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might go on their ways, homewards, spared
another dismal evening, to be spent in wonder
at the mouse brought forth by the mountain,
at the pigmy production of the self-styled
Musician of the Future.


ON inquiry at the police station in
Charleston, S.C., Mr. Tom Ackland,
accompanied by Mr. Cartwright, was shown
the hat and book mentioned by the Charleston
Messenger. Mr. Tom Ackland rather
thought that he had once seen the book in
the possession of his Cousin John. But of
this he could not feel sure. The name,
both in the book and in the hat, was printed.
The handwriting on the margin of the page
opposite the marked passage in the book
proved to be quite illegible, but bore a
strong resemblance to the sprawling and
unsteady characters of the last two letters
received by Mr. Tom Ackland from his
cousin. Inside the hat they found the
mark of a Georgetown maker, partly effaced.
The police, after their first inquiries in
Charleston, having jumped to the conclusion
that they were being hoaxed, had
treated the whole affair so carelessly that
they had not even attempted to follow up
this indication. Cartwright was the first
to point it out. In consequence of this
discovery, Mr. Tom Ackland immediately
proceeded to Georgetown, and had no difficulty
in finding there, the hatter whose name and
address Cartwright had detected inside the
hat. On examining the hat, and referring
to his books, the hatter identified it as
having been sold on the 29th of last
September. To whom? He could not say. So
many different hats were sold in the course
of a day, to so many different people. He
would ask his young men. One of his
young men thought he had sold a hat of
that description some time ago, but could
not positively say it was on the 29th of
September, to a gentleman who had one
arm in a sling. Right arm? Could not
remember, but thought it was the right
arm. Hat was paid for in ready money.
Was the gentleman on foot, or in a carriage?
Thought he was on foot, but could
not remember distinctly.

This was all the information Tom Ackland
could obtain at Georgetown. He
inquired at all the hotels there, but could
not find the name of Ackland inscribed in
any of their books. On his return to
Charleston, Cartwright told him that his
own inquiries at the hotels and boarding-
houses in that city had been equally infructuous.

On inquiring at the post-office, they were
informed that letters had certainly been
received there for John K. Ackland, Esq.,
and regularly delivered to a gentleman so
calling himself, who applied for them daily.
What sort of looking gentleman? Very
invalid-looking gentleman, always muffled
up to the chin in a long cloak, and seemed
to suffer from cold even when the weather
was oppressively hot.

"Was he at all like this gentleman?"
asked Cartwright, pointing to Tom Ackland.

Really couldn't recal any resemblance.

Noticed anything else particular about

Yes. He carried one arm in a sling, and
limped slightly.

Anything else?

Yes. Spoke with rather an odd accent.

Yankee accent?

Well, hardly. Couldn't well say what it
was like. But the gentleman rarely spoke
at all, and seemed rather deaf.

Had been for his letters lately?

Not since the 15th of October. There
was one letter still lying there to his
address. Explanations having been given by
the two gentlemen, this letter was eventually,
with the sanction of the police officer
who accompanied them, handed over to
Mr. Tom Ackland, that gentleman having
claimed it on behalf of his cousin. It
proved to be his own reply to John
Ackland's last letter to himself.

Had the gentleman never communicated
to the post-office his address in Charleston?


Tom groaned in the spirit. He could no
longer entertain the least doubt that his
worst fears had been but too well founded.
The absolute and universal ignorance which
appeared to prevail at Charleston of the
existence of any such person as John Ackland
would have been altogether inexplicable if
John Ackland's own letters to Tom, alluding
to the profound seclusion in which he
had been living ever since his arrival in
that city, did not partly explain it. No
such person having ever been seen or heard
of on 'Change, or at any of the banks in
Charleston, how had John Ackland been
living? Cartwright suggested that it was
possible that he might have been living