July 1st, 2015
Wa’al, my good sir,” said the captain cordially, “the present question is, and will be long, I hope, concerning living, and not dying. Now, here are our two honest friends, the loving Raybrock and the slow. Here they stand, agreed on one point, on which I’d back ‘em round the world, and right across it from north to south, and then again from east to west, and through it, from your deepest Cornish mine to China. It is, that they will never use this same so-often-mentioned sum of money, and that restitution of it must be made to you. These two, the loving member and the slow, for the sake of the right and of their father’s memory, will have it ready for you to-morrow. Take it, and ease their minds and mine, and end a most unfortunate transaction.
Tregarthen took the captain by the hand, and gave his hand to each of the la pharma young men, but positively and finally answered No. He said, they trusted to his word, and he was glad of it, and at rest in his mind; but there was no proof, and the money must remain as it was. All were very earnest over this; and earnestness in men, when they are right and true, is so impressive, that Mr. Pettifer deserted his cookery and looked on quite moved.
And so,” said the captain, “so we come–as that lawyer-crittur over yonder where we were this morning might–to mere proof; do we? We must have it; must we? How? From this Clissold’s wanderings, and from what you say, it ain’t hard to make out that there was a neat forgery of your writing committed by the too smart rowdy that was grease and ashes when I made his acquaintance, and a substitution of a forged leaf in your book for a real and torn leaf torn out. Now was that real and true leaf then and there destroyed? No,–for says he, in his drunken way, he slipped it into a crack in his own desk, because you came into the office before there was time to burn it, and could never get back to it arterwards. Wait a bit. Where is that desk now? Do you consider it likely to be in America Square, London City?
You think so,” returned the captain, with compassion; “but you should come over and see _me_ afore you talk about _that_. Wa’al, now. This desk, this paper,–this paper, this desk,” said the captain, ruminating and walking about, and looking, in his uneasy abstraction, into Mr. Pettifer’s hat on a table, among other things. “This desk, this paper,–this paper, this desk,” the captain continued, musing and roaming about the room, “I’d give–”
However, he gave nothing, but took up his steward’s hat instead, and stood looking into it, as if he had just come into church. After that he roamed again, and again said, “This desk, belonging to this house of Dringworth Brothers, America Square, London City.