for this half-breathed accusation; whether any or none. I have scarcely had a minute's peace since it reached me, now three weeks ago: in fact, it has, I believe, brought on the crisis with me somewhat before it would otherwise have come. At one moment I say to myself, It is a malicious invention, an infamous lie; I know my boy Frank too well to believe this, or anything else against him: the next moment I shudder at the tale and at the possibility of what may have been enacted. Perhaps through passion—or accident—or—I grow confused: I know not what I would say.

"Oh, my boy, my nephew, my dear brother Henry's only child! my heart is aching with dismay and doubt. I do believe you are innocent of all intention to do harm; but—My sight is growing dim. Take care of yourself. Hide yourself if need be (and you best know whether there be need, or not from Blase Pellet. It is he who would be your enemy. I see it; and Andrew Float sees it;

← Page-588 p.589 Page-590 →