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TRUTH. (18481849.)

The Story resumed by Franklin Blake.


BUT few words are needed, on my part, to
complete the narrative that has been presented
in the Journal of Ezra Jennings.

Of myself, I have only to say that I awoke
on the morning of the twenty-sixth, perfectly
ignorant of all that I had said and done under
the influence of theopiumfrom the time
when the drug first laid its hold on me, to the
time when I opened my eyes, on the sofa in
Rachel's sitting-room.

Of what happened after my waking, I do not
feel called upon to render an account in detail.
Confining myself merely to results, I have to
report that Rachel and I thoroughly understood
each other, before a single word of explanation
had passed on either side. I decline to
account, and Rachel declines to account, for
the extraordinary rapidity of our reconciliation.
Sir and Madam, look back at the time when
you were passionately attached to each other
and you will know what happened, after Ezra
Jennings had shut the door of the sitting-room,
as well as I know it myself.

I have, however, no objection to add, that
we should have been certainly discovered by
Mrs. Merridew, but for Rachel's presence of
mind.  She heard the sound of the old lady's
dress in the corridor; and instantly ran out to
meet her. I heard Mrs. Merridew say, "What
is the matter?" and I heard Rachel answer,
"The explosion!" Mrs. Merridew instantly
permitted herself to be taken by the arm, and
led into the garden, out of the way of the
impending shock. On her return to the house,
she met me in the hall, and expressed herself
as greatly struck by the vast improvement in
Science, since the time when she was a girl at
school. "Explosions, Mr. Blake, are infinitely
milder than they were. I assure you, I barely
heard Mr. Jennings's explosion from the garden.
And no smell afterwards, that I can detect,
now we have come back to the house! I must
really apologise to your medical friend. It is
only due to him to say, that he has managed it

So, after vanquishing Betteretige and Mr.
Bruff, Ezra Jennings vanquished Mrs. Merridew
herself. There is a great deal of undeveloped
liberal feeling in the world, after all!

At breakfast, Mr. Bruff made no secret of
his reasons for wishing that I should accompany
him to London by the morning train. The
watch kept at the bank, and the result which
might yet come of it, appealed so irresistibly
to Rachel's curiosity, that she at once decided
(if Mrs. Merridew had no objection) on
accompanying us back to townso as to be within
reach of the earliest news of our proceedings.

Mrs. Merridew proved to be all pliability and
indulgence, after the truly considerate manner
in which the explosion had conducted itself;
and Betteredge was accordingly informed that
we were all four to travel back together by the
morning train. I fully expected that he would
have asked leave to accompany us. But Rachel
had wisely provided her faithful old servant
with an occupation that interested him. He
was charged with completing the refurnishing
of the house, and was too full of his domestic
responsibilities to feel the "detective-fever"
as he might have felt it, under other

Our one subject of regret, in going to
London, was the necessity of parting, more
abruptly than we could have wished, with Ezra
Jennings. It was impossible to persuade him to
accompany us. I could only promise to write to
him and Rachel could only insist on his coming
to see her when she returned to Yorkshire.
There was every prospect of our meeting again
in a few monthsand yet there was something
very sad in seeing our best and dearest friend
left stnading alone on the platform, as the train
moved out of the station.

On our arrival in London, Mr. Bruff was
accosted at the terminus by a small boy, dressed
in a jacket and trousers of threadbare black
cloth, and personally remarkable in virtue of
the extraordinary prominence of his eyes. They
projected so far, and they rolled about so loosely,
that you wondered uneasily why they remained
in their sockets. After listening to the boy,
Mr. Bruff asked the ladies whether they would
excuse our accompanying them back to