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then circulated and believed; and he thought himself the dupe of a cunning adventuress, and estranged himself from his wife from that day until this."
"Fader Abraham!" exclaimed the Jew, raising both his hands in consternation.
"Providence has lately put me in possession of all the facts in this case, and has enabled me to pave the way for a reconciliation between the long-severed pair--supposing that you will have the moral courage to do your kinswoman justice."
"Fader Abraham, I vill do her shustice! I vill do her more as shustice. I vill tell te whole truth. I vill tell more as te whole truth, and shwear to it. I vill do anyding. I vould do anyding alt te time, if I had known it," said the Jew earnestly.
"Thank you, Isaacs, I only want the simple truth; more than that would do us harm instead of good. This is the simple truth, I hope, that I have taken down from your lips?"
"Yesh, tat ish te zimple truth!"
"I will read the whole statement to you, Isaacs, and then you will be able to see whether I have taken down your words correctly," said Ishmael. And he took up the manuscript and read it carefully through, pausing frequently to give the Jew an opportunity of correcting him, if necessary.
"Dat ish all right," said Isaacs, when the reading was finished.
"Now sign it, Isaacs."
The Jew affixed his signature.
"Now, Isaacs that is all I want of you for the present; but should you be required to make oath to the truth of this, I suppose that you will be found ready to do so."
"Fader Abraham! yes, I vill do anyding at all, or anyding else, to serve mine kinswoman," said the Jew, rising.
"Thank you, Isaacs. Now tell me where I shall find you, in case you shall be wanted?"
"I am lotging mit mine frient, Samuel Phineas, Butter Lane, Burrough."
"I will remember. Thank you, Isaacs. You have done your kinswoman and her friends good service. She will be grateful to you. I have no doubt she will send for you. Would you like to come to her?"
"Mit all my feet. Vere ish she?"
"At her country-seat, Cameron Court, near Edinboro'."
"I ton't know id."
"No, you don't know it. It is a comparatively recent purchase of her ladyship, I believe," said Ishmael, rising to accompany the Jew from the room.
As they went out they rang the bell, to warn the waiter that they had evacuated the apartment. In the hall Isaacs bade him good- afternoon, and Ishmael turned into the sitting room occupied in common by himself and Mr. Brudenell. He found the table laid for dinner and Mr. Brudenell walking impatiently up and down the floor.
"Ah, you are there! I was afraid you would be late, and the fish and the soup would be spoiled, but here you are in the very nick of time," he said, as he touched the bell. "Dinner immediately," he continued, addressing himself to the waiter, who answered his summons. But it was not until after dinner was over, and the cloth removed, and Mr. Brudenell had finished his bottle of claret and smoked out his principe, that Ishmael told him of his interview with Isaacs, and laid the written statement of the Jew before him. Mr. Brudenell read it carefully through, with the deepest interest. When he had finished it, he slowly folded it up and placed it in his breast pocket, dropped his head upon his chest, and remained in deep thought and perfect silence.
After the lapse of a few moments Ishmael spoke:
"If you think it needful, sir, Isaacs is ready to go before a magistrate and make oath to the truth of that statement."
"It is not needful, Ishmael; I have not the least doubt of its perfect truth. It is not of that I am thinking; but--of my wife. How will she receive me? One thing is certain, that having deeply injured her, I must go to her and acknowledge the wrong and ask her forgiveness. But, oh, Ishmael, what atonement will that be for years of cruel injustice and abandonment? None, none! No, I feel that I can make her no atonement," said Mr. Brudenell bitterly.
"No, sir; you can make her no atonement, but--you can make her happy. And that is all she will need," said Ishmael gravely and sweetly.
"If I thought I could, Ishmael, I would hasten to her at once. In any case, however, I must go to her, acknowledge the wrong I have done her and ask for pardon. But, ah! how will she receive me?"
"Only go and see for yourself, sir, I implore you," said Ishmael earnestly.
"When do you return to Scotland, Ishmael?"
"When you are ready to accompany me, sir; I am waiting only for you," answered Ishmael, smiling.
"Then we will go by the early express train to-morrow morning," said Mr. Brudenell.
"Very well, sir; I shall be ready," smiled Ishmael.
Mr. Brudenell rang for tea. And when it was set on the table he ordered the waiter to call him at five o'clock the next morning, to have his bill ready, and get a fly to the door to take them to the Great Northern Railroad Station in time to meet the six o'clock express train for Edinboro'.
After tea the two gentlemen remained conversing some little time longer, and then retired to their bed-chamber, where, being without the help and hindrance of a valet, they packed their own portmanteaus. And then they went to bed early in order to secure a long and good night's rest, preparatory to their proposed journey of the next morning.
THE MEETING OF THE SEVERED PAIR.
For she is wise, if I can judge of her; And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true; And true she is as she hath proved herself; And therefore like herself, wise, fair, and true She shall be placed within my constant soul. --_Shakspeare_
Ishmael and Mr. Brudenell arose before the waiter called them. They dressed quickly, rang, and ordered breakfast, and had time to eat it leisurely before the hour at which the cab was ordered to take them to the railway station. They caught the six o'clock express on the point of starting, and had just settled themselves comfortably in a first-class carriage when the train moved.
There is a difference in the time kept even by express trains. This one seemed to be the fastest among the fast, since it steamed out of the London station at six in the morning and steamed into the Edinboro' station at four in the afternoon.
Ishmael called a cab for himself and fellow-traveler. And when they had taken their seats in it, he gave the order, "To Magruder's Hotel." And the cab started.
"I think, sir," said the young man to the elder, "as we are in such good time, we had better go to my rooms at Magruder's and renovate our toilets before driving out to Cameron Court and presenting ourselves to Lady Hurstmonceux."
"Yes, yes, certainly, Ishmael; for really I think after that dusty, smoky, cindery day's journey we should be all the better for soap and water and clean clothes. I don't know how I look, my dear fellow, but, not to flatter you, you present the appearance of a very interesting master chimney-sweep!" replied Mr. Brudenell.
Ah, yes; Herman Brudenell jested on the same principle that people are said to jest on their way to execution. Now, when he was so near Cameron Court and the Countess of Hurstmonceux, how ill at ease he had become; how he dreaded, yet desired, the interview that was to decide his fate.
The distance between the railway station and Magruder's Hotel was so short that it was passed over in a few minutes. Ishmael paid and dismissed the cab, and the two gentlemen went in. Ishmael's rooms in that house had never been given up; they had been kept for the use of his party, on their journeyings through the city. He conducted Mr. Brudenell to these rooms, and then ordered luncheon as soon as it could be served, and a fly in half an hour. Twenty minutes they gave to that "renovation" of the toilet advised by Ishmael, ten minutes to a simple luncheon of cold meat and bread, and then they entered the fly.
Ishmael gave the order, "To Cameron Court."
As they moved on Mr. Brudenell said:
"There are several points upon which I would like to consult you, before presenting myself to the countess.'
"Yes, sir," said Ishmael, looking up with a smile full of earnest encouragement.
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