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journal has been very much neglected of late.
What can I recallstanding, as I now do, on the
threshold of a new lifeof persons and events,
of chances and changes, during the past six
monthsthe long, weary, empty interval since
Laura's wedding day?

Walter Hartright is uppermost in my memory;
and he passes first in the shadowy procession of
my absent friends. I received a few lines from
him, after the landing of the expedition in
Honduras, written more cheerfully and hopefully
than he has written yet. A month or six weeks
later, I saw an extract from an American
newspaper, describing the departure of the
adventurers on their inland journey. They were last
seen entering a wild primeval forest, each man
with his rifle on his shoulder and his baggage at
his back. Since that time, civilisation has lost
all trace of them. Not a line more have I
received from Walter; not a fragment of news
from the expedition has appeared in any of the
public journals.

The same dense, disheartening obscurity hangs
over the fate and fortunes of Anne Catherick,
and her companion, Mrs. Clements. Nothing
whatever has been heard of either of them.
Whether they are in the country or out of it,
whether they are living or dead, no one knows.
Even Sir Percival's solicitor has lost all hope,
and has ordered the useless search after the
fugitives to be finally given up.

Our good old friend Mr. Gilmore has met
with a sad check in his active professional
career. Early in the spring, we were alarmed
by hearing that he had been found insensible at
his desk, and that the seizure had been
pronounced to be an apoplectic fit. He had been
long complaining of fulness and oppression in
the head; and his doctor had warned him of the
consequences that would follow his persistency
in continuing to work, early and late, as if he
was still a young man. The result now is that
he has been positively ordered to keep out of
his office for a year to come, at least, and to seek
repose of body and relief of mind by altogether
changing his usual mode of life. The business
is left, accordingly, to be carried on by his
partner; and he is, himself, at this moment,
away in Germany, visiting some relations who
are settled there in mercantile pursuits. Thus,
another true friend, and trustworthy adviser, is
lost to uslost, I earnestly hope and trust, for
a time only.

Poor Mrs. Vesey travelled with me, as far as
London. It was impossible to abandon her to
solitude at Limmeridge, after Laura and I had
both left the house; and we have arranged that
she is to live with an unmarried younger sister
of hers, who keeps a school at Clapham. She
is to come here this autumn to visit her pupil
I might almost say, her adopted child. I
saw the good old lady safe to her destination;
and left her in the care of her relative, quietly
happy at the prospect of seeing Laura again, in
a few months' time.

As for Mr. Fairlie, I believe I am guilty of
no injustice if I describe him as being unutterably
relieved by having the house clear of us
women. The idea of his missing his niece is
simply preposteroushe used to let months
pass, in the old times, without attempting to see
herand, in my case and Mrs. Vesey's, I take
leave to consider his telling us both that he was
half heart-broken at our departure, to be equivalent
to a confession that he was secretly rejoiced
to get rid of us. His last caprice has led him
to keep two photographers incessantly employed
on producing sun-pictures of all the treasures
and curiosities in his possession. One complete
copy of the collection of photographs is to be
presented to the Mechanics' Institution of
Carlisle, mounted on the finest cardboard, with
ostentatious red-letter inscriptions underneath.
"Madonna and Child by Raphael. In the
possession of Frederick Fairlie, Esquire." "Copper
coin of the period of Tiglath Pileser. In the
possession of Frederick Fairlie, Esquire."
"Unique Rembrandt etching. Known all over
Europe, as The Smudge, from a printer's blot in
the corner which exists in no other copy.
Valued at three hundred guineas. In the possession
of Frederick Fairlie, Esquire." Dozens of
photographs of this sort, and all inscribed in
this manner, were completed before I left
Cumberland; and hundreds more remain to be done.
With this new interest to occupy him, Mr.
Fairlie will be a happy man for months and
months to come; and the two unfortunate
photographers will share the social martyrdom
which he has hitherto inflicted on his valet

So much for the persons and events which
hold the foremost place in my memory. What,
next, of the one person who holds the foremost
place in my heart? Laura has been present to
my thoughts, all the while I have been writing
these lines. What can I recall of her, during
the past six months, before I close my journal
for the night?

I have only her letters to guide me; and, on
the most important of all the questions which our
correspondence can discuss, every one of those
letters leaves me in the dark.

Does he treat her kindly? Is she happier
now than she was when I parted with her on
the wedding-day? All my letters have contained
these two inquiries, put more or less directly,
now in one form, and now in another; and all,
on that one point only, have remained without
reply, or have been answered as if my questions
merely related to the state of her health. She
informs me, over and over again, that she is
perfectly well; that travelling agrees with her;
that she is getting through the winter, for the
first time in her life, without catching coldbut
not a word can I find anywhere which tells me
plainly that she is reconciled to her marriage,
and that she can now look back to the twenty-
third of December without any bitter feelings of
repentance and regret. The name of her
husband is only mentioned in her letters, as she
might mention the name of a friend who was
travelling with them, and who had undertaken