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read, travelled, and thought, and having
also suffered, he ought to be an
accomplished companion."

"So he is, and, better still, he is a really
good man," said she. "His advice is
invaluable about my schools, and all my
little undertakings at Dawlbridge, and he's
so painstaking, he takes so much trouble
you have no ideawherever he thinks he
can be of use: he's so good-natured and so

"It is pleasant to hear so good an
account of his neighbourly virtues. I can only
testify to his being an agreeable and gentle
companion, and in addition to what you
have told me, I think I can tell you two or
three things about him," said I.


"Yes, to begin with, he's unmarried."

"Yes, that's right,—go on."

"He has been writing, that is he was,
but for two or three years, perhaps, he has
not gone on with his work, and the book
was upon some rather abstract subject
perhaps theology."

"Well, he was writing a book, as you
say; I'm not quite sure what it was about,
but only that it was nothing that I cared for,
very likely you are right, and he certainly
did stopyes."

"And although he only drank a little
coffee here to-night, he likes tea, at least,
did like it, extravagantly."

"Yes; that's quite true."

"He drank green tea, a good deal, didn't
he?" I pursued.

"Well, that's very odd! Green tea was a
subject on which we used almost to quarrel."

"But he has quite given that up," I

"So he has."

"And, now, one more fact. His mother,
or his father, did you know them?"

"Yes, both; his father is only ten years
dead, and their place is near Dawlbridge.
We knew them very well," she answered.

"Well, either his mother or his father
I should rather think his fathersaw a
ghost," said I.

"Well, you really are a conjurer, Doctor

"Conjurer or no, haven't I said right?"
I answered, merrily.

"You certainly have, and it was his
father: he was a silent, whimsical man,
and he used to bore my father about his
dreams, and at last he told him a story
about a ghost he had seen and talked with,
and a very odd story it was. I remember it
particularly because I was so afraid of
him. This story was long before he died
when I was quite a childand his ways
were so silent and moping, and he used to
drop in, sometimes, in the dusk, when I
was alone in the drawing-room, and I used
to fancy there were ghosts about him."

I smiled and nodded.

"And now having established my
character as a conjurer I think I must say
good-night," said I.

"But how did you find it out?"

"By the planets of course, as the gipsies
do," I answered, and so, gaily, we said

Next morning I sent the little book he
had been inquiring after, and a note to
Mr. Jennings, and on returning late that
evening, I found that he had called and
left his card. He asked whether I was at
home, and asked at what hour he would be
most likely to find me.

Does he intend opening his case, and
consulting me "professionally," as they say? I
hope so. I have already conceived a theory
about him. It is supported by Lady Mary's
answers to my parting questions. I should
like much to ascertain from his own lips.
But what can I do consistently with good
breeding to invite a confession? Nothing. I
rather think he meditates one. At all events,
my dear Van L., I shan't make myself difficult
of access; I mean to return his visit
tomorrow. It will be only civil in return for
his politeness, to ask to see him. Perhaps
something may come of it. Whether much,
little, or nothing, my dear Van L., you
shall hear.

Now Ready, price 5s. 6d., bound in green cloth,
To be had of all Booksellers.

MESSRS. CHAPPELL AND CO. have great pleasure
in announcing that MR. CHARLES DICKENS will resume
and conclude his interrupted series of FAREWELL
READINGS at St. James's Hall, London, early in
the New Year.
The Readings will be TWELVE IN NUMBER, and none
will take place out of London.
All communications to be addressed to Messrs.
CHAPPELL and Co., 50, New Bond-street, W.

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