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Madeleine's senses could not resist the
fact of a human hand being clasped in hers,—
a hand warm as her own. The voice, too,
that breathed in her ear had no sepulchral

"If not the dead, who and what are you ?
The face I saw was that of Henri Bodry."

"Mademoiselle, forgive a deception which
was not premeditated,—nay, was almost
involuntary. Henri Bodry is, indeed, no more;
but I am not Henri Bodry. O, you will
pardon me, Mademoiselle Gombert, when you
have heard my story."

There was something so persuasive in his
manner, that Madeleine was induced to
listen. He was not a good common-lawyer,
but he was an excellent special pleader. Is
it necessary, then, to add that his suit was
not unprosperous.

"There is," said a rough but cheery sort of
voice close behind themthe voice of Pierre
the old concierge, carpet-cap in hand, and
on the broad grin—" I don't know what
to-do at home, ma'msell'. Madame Petronille
has been in fits, and everybody is distracted
at having seen a ghost. I'm afraid," he
added, turning to Henri, " I'm afraid it was
yours, Monsieur."

The stir at Monsieur Gombert's house had
scarcely subsided, when Madeleine entered.

"Father! " she cried, running into his
arms, " I grieve for your distressfor poor
Petronille'sbut there is one behind me (do
not be alarmed at a mere personal
resemblance) who can explain all."

About a quarter-of-an-hour afterwards, the
curé of Saint Merri was announced.

Monsieur Gombert went with a smiling
air to meet him.

"I don't know," he said, "what you will
think of my dilemma. I sent for your
spiritual aid; but instead of an exorcism, I
think I will, upon the whole, ask you to have
the kindness to bestow a blessing!"



"THAT is your seal, and you deliver this as
your act and deed for the purposes therein

Mr. Tapes and I have been going through
a little ceremony, and it is he who utters
the above oracular suggestion, whilst I
diligently erect a small blob of ink in the
centre of a seal placed between my Christian
and surname, at the foot of a series of
very greasy skins of parchment. I am in
fact completing the purchase of the shop
next door, which I have bought of Jones.
Mr. Tapes is in great good humour, shakes
me by the hand, wishes me joy of the
purchase, and hands me his bill of costs.

This voluminous document is not pleasant
reading, but I work away steadily through
"attending you," " writing you," " searching
for appearance," and numberless items
introduced by the aggravative prefix of " You
having " " I having," &c., &c., &c., until I
come to the charge for preparing the
conveyance itself, a long way down the fourth
column: " Drawing draft conveyance, fos. 60,

Good gracious! sixty folios of seventy-two
words each: four thousand three hundred and
twenty words expended over the transfer from
Jones of the poor little barber's shop next
door. Stop! " Transmitting draft conveyance
to Counsel to settle. Paid him and clerk,
£3. 3s. 0d. Engrossing same, fos. 60 " (on
greasy skins of parchment) "£2. 0s. 0d." and
so on.

I cannot avoid recurring to the extraordinary
drain upon the English language
necessary to the transfer of the barber's shop
from the possession of Jones to myself. Four
thousand three hundred and twenty words!
I become curious to know by what elaborate
system of verbosity four thousand three
hundred and twenty words can be expended on
this simple proceeding, and Mr. Tapes (who
continues to be in a genial humour) kindly
directs my attention to the " general words"
as an example. They are, Mr. Tapes informs
me, so very comprehensive: " Together
with all and singular houses, outhouses,
edifices, buildings, barns, stables, dove houses,
yards, gardens, orchards, backsides, commons,
common of pasture, common of turbary,
trees, woods, underwoods, mounds, fences,
ditches, hedges, ways, waters, watercourses,
liberties, privileges, easements, profits,
commodities, emoluments, hereditaments and
appurtenances whatsoever," to the poor
unfortunate barber's shop next door, "or to
any part thereof by any possibility belonging
or in anywise appertaining. Anything to the
contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding."
I am willing to leave it to the Lord High
Chancellor of England to say what possible
groves of trees, woods, underwoods; what
gardens, orchards, commons, common of
turbary (whatever that may be), mounds,
ditches, fences, or dove houses," the most
lynx-eyed lawyer could discover within the
shop, sitting-room, bed-room, and kitchen of
Jones's house next door, which I have just

Carried away out of my usually equable
frame of mind by the perusal of these
exasperating documents, I mention the
matter (irascibly, I confess) to Tapes. He
is down upon me in one moment with the
Commentaries of the great Blackstone: "The
matter," he says, quoting from the
Commentaries aforesaid, "must be legally and
orderly set forth; that is, there must be
words sufficient to specify the agreement and
bind the parties; which sufficiency must be
left to the courts of law to determine."

"Hah! " I say, " left to the courts of law
to determine."

Then, there is Tapes, proceeding steadily: