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Evelyn, as he had been accustomed, made his way alone to the long dining-room, which opened on the terrace, and through that to the library which flanked that end of the house.
That no master was there to be found, did not surprise him; his books were all open upon their desks, - pens were still in the ink, some notes in writing lay
on the table; and Evelyn, therefore, made sure of finding his friend in the garden or park, to which he immediately bent his steps.
But when, after full half an hour's search, he returned from the grounds without having seen the trace of a human creature, much less of the master, his heart took the alarm; and, aware of his friend's ebullitions, in conduct as well as in feeling, though not suspicious, he began to suspect.
Betaking himself to the bell of the library, he rang hard, in hopes of being answered by his friend, Monsieur Dupuis. Not even a lacquey appeared; and, fearing that there might be illness, he mounted the stairs to seek Tremaine in his bed-chamber. But not only the bed-chamber was tenantless, but all was solitary, vacant, and deserted. He coursed the gallery
. (above a hundred feet long), without meeting a soul; and, as a last resource, descended to seek in the stables for the groom who had taken his horse, in order to obtain from him the information that now seemed painfully nécessary.
A better informant met him on the way, and be was really relieved at the sight of his respectable friend, Mrs. Watson.
“Oh! Sir,” said this attached adherent, “I was in hopes you would have come yesterday, and I was just going down to the Hall to ask after my poor, master."
“Ask after him, my good Watson! what can have happened ?"
“Ah, Sir! you know best, for it was your last packet that set him off; he was like wild to us all from the time he received it.”
Here the good woman became too agitated to proceed, and could only wring her hands and bemoan herself. Evelyn, though he knew her, could not prevent some alarm in himself; but, concealing it, enquired, with as much calmness as he could muster, where her master was?
"By this time at Belmont,” replied Watson, “as be sure you must know from Mr. Dupuis.”
“ I have not seen Dupuis,” said Evelyn, with surprise.
66 That nasty Frenchman !” exclaimed Watson. “He went to you, as I thought, from my master, when he told me to pack up all his clothes."
"All his clothes!"
“Yes! all! for I asked him for how long he was going, thinking he might be only going to York, or
SO; but he said he did not know when, if ever he should come back. But Belmont is a vile place for him, Sir, as you know, and he won't stay there neither, for from what Dupuis said, I am sadly afeared he will go abroad again. Oh! who would have thought it, -50. comfortable as we was all getting ! Oh! dear Sir, if you and Miss Georgy but, to be 'sure, I beg pardon,-to be sure I ani but a servant."
Here the good creature, who was in sincere grief, was obliged to stop, though she might have gone on long for any interruption that Evelyn was inclined to give her. He was, indeed, somewhat quieted from the alarm he had at first experienced; but a long train of thoughts and fears, which what she was saying had conjured up to his imagination, occupied him so much, that he felt no necessity to question her farther than to ascertain, if possible, the route of his friend.
He learned that he had gone the first stage towards Ferrybridge with his own horses, which had long been returned, and were to remain, with all the stable people, till farther orders.
Could Watson have told more, it is certain she would not have concealed it; as certain that she did all that was consistent with her own sense of decorum and respect to her superiors, and for Evelyn in particular, to gather, if possible, what had passed
bietween Tremaine and the Evelyn Hall family. That something critical had happened, she saw, and ker malicious coadjutor Monsieur Dupuis had asserted most positively that Tremaine had offered, and been refused by Georgina; but this she would never believe. Nay, she was sure that he had only to offer to be accepted, as she often said, by the finest lady in the land. The valet denied this, partly to teaze her, partly from a secret wish that some mortification might happen to Tremaine ; which his affronts, as he called them, from his master, made him believe was not more natural than justifiable.
Evelyn, perceiving that nothing more was to be gained from Watson, took his leave of that good woman, with expressing a hope that better times would come.
* Your Provost knows the place where he abides."
Monsieur ! what a life is this,
The return of Evelyn to his home was mournful and slow. He was lost in anxious doubt as to the
intentions of Tremaine, and the ultimate fate both of him and of his daughter. That he should fly from Woodington, did not surprise-perhaps, at the moment, did not displease him; that he should choose Belmont as' a refuge, grieved liim; but the surmise that he might go abroad was the least satisfactory of all. What puzzleil, and perhaps hurt him most, was, that he should take any resolution without informing them. “He cannot be angry with us!” exclaimed' he to
' himself. And
65 And yet he is a proud man! · Alas!' if it had not been so, he perhaps had not been an infidel.”
Better thoughts of him succeeded. "Poor, poor fellow! he is suffering to the bottom of his heart, and all from honour. He cannot close such a heart against us."
This was Evelyn's soliloquy, and this brought him home, but not to happiness, for it was no longer to a daughter's smile.
The brow of Georgina clouded more and more at the tidings he brought; and when he related the possibility, nay probability, that Tremaine might leave the kingdom, her heart sunk within her.
“Here, at least,” said she, “we might know the state of his mind. But whatever happens, surely he will return, and tell' it to us himself.”
Still weeks and months elapsed, and no communi