to you that _m deserted, now that there's no hope of my ever succeeding.'
Jasper's first impulse was to meet this accusation with indignant denial, bu_ sense of compassion prevailed. It was so painful to see the defeated ma_andering at night near the house where his wife and child were comfortabl_heltered; and the tone in which he spoke revealed such profound misery.
'That's a most astonishing thing to say,' Jasper replied. 'Of course I kno_othing of what has passed between you and your wife, but I feel certain tha_ have no more to do with what has happened than any other of you_cquaintances.'
'You may feel as certain as you will, but your words and your example hav_nfluenced my wife against me. You didn't intend that; I don't suppose it fo_ moment. It's my misfortune, that's all.'
'That I intended nothing of the kind, you need hardly say, I should think. Bu_ou are deceiving yourself in the strangest way. I'm afraid to speak plainly; I'm afraid of offending you. But can you recall something that I said abou_he time of your marriage? You didn't like it then, and certainly it won't b_leasant to you to remember it now. If you mean that your wife has grow_nkind to you because you are unfortunate, there's no need to examine int_ther people's influence for an explanation of that.'
Reardon turned his face towards the speaker.
'Then you have always regarded my wife as a woman likely to fail me in time o_eed?'
'I don't care to answer a question put in that way. If we are no longer t_alk with the old friendliness, it's far better we shouldn't discuss thing_uch as this.'
'Well, practically you have answered. Of course I remember those words o_ours that you refer to. Whether you were right or wrong doesn't affect what _ay.'
He spoke with a dull doggedness, as though mental fatigue did not allow him t_ay more.
'It's impossible to argue against such a charge,' said Milvain. 'I a_onvinced it isn't true, and that's all I can answer. But perhaps you thin_his extraordinary influence of mine is still being used against you?'
'I know nothing about it,' Reardon replied, in the same unmodulated voice.
'Well, as I have told you, this was my first visit to Mrs Yule's since you_ife has been there, and I didn't see her; she isn't very well, and keeps he_oom. I'm glad it happened so—that I didn't meet her. Henceforth I shall kee_way from the family altogether, so long, at all events, as your wife remain_ith them. Of course I shan't tell anyone why; that would be impossible. Bu_ou shan't have to fear that I am decrying you. By Jove! an amiable figure yo_ake of me!'
'I have said what I didn't wish to say, and what I oughtn't to have said. Yo_ust misunderstand me; I can't help it.'
Reardon had been walking for hours, and was, in truth, exhausted.
He became mute. Jasper, whose misrepresentation was wilful, though no_aliciously so, also fell into silence; he did not believe that hi_onversations with Amy had seriously affected the course of events, but h_new that he had often said things to her in private which would scarcely hav_allen from his lips if her husband had been present—little depreciator_hrases, wrong rather in tone than in terms, which came of his irresistibl_esire to assume superiority whenever it was possible. He, too, was weak, bu_ith quite another kind of weakness than Reardon's. His was the weakness o_anity, which sometimes leads a man to commit treacheries of which he woul_elieve himself incapable. Self-accused, he took refuge in the pretence o_isconception, which again was a betrayal of littleness.
They drew near to Westbourne Park station.
'You are living a long way from here,' Jasper said, coldly. 'Are you going b_rain?'
'No. You said my wife was ill?'
'Oh, not ill. At least, I didn't understand that it was anything serious. Wh_on't you walk back to the house?'
'I must judge of my own affairs.'
'True; I beg your pardon. I take the train here, so I'll say good-night.'
They nodded to each other, but did not shake hands.
A day or two later, Milvain wrote to Mrs Yule, and told her that he had see_eardon; he did not describe the circumstances under which the interview ha_aken place, but gave it as his opinion that Reardon was in a state of nervou_llness, and made by suffering quite unlike himself. That he might be on th_ay to positive mental disease seemed likely enough. 'Unhappily, I myself ca_e of no use to him; he has not the same friendly feeling for me as he used t_ave. But it is very certain that those of his friends who have the powe_hould exert themselves to raise him out of this fearful slough of despond. I_e isn't effectually helped, there's no saying what may happen. One thing i_ertain, I think: he is past helping himself. Sane literary work cannot b_xpected from him. It seems a monstrous thing that so good a fellow, and on_ith such excellent brains too, should perish by the way when influentia_eople would have no difficulty in restoring him to health and usefulness.'
All the months of summer went by. Jasper kept his word, and never visited Mr_ule's house; but once in July he met that lady at the Carters', and hear_hen, what he knew from other sources, that the position of things wa_nchanged. In August, Mrs Yule spent a fortnight at the seaside, and Am_ccompanied her. Milvain and his sisters accepted an invitation to visi_riends at Wattleborough, and were out of town about three weeks, the last te_ays being passed in the Isle of Wight; it was an extravagant holiday, bu_ora had been ailing, and her brother declared that they would all work bette_or the change. Alfred Yule, with his wife and daughter, rusticated somewher_n Kent. Dora and Marian exchanged letters, and here is a passage from on_ritten by the former:
'Jasper has shown himself in an unusually amiable light since we left town. _ooked forward to this holiday with some misgivings, as I know by experienc_hat it doesn't do for him and us to be too much together; he gets tired o_ur company, and then his selfishness—believe me, he has a good deal o_t—comes out in a way we don't appreciate. But I have never known him s_orbearing. To me he is particularly kind, on account of my headaches an_eneral shakiness. It isn't impossible that this young man, if all goes wel_ith him, may turn out far better than Maud and I ever expected. But thing_ill have to go very well, if the improvement is to be permanent. I only hop_e may make a lot of money before long. If this sounds rather gross to you, _an only say that Jasper's moral nature will never be safe as long as he i_xposed to the risks of poverty. There are such people, you know. As a poo_an, I wouldn't trust him out of my sight; with money, he will be a tolerabl_reature—as men go.'
Dora, no doubt, had her reasons for writing in this strain. She would not hav_ade such remarks in conversation with her friend, but took the opportunity o_eing at a distance to communicate them in writing.
On their return, the two girls made good progress with the book they wer_anufacturing for Messrs Jolly and Monk, and early in October it was finished.
Dora was now writing little things for The English Girl, and Maud had begun t_eview an occasional novel for an illustrated paper. In spite of their poo_odgings, they had been brought into social relations with Mrs Boston Wrigh_nd a few of her friends; their position was understood, and in acceptin_nvitations they had no fear lest unwelcome people should pounce down upo_hem in their shabby little sitting-room. The younger sister cared little fo_ociety such as Jasper procured them; with Marian Yule for a companion sh_ould have been quite content to spend her evenings at home. But Maud relishe_he introduction to strangers. She was admired, and knew it. Prudence coul_ot restrain her from buying a handsomer dress than those she had brought fro_er country home, and it irked her sorely that she might not reconstruct al_er equipment to rival the appearance of well-to-do girls whom she studied an_nvied. Her disadvantages, for the present, were insuperable. She had no on_o chaperon her; she could not form intimacies because of her poverty. A rar_nvitation to luncheon, a permission to call at the sacred hour of small- talk—this was all she could hope for.
'I advise you to possess your soul in patience,' Jasper said to her, as the_alked one day on the sea-shore. 'You are not to blame that you live withou_onventional protection, but it necessitates your being very careful. Thes_eople you are getting to know are not rigid about social observances, an_hey won't exactly despise you for poverty; all the same, their charit_ustn't be tested too severely. Be very quiet for the present; let it be see_hat you understand that your position isn't quite regular—I mean, of course, do so in a modest and nice way. As soon as ever it's possible, we'll arrang_or you to live with someone who will preserve appearances. All this i_ontemptible, of course; but we belong to a contemptible society, and can'_elp ourselves. For Heaven's sake, don't spoil your chances by rashness; b_ontent to wait a little, till some more money comes in.'
Midway in October, about half-past eight one evening, Jasper received a_nexpected visit from Dora. He was in his sitting-room, smoking and reading _ovel.
'Anything wrong?' he asked, as his sister entered.
'No; but I'm alone this evening, and I thought I would see if you were in.
'Where's Maud, then?'
'She went to see the Lanes this afternoon, and Mrs Lane invited her to go t_he Gaiety to-night; she said a friend whom she had invited couldn't come, an_he ticket would be wasted. Maud went back to dine with them. She'll come hom_n a cab.'
'Why is Mrs Lane so affectionate all at once? Take your things off; I hav_othing to do.'
'Miss Radway was going as well.'
'Who's Miss Radway?'
'Don't you know her? She's staying with the Lanes. Maud says she writes fo_he West End.'
'And will that fellow Lane be with them?'
'I think not.'
Jasper mused, contemplating the bowl of his pipe.
'I suppose she was in rare excitement?'
'Pretty well. She has wanted to go to the Gaiety for a long time. There's n_arm, is there?'
Dora asked the question with that absent air which girls are wont to assum_hen they touch on doubtful subjects.
'Harm, no. Idiocy and lively music, that's all. It's too late, or I'd hav_aken you, for the joke of the thing. Confound it! she ought to have bette_resses.'
'Oh, she looked very nice, in that best.'
'Pooh! But I don't care for her to be running about with the Lanes. Lane i_oo big a blackguard; it reflects upon his wife to a certain extent.'
They gossiped for half an hour, then a tap at the door interrupted them; i_as the landlady.
'Mr Whelpdale has called to see you, sir. I mentioned as Miss Milvain wa_ere, so he said he wouldn't come up unless you sent to ask him.'
Jasper smiled at Dora, and said in a low voice.
'What do you say? Shall he come up? He can behave himself.'
'Just as you please, Jasper.'
'Ask him to come up, Mrs Thompson, please.'
Mr Whelpdale presented himself. He entered with much more ceremony than whe_ilvain was alone; on his visage was a grave respectfulness, his step wa_ight, his whole bearing expressed diffidence and pleasurable anticipation.
'My younger sister, Whelpdale,' said Jasper, with subdued amusement.
The dealer in literary advice made a bow which did him no discredit, and bega_o speak in a low, reverential tone not at all disagreeable to the ear. Hi_reeding, in truth, had been that of a gentleman, and it was only of lat_ears that he had fallen into the hungry region of New Grub Street.
'How's the "Manual" going off?' Milvain inquired.
'Excellently! We have sold nearly six hundred.'
'My sister is one of your readers. I believe she has studied the book wit_uch conscientiousness.'
'Really? You have really read it, Miss Milvain?'
Dora assured him that she had, and his delight knew no bounds.
'It isn't all rubbish, by any means,' said Jasper, graciously. 'In the chapte_n writing for magazines, there are one or two very good hints. What a pit_ou can't apply your own advice, Whelpdale!'
'Now that's horribly unkind of you!' protested the other. 'You might hav_pared me this evening. But unfortunately it's quite true, Miss Milvain. _oint the way, but I haven't been able to travel it myself. You mustn't thin_ have never succeeded in getting things published; but I can't keep it up a_ profession.
Your brother is the successful man. A marvellous facility! I envy him. Few me_t present writing have such talent.'
'Please don't make him more conceited than he naturally is,' interposed Dora.
'What news of Biffen?' asked Jasper, presently.
'He says he shall finish "Mr Bailey, Grocer," in about a month. He read me on_f the later chapters the other night. It's really very fine; most remarkabl_riting, it seems to me. It will be scandalous if he can't get it published; it will, indeed.'
'I do hope he may!' said Dora, laughing. 'I have heard so much of "Mr Bailey,"
that it will be a great disappointment if I am never to read it.'
'I'm afraid it would give you very little pleasure,' Whelpdale replied, hesitatingly. 'The matter is so very gross.'
'And the hero grocer!' shouted Jasper, mirthfully. 'Oh, but it's quite decent; only rather depressing. The decently ignoble—or, the ignobly decent? Which i_iffen's formula? I saw him a week ago, and he looked hungrier than ever.'
'Ah, but poor Reardon! I passed him at King's Cross not long ago.
He didn't see me—walks with his eyes on the ground always—and I hadn't th_ourage to stop him. He's the ghost of his old self He can't live long.'
Dora and her brother exchanged a glance. It was a long time since Jasper ha_poken to his sisters about the Reardons; nowadays he seldom heard either o_usband or wife.
The conversation that went on was so agreeable to Whelpdale, that he los_onsciousness of time. It was past eleven o'clock when Jasper felt obliged t_emind him.
'Dora, I think I must be taking you home.'
The visitor at once made ready for departure, and his leave-taking was a_espectful as his entrance had been. Though he might not say what he thought, there was very legible upon his countenance a hope that he would again b_rivileged to meet Miss Dora Milvain.
'Not a bad fellow, in his way,' said Jasper, when Dora and he were alon_gain.
'Not at all.'
She had heard the story of Whelpdale's hapless wooing half a year ago, and he_ecollection of it explained the smile with which she spoke.
'Never get on, I'm afraid,' Jasper pursued. 'He has his allowance of twent_ounds a year, and makes perhaps fifty or sixty more. If I were in hi_osition, I should go in for some kind of regular business; he has people wh_ould help him. Good-natured fellow; but what's the use of that if you've n_oney?'
They set out together, and walked to the girls' lodgings. Dora was about t_se her latch-key, but Jasper checked her. 'No. There's a light in the kitche_till; better knock, as we're so late.'
'Never mind; do as I tell you.'
The landlady admitted them, and Jasper spoke a word or two with her, explaining that he would wait until his elder sister's return; the darkness o_he second-floor windows had shown that Maud was not yet back.
'What strange fancies you have!' remarked Dora, when they were upstairs.
'So have people in general, unfortunately.'
A letter lay on the table. It was addressed to Maud, and Dora recognised th_andwriting as that of a Wattleborough friend.
'There must be some news here,' she said. 'Mrs Haynes wouldn't write unles_he had something special to say.
Just upon midnight, a cab drew up before the house. Dora ran down to open th_oor to her sister, who came in with very bright eyes and more colour tha_sual on her cheeks.
'How late for you to be here!' she exclaimed, on entering the sitting-room an_eeing Jasper.
'I shouldn't have felt comfortable till I knew that you were back all right.'
'What fear was there?'
She threw off her wraps, laughing.
'Well, have you enjoyed yourself?'
'Oh yes!' she replied, carelessly. 'This letter for me? What has Mrs Hayne_ot to say, I wonder?'
She opened the envelope, and began to glance hurriedly over the sheet o_aper. Then her face changed.
'What do you think? Mr Yule is dead!'
Dora uttered an exclamation; Jasper displayed the keenest interest.
'He died yesterday—no, it would be the day before yesterday. He had a fit o_ome kind at a public meeting, was taken to the hospital because it wa_earest, and died in a few hours. So that has come, at last! Now what'll b_he result of it, I wonder?'
'When shall you be seeing Marian?' asked her brother.
'She might come to-morrow evening.'
'But won't she go to the funeral?' suggested Dora.
'Perhaps; there's no saying. I suppose her father will, at all events. The da_efore yesterday? Then the funeral will be on Saturday, I should think.'
'Ought I to write to Marian?' asked Dora.
'No; I wouldn't,' was Jasper's reply. 'Better wait till she lets you hear.
That's sure to be soon. She may have gone to Wattleborough this afternoon, o_e going to-morrow morning.'
The letter from Mrs Haynes was passed from hand to hand. 'Everybody feel_ure,' it said, 'that a great deal of his money will be left for publi_urposes. The ground for the park being already purchased, he is sure to hav_ade provision for carrying out his plans connected with it. But I hope you_riends in London may benefit.'
It was some time before Jasper could put an end to the speculativ_onversation and betake himself homewards. And even on getting back to hi_odgings he was little disposed to go to bed. This event of John Yule's deat_ad been constantly in his mind, but there was always a fear that it might no_appen for long enough; the sudden announcement excited him almost as much a_f he were a relative of the deceased.
'Confound his public purposes!' was the thought upon which he at length slept.