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WE must now go back to the preceding day, and introduce our
readers to Markham Place, immediately after the Buffer had called upon Richard
in the manner already described.
Richard had received him in the library, and had there heard
the exciting news of which the Buffer was the bearer.
Dismissing the man to the kitchen to partake of some
refreshment, Richard hastened to the parlour, where Mr. Monroe and Ellen were
The past sorrows and anxieties which the young man had
experienced were now all forgotten : forgotten also was the dread exposure
which he had so recently received at the theatre, - an exposure which had
deprived him of the honourable renown earned by his own talent, - an exposure,
too, which had induced Ellen to abandon that career wherein she excelled so pre-eminently.
The idea of meeting his well-beloved brother now alone
occupied his mind :- the hope of seeing and even succouring the wanderer
banished every other consideration.
His cheek, lately so pale. was flushed with a glue of
animation, and his eyes glistened with delight, as he rushed into the room where
Ellen and her father were seated.
"Eugene is returned - my brother has come back at last!
" he exclaimed.
"Your brother!" repeated Ellen, a deadly pallor overspreading
"Eugene!" cried Mr. Monroe, in a tone of deep
"Yes - Eugene is in London - is returned," answered
Richard, not noticing the strange impression which his words had made, and still
produced upon Ellen, who now sat incapable of motion in her chair, as if she
were suddenly paralyzed "Eugene is in London! A man has just been to tell
me this welcome news; and I am to see my brother to-morrow evening."
"To-morrow evening!" said Mr.Monroe. "And why
not now - at once?"
"Alas! my brother is in some difficulty, and dares not
appear at the dwelling of his forefathers. I am not aware of the nature of that
dilemma, but I am assured that he has need of my help."
"Where are you to meet him?" inquired Monroe,
somewhat surprised by the singularity of this announcement.
"At the eastern extremity of London - on the banks of
the canal, near some place called Twig Folly."
"And at what hour?" demanded the old man.
"To-morrow night, at ten precisely," was the reply.
"Do you know the man who brought you this message? or
have you received a letter?" asked Ellen. who now began to breathe more
"No, I never saw the man before; nor have I any letter.
But, surely, you cannot suppose that any one is deceiving me in so cruel a
"I feel convinced of it," said Ellen, with peculiar
emphasis on her words and warmth in her manner.
"No - no - impossible!" cried Markham, unwilling to
allow the hope which had a moment ago appeared so bright, to be obscured by the
mists of doubt: then, acting upon a sudden impulse, he rang the bell violently.
Whittingham speedily made his appearance.
"The man that I have just sent below, "said
Richard, hastily, " has come to inform me that my brother is in London "
"Mister Eugene in London!" ejaculated the old butler, forgetting his gravity, and literally beginning
to dance with joy.
"And he has appointed to meet me to-morrow evening in a
very distant and lonely part of London," continued. Markham "This
circumstance seems suspicious - strange ;- at least so Miss Monroe thinks "
"Nay - I do not think, Richard: I am sure," exclaimed Ellen, with
the same emphasis which had marked her previous declaration.
"At all events, Whittingham," said Markham, "do you
return to the kitchen, get into conversation with the man, and then give us your
The old butler withdrew to execute these orders.
Markham then began to pace the room in an agitated manner.
"I cannot think who could be cruel enough to practise
such a vile cheat upon me," he said, "if a cheat it really be. No one would
benefit hi by so doing. Besides - the man spoke of the appointment which my
brother made when we parted on yonder hill; he spoke of that appointment as a
token of his sincerity - as a proof of the veracity of his statement - as an
evidence that he came direct from Eugene!"
"Many persons are acquainted with the fact of that,
appointment," said Ellen. "There is not an individual in this neighbourhood
who is ignorant of the meeting that is named for the 10th of July, 1843, between
the ash-trees on that hill."
"True!" exclaimed Markham. "The mere mention
of that appointment is scarcely a sufficient evidence. And yet my brother might
deem that it would prove sufficient: Eugene may not know how suspicious the
deceits of this world are calculated to render the mind that has been their
"I have no doubt that Eugene is by this time as well
acquainted with the world as you can be, Richard," persisted Ellen; "and I
am also convinced that if he were to send such a message to you as this stranger
has brought - making an appointment at a strange place and at a very lonely hour
- he would have been careful to accompany it with some undeniable token of
"You reason sensibly, Ellen," said Markham; "and yet
I am by no means inclined to surrender up the hope that was just now so consoling
to my heart - wounded as that heart is by many misfortunes!"
"I reason consistently with your interests," returned
Ellen. "Nothing could persuade me that your brother would fail to write a
line to you in such a case as this is represented to be."
"What say you, Mr. Monroe?" inquired Richard.
"I am hesitating between the two arguments," answered the
old man: "I know not whether to encourage the hope to which you cling - or to
suffer myself to be persuaded by the reasoning of Ellen."
At this moment Whittingham returned to the parlour.
"The enwoy-plentipotent-and-hairy is gone,! said Whittingham;
"and, although he didn't show his credentials, my firm compression is that
he was raly the representation of the court he said he come from."
"You questioned him closely?" asked Markham.
" You know, Master Richard, I can put a poser or two
now and then and if this man had been a [-318-] compostor,
I should have circumwented him pretty soon, I
can assure you."
"He answered your questions in a straightforward manner, then?" persisted
"He couldn't have been more straightfor'ard,"
replied Whittingham. "I'm sure he's a honest, simple-hearted, well-meaning
"Then it is decided!" ejaculated Richard-: "I will go to this appointment. Who knows in what
poor brother may be? who can say from what dangers I may save him? who can explain what
motives he may have for the nature of the appointment he has made, and the
caution be has adopted in making it? I should be wrong to allow a suspicion to interfere with a duty. Were
serious to happen to Eugene, through the want of a friend at this moment, how should I ever
reproach myself? I will not incur such a chance: I will go to-morrow evening to
the spot named, and to the hour appointed!"
Whittingham withdrew; and Ellen once more endeavoured to
deter Richard from his resolution.
"In the name of God, reflect," she exclaimed, with an earnestness which, had he not been
preoccupied, would have struck him by its peculiarity, for it seemed rather the impassioned
expression of a conviction
based on indisputable grounds, than a doubt which might be based on truth or
error ;- "in the name of God, reflect, Richard, ere you endanger your
life, perhaps, by going at a suspicious hour to a lonely place. Remember, you
have enemies: recollect how nearly you met your death at the bands of one
in the neighbourhood of Bird-Cage Walk - the narrative of which occurrence and
your miraculous escape you have so often related to us ;- reflect that that was
not the only occasion on which the same miscreant has sought to injure you "
"I know to what you allude, Ellen," said Markham,
significantly; "and I thank you sincerely for your interest in my behalf.
But, believe me, there is no Resurrection Man in the present matter: all is
straightforward - I feel convinced of it."
Markham uttered these words in a tone which left no scope for
further argument or remonstrance; and Ellen threw herself back in her chair, a prey to
of the most painful nature.
At length she retired to her chamber to meditate a in secret
upon the incident of the morning.
"What can I do," she mused aloud, "to convince
Richard Markham that he is nursing a delusion? I tremble lest some enemy should meditate treachery against
him. Perhaps even his life may be threatened? Oh! the plots - the perfidies -
villanies which are engendered in this London! But how warn him? how prove to
him that he is deceived? Alas! that is impossible ; unless, indeed "
But she shook her head impatiently, as if to renounce as
impracticable the idea which had for a moment occupied her mind.
"No," she continued, "that were madness indeed! And
yet what can be done? He must not be allowed to rush headlong and blindly into
danger - for that danger awaits him, I feel convinced. Perhaps
that terrible man, from whose power he once escaped, and who denounced him at
the theatre, may be the instigator of all this? And, if such be the fact, then
who knows where the atrocity of that miscreant may stop? Murder - cold-blooded,
ruthless murder may be the result of this mysterious appointment. And the murder
of whom?" said Ellen, a shudder passing, like a cold chill, over her
entire frame: "the murder of my benefactor - of the noble-minded, the generous hearted young men who gave us
an asylum when all the world forsook us! Oh! no - no - it must not be! I dare not
tell him all I know; but I can do somewhat to protect him!"
She smiled, in spite of the unpleasant nature o! the emotions
that agitated her bosom - she smiled, because a wild and romantic idea had
entered her imagination.
Without further hesitation, - and acting under the sudden
impulse of that idea, - she sate down and wrote a short note.
When she had sealed and addressed it, she rant the bell.
a few moments Marian answered the summons.
"My faithful friend," said Ellen, "I am about to put your
goodness to another test. But before I explain what I require of you, I beseech
that you will not now endeavour to penetrate my motives. You shall know all the
day after to-morrow."
"Speak, Miss; I am always ready to do any thing I can for you,"
"In the evening," continued Ellen, "you must find a
pretence to go out for two or three hours. In the first instance you must call
at Mr. Greenwood's house "
"Mr. Greenwood's?" ejaculated Marian.
"Yes - but your business is not this time with him. On the
contrary, he must not know the real motive of your visit, which is to deliver
this note into the hands of his Italian valet Filippo. You have never seen
Filippo - for he entered the service of Mr. Greenwood since you called there some
months ago. You cannot, however, mistake him. He is a tall, dark man, with long
black curling hair. Moreover, he speaks English with a strong foreign accent."
"The description is sufficient, Miss," said Marian,
" I shall not be mistaken."
"This note is to be delivered into his hand and his
only," continued Ellen. "Should you meet Mr. Greenwood by accident, you may
say, 'I come from Miss Monroe to inform you that your child is well and
This will be an excuse, I must leave the rest to you; but I implore you to do
all you can to obtain an interview with Filippo."
"I will follow your wishes, Miss, to the utmost of my
power," returned Marian.
"And when you know the motives of my present proceeding,"
said Ellen, "you will be satisfied with the part you have taken in it."
"I do not doubt you, Miss," observed Marian "Have you seen
the dear little baby lately?"
"I saw him yesterday," answered Ellen, "I
called at Mr.
Wentworth's: the excellent man's wife was nursing my little Richard. I took him
in my arms and fondled him; but, alas! he cried bitterly. Of course he does not
know me: he will learn to look up to a stranger as his mother! Oh Marian, that
idea pierced like a dagger to my very heart!"
"Cheer up, Miss!" exclaimed Marian, in a kind tone;
"better days will come."
"But never the day, Marian," added Ellen, solemnly,
"when I can proclaim myself the mother of that child, nor blush to mention
its father's name!"
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