I have mentioned I was resolved to steal a march upon the Master; and this, with the complicity of Captain McMurtrie, was mighty easily effected: a boa_eing partly loaded on the one side of our ship and the Master placed on boar_f it, the while a skiff put off from the other, carrying me alone. I had n_ore trouble in finding a direction to my lord's house, whither I went at to_peed, and which I found to be on the outskirts of the place, a very suitabl_ansion, in a fine garden, with an extraordinary large barn, byre, and stable, all in one. It was here my lord was walking when I arrived; indeed, it ha_ecome his chief place of frequentation, and his mind was now filled wit_arming. I burst in upon him breathless, and gave him my news: which wa_ndeed no news at all, several ships having outsailed the NONESUCH in th_nterval.
"We have been expecting you long," said my lord; "and indeed, of late days, ceased to expect you any more. I am glad to take your hand again, Mackellar. _hought you had been at the bottom of the sea."
"Ah! my lord, would God I had!" cried I. "Things would have been better fo_ourself."
"Not in the least," says he, grimly. "I could not ask better. There is a lon_core to pay, and now - at last - I can begin to pay it."
I cried out against his security.
"Oh!" says he, "this is not Durrisdeer, and I have taken my precautions. Hi_eputation awaits him; I have prepared a welcome for my brother. Indeed, fortune has served me; for I found here a merchant of Albany who knew hi_fter the '45 and had mighty convenient suspicions of a murder: some one o_he name of Chew it was, another Albanian. No one here will be surprised if _eny him my door; he will not be suffered to address my children, nor even t_alute my wife: as for myself, I make so much exception for a brother that h_ay speak to me. I should lose my pleasure else," says my lord, rubbing hi_alms.
Presently he bethought himself, and set men off running, with billets, t_ummon the magnates of the province. I cannot recall what pretext he employed; at least, it was successful; and when our ancient enemy appeared upon th_cene, he found my lord pacing in front of his house under some trees o_hade, with the Governor upon one hand and various notables upon the other. M_ady, who was seated in the verandah, rose with a very pinched expression an_arried her children into the house.
The Master, well dressed and with an elegant walking-sword, bowed to th_ompany in a handsome manner and nodded to my lord with familiarity. My lor_id not accept the salutation, but looked upon his brother with bended brows.
"Well, sir," says he, at last, "what ill wind brings you hither of all places, where (to our common disgrace) your reputation has preceded you?"
"Your lordship is pleased to be civil," said the Master, with a fine start.
"I am pleased to be very plain," returned my lord; "because it is needful yo_hould clearly understand your situation. At home, where you were so littl_nown, it was still possible to keep appearances; that would be quite vain i_his province; and I have to tell you that I am quite resolved to wash m_ands of you. You have already ruined me almost to the door, as you ruined m_ather before me; - whose heart you also broke. Your crimes escape the law; but my friend the Governor has promised protection to my family. Have a care, sir!" cries my lord, shaking his cane at him: "if you are observed to utte_wo words to any of my innocent household, the law shall be stretched to mak_ou smart for it."
"Ah!" says the Master, very slowly. "And so this is the advantage of a foreig_and! These gentlemen are unacquainted with our story, I perceive. They do no_now that I am the Lord Durrisdeer; they do not know you are my younge_rother, sitting in my place under a sworn family compact; they do not know (or they would not be seen with you in familiar correspondence) that ever_cre is mine before God Almighty - and every doit of the money you withhol_rom me, you do it as a thief, a perjurer, and a disloyal brother!"
"General Clinton," I cried, "do not listen to his lies. I am the steward o_he estate, and there is not one word of truth in it. The man is a forfeite_ebel turned into a hired spy: there is his story in two words."
It was thus that (in the heat of the moment) I let slip his infamy.
"Fellow," said the Governor, turning his face sternly on the Master, "I kno_ore of you than you think for. We have some broken ends of your adventures i_he provinces, which you will do very well not to drive me to investigate.
There is the disappearance of Mr. Jacob Chew with all his merchandise; ther_s the matter of where you came ashore from with so much money and jewels, when you were picked up by a Bermudan out of Albany. Believe me, if I le_hese matters lie, it is in commiseration for your family and out of respec_or my valued friend, Lord Durrisdeer."
There was a murmur of applause from the provincials.
"I should have remembered how a title would shine out in such a hole as this,"
says the Master, white as a sheet: "no matter how unjustly come by. It remain_or me, then, to die at my lord's door, where my dead body will form a ver_heerful ornament."
"Away with your affectations!" cries my lord. "You know very well I have n_uch meaning; only to protect myself from calumny, and my home from you_ntrusion. I offer you a choice. Either I shall pay your passage home on th_irst ship, when you may perhaps be able to resume your occupations unde_overnment, although God knows I would rather see you on the highway! Or, i_hat likes you not, stay here and welcome! I have inquired the least sum o_hich body and soul can be decently kept together in New York; so much yo_hall have, paid weekly; and if you cannot labour with your hands to bette_t, high time you should betake yourself to learn. The condition is - that yo_peak with no member of my family except myself," he added.
I do not think I have ever seen any man so pale as was the Master; but he wa_rect and his mouth firm.
"I have been met here with some very unmerited insults," said he, "from whic_ have certainly no idea to take refuge by flight. Give me your pittance; _ake it without shame, for it is mine already - like the shirt upon your back; and I choose to stay until these gentlemen shall understand me better. Alread_hey must spy the cloven hoof, since with all your pretended eagerness for th_amily honour, you take a pleasure to degrade it in my person."
"This is all very fine," says my lord; "but to us who know you of old, yo_ust be sure it signifies nothing. You take that alternative out of which yo_hink that you can make the most. Take it, if you can, in silence; it wil_erve you better in the long run, you may believe me, than this ostentation o_ngratitude."
"Oh, gratitude, my lord!" cries the Master, with a mounting intonation and hi_orefinger very conspicuously lifted up. "Be at rest: it will not fail you. I_ow remains that I should salute these gentlemen whom we have wearied with ou_amily affairs."
And he bowed to each in succession, settled his walking-sword, and too_imself off, leaving every one amazed at his behaviour, and me not less so a_y lord's.
We were now to enter on a changed phase of this family division. The Maste_as by no manner of means so helpless as my lord supposed, having at his hand, and entirely devoted to his service, an excellent artist in all sorts o_oldsmith work. With my lord's allowance, which was not so scanty as he ha_escribed it, the pair could support life; and all the earnings of Secundr_ass might be laid upon one side for any future purpose. That this was done, _ave no doubt. It was in all likelihood the Master's design to gather _ufficiency, and then proceed in quest of that treasure which he had burie_ong before among the mountains; to which, if he had confined himself, h_ould have been more happily inspired. But unfortunately for himself and al_f us, he took counsel of his anger. The public disgrace of his arrival - which I sometimes wonder he could manage to survive - rankled in his bones; h_as in that humour when a man - in the words of the old adage - will cut of_is nose to spite his face; and he must make himself a public spectacle in th_opes that some of the disgrace might spatter on my lord.
He chose, in a poor quarter of the town, a lonely, small house of boards, overhung with some acacias. It was furnished in front with a sort of hutc_pening, like that of a dog's kennel, but about as high as a table from th_round, in which the poor man that built it had formerly displayed some wares; and it was this which took the Master's fancy and possibly suggested hi_roceedings. It appears, on board the pirate ship he had acquired som_uickness with the needle - enough, at least, to play the part of tailor i_he public eye; which was all that was required by the nature of hi_engeance. A placard was hung above the hutch, bearing these words i_omething of the following disposition:
JAMES DURIE, FORMERLY MASTER OF BALLANTRAE. CLOTHES NEATLY CLOUTED.
* * * * *
SECUNDRA DASS, DECAYED GENTLEMAN OF INDIA. FINE GOLDSMITH WORK.
Underneath this, when he had a job, my gentleman sat withinside tailor-wis_nd busily stitching. I say, when he had a job; but such customers as cam_ere rather for Secundra, and the Master's sewing would be more in the manne_f Penelope's. He could never have designed to gain even butter to his brea_y such a means of livelihood: enough for him that there was the name of Duri_ragged in the dirt on the placard, and the sometime heir of that proud famil_et up cross-legged in public for a reproach upon his brother's meanness. An_n so far his device succeeded that there was murmuring in the town and _arty formed highly inimical to my lord. My lord's favour with the Governo_aid him more open on the other side; my lady (who was never so well receive_n the colony) met with painful innuendoes; in a party of women, where i_ould be the topic most natural to introduce, she was almost debarred from th_aming of needle-work; and I have seen her return with a flushed countenanc_nd vow that she would go abroad no more.
In the meanwhile my lord dwelled in his decent mansion, immersed in farming; _opular man with his intimates, and careless or unconscious of the rest. H_aid on flesh; had a bright, busy face; even the heat seemed to prosper wit_im; and my lady - in despite of her own annoyances - daily blessed Heaven he_ather should have left her such a paradise. She had looked on from a windo_pon the Master's humiliation; and from that hour appeared to feel at ease. _as not so sure myself; as time went on, there seemed to me a something no_uite wholesome in my lord's condition. Happy he was, beyond a doubt, but th_rounds of this felicity were wont; even in the bosom of his family he broode_ith manifest delight upon some private thought; and I conceived at last th_uspicion (quite unworthy of us both) that he kept a mistress somewhere in th_own. Yet he went little abroad, and his day was very fully occupied; indeed, there was but a single period, and that pretty early in the morning, while Mr.
Alexander was at his lesson-book, of which I was not certain of th_isposition. It should be borne in mind, in the defence of that which I no_id, that I was always in some fear my lord was not quite justly in hi_eason; and with our enemy sitting so still in the same town with us, I di_ell to be upon my guard. Accordingly I made a pretext, had the hour change_t which I taught Mr. Alexander the foundation of cyphering and th_athematic, and set myself instead to dog my master's footsteps.
Every morning, fair or foul, he took his gold-headed cane, set his hat on th_ack of his head - a recent habitude, which I thought to indicate a burnin_row - and betook himself to make a certain circuit. At the first his way wa_mong pleasant trees and beside a graveyard, where he would sit awhile, if th_ay were fine, in meditation. Presently the path turned down to the waterside, and came back along the harbour-front and past the Master's booth. As h_pproached this second part of his circuit, my Lord Durrisdeer began to pac_ore leisurely, like a man delighted with the air and scene; and before th_ooth, half-way between that and the water's edge, would pause a little, leaning on his staff. It was the hour when the Master sate within upon hi_oard and plied his needle. So these two brothers would gaze upon each othe_ith hard faces; and then my lord move on again, smiling to himself.
It was but twice that I must stoop to that ungrateful necessity of playin_py. I was then certain of my lord's purpose in his rambles and of the secre_ource of his delight. Here was his mistress: it was hatred and not love tha_ave him healthful colours. Some moralists might have been relieved by th_iscovery; I confess that I was dismayed. I found this situation of tw_rethren not only odious in itself, but big with possibilities of furthe_vil; and I made it my practice, in so far as many occupations would allow, t_o by a shorter path and be secretly present at their meeting. Coming down on_ay a little late, after I had been near a week prevented, I was struck wit_urprise to find a new development. I should say there was a bench against th_aster's house, where customers might sit to parley with the shopman; and her_ found my lord seated, nursing his cane and looking pleasantly forth upon th_ay. Not three feet from him sate the Master, stitching. Neither spoke; nor (in this new situation) did my lord so much as cut a glance upon his enemy. H_asted his neighbourhood, I must suppose, less indirectly in the bar_roximity of person; and, without doubt, drank deep of hateful pleasures.
He had no sooner come away than I openly joined him. "My lord, my lord," sai_, "this is no manner of behaviour."
"I grow fat upon it," he replied; and not merely the words, which were strang_nough, but the whole character of his expression, shocked me.
"I warn you, my lord, against this indulgency of evil feeling," said I. "_now not to which it is more perilous, the soul or the reason; but you go th_ay to murder both."
"You cannot understand," said he. "You had never such mountains of bitternes_pon your heart."
"And if it were no more," I added, "you will surely goad the man to som_xtremity."
"To the contrary; I am breaking his spirit," says my lord.
Every morning for hard upon a week my lord took his same place upon the bench.
It was a pleasant place, under the green acacias, with a sight upon the ba_nd shipping, and a sound (from some way off) of marines singing at thei_mploy. Here the two sate without speech or any external movement, beyond tha_f the needle or the Master biting off a thread, for he still clung to hi_retence of industry; and here I made a point to join them, wondering a_yself and my companions. If any of my lord's friends went by, he would hai_hem cheerfully, and cry out he was there to give some good advice to hi_rother, who was now (to his delight) grown quite industrious. And even thi_he Master accepted with a steady countenance; what was in his mind, Go_nows, or perhaps Satan only.
All of a sudden, on a still day of what they call the Indian Summer, when th_oods were changed into gold and pink and scarlet, the Master laid down hi_eedle and burst into a fit of merriment. I think he must have been preparin_t a long while in silence, for the note in itself was pretty naturall_itched; but breaking suddenly from so extreme a silence, and in circumstance_o averse from mirth, it sounded ominously on my ear.
"Henry," said he, "I have for once made a false step, and for once you hav_ad the wit to profit by it. The farce of the cobbler ends to-day; and _onfess to you (with my compliments) that you have had the best of it. Bloo_ill out; and you have certainly a choice idea of how to make yoursel_npleasant."
Never a word said my lord; it was just as though the Master had not broke_ilence.
"Come," resumed the Master, "do not be sulky; it will spoil your attitude. Yo_an now afford (believe me) to be a little gracious; for I have not merely _efeat to accept. I had meant to continue this performance till I had gathere_nough money for a certain purpose; I confess ingenuously, I have not th_ourage. You naturally desire my absence from this town; I have come round b_nother way to the same idea. And I have a proposition to make; or, if you_ordship prefers, a favour to ask."
"Ask it," says my lord.
"You may have heard that I had once in this country a considerable treasure,"
returned the Master; "it matters not whether or no - such is the fact; and _as obliged to bury it in a spot of which I have sufficient indications. T_he recovery of this, has my ambition now come down; and, as it is my own, yo_ill not grudge it me."
"Go and get it," says my lord. "I make no opposition."
"Yes," said the Master; "but to do so, I must find men and carriage. The wa_s long and rough, and the country infested with wild Indians. Advance me onl_o much as shall be needful: either as a lump sum, in lieu of my allowance; or, if you prefer it, as a loan, which I shall repay on my return. And then, if you so decide, you may have seen the last of me."
My lord stared him steadily in the eyes; there was a hard smile upon his face, but he uttered nothing.
"Henry," said the Master, with a formidable quietness, and drawing at the sam_ime somewhat back - "Henry, I had the honour to address you."
"Let us be stepping homeward," says my lord to me, who was plucking at hi_leeve; and with that he rose, stretched himself, settled his hat, and stil_ithout a syllable of response, began to walk steadily along the shore.
I hesitated awhile between the two brothers, so serious a climax did we see_o have reached. But the Master had resumed his occupation, his eyes lowered, his hand seemingly as deft as ever; and I decided to pursue my lord.
"Are you mad?" I cried, so soon as I had overtook him. "Would you cast away s_air an opportunity?"
"Is it possible you should still believe in him?" inquired my lord, almos_ith a sneer.
"I wish him forth of this town!" I cried. "I wish him anywhere and anyhow bu_s he is."
"I have said my say," returned my lord, "and you have said yours. There let i_est."
But I was bent on dislodging the Master. That sight of him patiently returnin_o his needlework was more than my imagination could digest. There was never _an made, and the Master the least of any, that could accept so long a serie_f insults. The air smelt blood to me. And I vowed there should be no neglec_f mine if, through any chink of possibility, crime could be yet turned aside.
That same day, therefore, I came to my lord in his business room, where he sa_pon some trivial occupation.
"My lord," said I, "I have found a suitable investment for my small economies.
But these are unhappily in Scotland; it will take some time to lift them, an_he affair presses. Could your lordship see his way to advance me the amoun_gainst my note?"
He read me awhile with keen eyes. "I have never inquired into the state o_our affairs, Mackellar," says he. "Beyond the amount of your caution, you ma_ot be worth a farthing, for what I know."
"I have been a long while in your service, and never told a lie, nor yet aske_ favour for myself," said I, "until to-day."
"A favour for the Master," he returned, quietly. "Do you take me for a fool, Mackellar? Understand it once and for all, I treat this beast in my own way; fear nor favour shall not move me; and before I am hoodwinked, it will requir_ trickster less transparent than yourself. I ask service, loyal service; no_hat you should make and mar behind my back, and steal my own money to defea_e."
"My lord," said I, "these are very unpardonable expressions."
"Think once more, Mackellar," he replied; "and you will see they fit the fact.
It is your own subterfuge that is unpardonable. Deny (if you can) that yo_esigned this money to evade my orders with, and I will ask your pardo_reely. If you cannot, you must have the resolution to hear your conduct go b_ts own name."
"If you think I had any design but to save you - " I began.
"Oh! my old friend," said he, "you know very well what I think! Here is m_and to you with all my heart; but of money, not one rap."
Defeated upon this side, I went straight to my room, wrote a letter, ran wit_t to the harbour, for I knew a ship was on the point of sailing; and came t_he Master's door a little before dusk. Entering without the form of an_nock, I found him sitting with his Indian at a simple meal of maize porridg_ith some milk. The house within was clean and poor; only a few books upon _helf distinguished it, and (in one corner) Secundra's little bench.
"Mr. Bally," said I, "I have near five hundred pounds laid by in Scotland, th_conomies of a hard life. A letter goes by yon ship to have it lifted. Have s_uch patience till the return ship comes in, and it is all yours, upon th_ame condition you offered to my lord this morning."
He rose from the table, came forward, took me by the shoulders, and looked m_n the face, smiling.
"And yet you are very fond of money!" said he. "And yet you love money beyon_ll things else, except my brother!"
"I fear old age and poverty," said I, "which is another matter."
"I will never quarrel for a name. Call it so," he replied. "Ah! Mackellar, Mackellar, if this were done from any love to me, how gladly would I clos_pon your offer!"
"And yet," I eagerly answered - "I say it to my shame, but I cannot see you i_his poor place without compunction. It is not my single thought, nor m_irst; and yet it's there! I would gladly see you delivered. I do not offer i_n love, and far from that; but, as God judges me - and I wonder at it too! - quite without enmity."
"Ah!" says he, still holding my shoulders, and now gently shaking me, "yo_hink of me more than you suppose. 'And I wonder at it too,'" he added, repeating my expression and, I suppose, something of my voice. "You are a_onest man, and for that cause I spare you."
"Spare me?" I cried.
"Spare you," he repeated, letting me go and turning away. And then, frontin_e once more. "You little know what I would do with it, Mackellar! Did yo_hink I had swallowed my defeat indeed? Listen: my life has been a series o_nmerited cast-backs. That fool, Prince Charlie, mismanaged a most promisin_ffair: there fell my first fortune. In Paris I had my foot once more hig_pon the ladder: that time it was an accident; a letter came to the wron_and, and I was bare again. A third time, I found my opportunity; I built up _lace for myself in India with an infinite patience; and then Clive came, m_ajah was swallowed up, and I escaped out of the convulsion, like anothe_Eneas, with Secundra Dass upon my back. Three times I have had my hand upo_he highest station: and I am not yet three-and-forty. I know the world as fe_en know it when they come to die - Court and camp, the East and the West; _now where to go, I see a thousand openings. I am now at the height of m_esources, sound of health, of inordinate ambition. Well, all this I resign; _are not if I die, and the world never hear of me; I care only for one thing, and that I will have. Mind yourself; lest, when the roof falls, you, too, should be crushed under the ruins."
As I came out of his house, all hope of intervention quite destroyed, I wa_ware of a stir on the harbour-side, and, raising my eyes, there was a grea_hip newly come to anchor. It seems strange I could have looked upon her wit_o much indifference, for she brought death to the brothers of Durrisdeer.
After all the desperate episodes of this contention, the insults, the opposin_nterests, the fraternal duel in the shrubbery, it was reserved for some poo_evil in Grub Street, scribbling for his dinner, and not caring what h_cribbled, to cast a spell across four thousand miles of the salt sea, an_end forth both these brothers into savage and wintry deserts, there to die.
But such a thought was distant from my mind; and while all the provincial_ere fluttered about me by the unusual animation of their port, I passe_hroughout their midst on my return homeward, quite absorbed in th_ecollection of my visit and the Master's speech.
The same night there was brought to us from the ship a little packet o_amphlets. The next day my lord was under engagement to go with the Governo_pon some party of pleasure; the time was nearly due, and I left him for _oment alone in his room and skimming through the pamphlets. When I returned, his head had fallen upon the table, his arms lying abroad amongst the crumple_apers.
"My lord, my lord!" I cried as I ran forward, for I supposed he was in som_it.
He sprang up like a figure upon wires, his countenance deformed with fury, s_hat in a strange place I should scarce have known him. His hand at the sam_ime flew above his head, as though to strike me down. "Leave me alone!" h_creeched, and I fled, as fast as my shaking legs would bear me, for my lady.
She, too, lost no time; but when we returned, he had the door locked within, and only cried to us from the other side to leave him be. We looked in eac_ther's faces, very white - each supposing the blow had come at last.
"I will write to the Governor to excuse him," says she. "We must keep ou_trong friends." But when she took up the pen, it flew out of her fingers. "_annot write," said she. "Can you?"
"I will make a shift, my lady," said I.
She looked over me as I wrote. "That will do," she said, when I had done.
"Thank God, Mackellar, I have you to lean upon! But what can it be now? What, what can it be?"
In my own mind, I believed there was no explanation possible, and non_equired; it was my fear that the man's madness had now simply burst forth it_ay, like the long-smothered flames of a volcano; but to this (in mere merc_o my lady) I durst not give expression.
"It is more to the purpose to consider our own behaviour," said I. "Must w_eave him there alone?"
"I do not dare disturb him," she replied. "Nature may know best; it may b_ature that cries to be alone; and we grope in the dark. Oh yes, I would leav_im as he is."
"I will, then, despatch this letter, my lady, and return here, if you please, to sit with you," said I.
"Pray do," cries my lady.
All afternoon we sat together, mostly in silence, watching my lord's door. M_wn mind was busy with the scene that had just passed, and its singula_esemblance to my vision. I must say a word upon this, for the story has gon_broad with great exaggeration, and I have even seen it printed, and my ow_ame referred to for particulars. So much was the same: here was my lord in _oom, with his head upon the table, and when he raised his face, it wore suc_n expression as distressed me to the soul. But the room was different, m_ord's attitude at the table not at all the same, and his face, when h_isclosed it, expressed a painful degree of fury instead of that hauntin_espair which had always (except once, already referred to) characterised i_n the vision. There is the whole truth at last before the public; and if th_ifferences be great, the coincidence was yet enough to fill me wit_neasiness. All afternoon, as I say, I sat and pondered upon this quite t_yself; for my lady had trouble of her own, and it was my last thought to ve_er with fancies. About the midst of our time of waiting, she conceived a_ngenious scheme, had Mr. Alexander fetched, and bid him knock at his father'_oor. My lord sent the boy about his business, but without the least violence, whether of manner or expression; so that I began to entertain a hope the fi_as over.
At last, as the night fell and I was lighting a lamp that stood there trimmed, the door opened and my lord stood within upon the threshold. The light was no_o strong that we could read his countenance; when he spoke, methought hi_oice a little altered but yet perfectly steady.
"Mackellar," said he, "carry this note to its destination with your own hand.
It is highly private. Find the person alone when you deliver it."
"Henry," says my lady, "you are not ill?"
"No, no," says be, querulously, "I am occupied. Not at all; I am onl_ccupied. It is a singular thing a man must be supposed to be ill when he ha_ny business! Send me supper to this room, and a basket of wine: I expect th_isit of a friend. Otherwise I am not to be disturbed."
And with that he once more shut himself in.
The note was addressed to one Captain Harris, at a tavern on the portside. _new Harris (by reputation) for a dangerous adventurer, highly suspected o_iracy in the past, and now following the rude business of an Indian trader.
What my lord should have to say to him, or he to my lord, it passed m_magination to conceive: or yet how my lord had heard of him, unless by _isgraceful trial from which the man was recently escaped. Altogether I wen_pon the errand with reluctance, and from the little I saw of the captain, returned from it with sorrow. I found him in a foul-smelling chamber, sittin_y a guttering candle and an empty bottle; he had the remains of a militar_arriage, or rather perhaps it was an affectation, for his manners were low.
"Tell my lord, with my service, that I will wait upon his lordship in th_nside of half an hour," says he, when he had read the note; and then had th_ervility, pointing to his empty bottle, to propose that I should buy hi_iquor.
Although I returned with my best speed, the Captain followed close upon m_eels, and he stayed late into the night. The cock was crowing a second tim_hen I saw (from my chamber window) my lord lighting him to the gate, both me_ery much affected with their potations, and sometimes leaning one upon th_ther to confabulate. Yet the next morning my lord was abroad again early wit_ hundred pounds of money in his pocket. I never supposed that he returne_ith it; and yet I was quite sure it did not find its way to the Master, for _ingered all morning within view of the booth. That was the last time my Lor_urrisdeer passed his own enclosure till we left New York; he walked in hi_arn, or sat and talked with his family, all much as usual; but the town sa_othing of him, and his daily visits to the Master seemed forgotten. Nor ye_id Harris reappear; or not until the end.
I was now much oppressed with a sense of the mysteries in which we had begu_o move. It was plain, if only from his change of habitude, my lord ha_omething on his mind of a grave nature; but what it was, whence it sprang, o_hy he should now keep the house and garden, I could make no guess at. It wa_lear, even to probation, the pamphlets had some share in this revolution; _ead all I could find, and they were all extremely insignificant, and of th_sual kind of party scurrility; even to a high politician, I could spy out n_articular matter of offence, and my lord was a man rather indifferent o_ublic questions. The truth is, the pamphlet which was the spring of thi_ffair, lay all the time on my lord's bosom. There it was that I found it a_ast, after he was dead, in the midst of the north wilderness: in such _lace, in such dismal circumstances, I was to read for the first time thes_dle, lying words of a Whig pamphleteer declaiming against indulgency t_acobites:- "Another notorious Rebel, the M-r of B-e, is to have his Titl_estored," the passage ran. "This Business has been long in hand, since h_endered some very disgraceful Services in Scotland and France. His Brother, L-D D-R, is known to be no better than himself in Inclination; and th_upposed Heir, who is now to be set aside, was bred up in the most detestabl_rinciples. In the old Phrase, it is SIX OF THE ONE AND HALF A DOZEN OF TH_THER; but the Favour of such a Reposition is too extreme to be passed over."
A man in his right wits could not have cared two straws for a tale s_anifestly false; that Government should ever entertain the notion, wa_nconceivable to any reasoning creature, unless possibly the fool that penne_t; and my lord, though never brilliant, was ever remarkable for sense. Tha_e should credit such a rodomontade, and carry the pamphlet on his bosom an_he words in his heart, is the clear proof of the man's lunacy. Doubtless th_ere mention of Mr. Alexander, and the threat directly held out against th_hild's succession, precipitated that which had so long impended. Or else m_aster had been truly mad for a long time, and we were too dull or too muc_sed to him, and did not perceive the extent of his infirmity.
About a week after the day of the pamphlets I was late upon the harbour-side, and took a turn towards the Master's, as I often did. The door opened, a floo_f light came forth upon the road, and I beheld a man taking his departur_ith friendly salutations. I cannot say how singularly I was shaken t_ecognise the adventurer Harris. I could not but conclude it was the hand o_y lord that had brought him there; and prolonged my walk in very serious an_pprehensive thought. It was late when I came home, and there was my lor_aking up his portmanteau for a voyage.
"Why do you come so late?" he cried. "We leave to-morrow for Albany, you and _ogether; and it is high time you were about your preparations."
"For Albany, my lord?" I cried. "And for what earthly purpose?"
"Change of scene," said he.
And my lady, who appeared to have been weeping, gave me the signal to obe_ithout more parley. She told me a little later (when we found occasion t_xchange some words) that he had suddenly announced his intention after _isit from Captain Harris, and her best endeavours, whether to dissuade hi_rom the journey, or to elicit some explanation of its purpose, had alik_roved unavailing.