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where to the West, and about two “If I can but help you now," years after the marriage he re- he replied softly, “I must be conturned—without his wife. What tent. It is as much good fortune became of her I have been unable as I dare to hope for." to find out. As for her parents, “I suppose I had better go at Senator Blower is quite convinced once and see the lawyer?they were Americans, and that “Decidedly. Why lose any time? Mrs Margrave herself was born in You have a lawyer whom you can New York. He mentioned rather trust ?" mysteriously the name of the cele- “My husband has always gone brated Dexter File as an authority to Mr Stodgers—you have heard on that point. Blower is supposed of him ?” to have a good understanding with “Oh yes; everybody is familiar File, especially on all legislative with that name. You will be in matters in which File is interested. safe hands, if he is faithful to you I followed up his hint, therefore, and that no one could help but Mr Dexter File would tell us being." nothing. At last, however, I hit The name of Abraham Stodgupon the traces of the minister ers was, indeed, a well-known one: who married Margraveman Epis- no man in his profession was held copalian, now settled in Albany, in greater fear, for no man was From him I obtained a copy of the acquainted with so many personal marriage certificate, and you will and family secrets. A letter signed find it enclosed. You will see that by him was often quite sufficient the woman is described as an to put a stop to a threatened American citizen, the man as an action, or to induce an obstinate English subject. There is no doubt and troublesome claimant to "come as to the genuineness of this docu- down,” like the famous coon, withment. I thought it would probably out waiting to be shot at. There be sufficient for you ; but if it is had been a time when the firm of not, we must try again to get at which Stodgers was the head had Mr Dexter File, although I fear it found its chief source of profit in would be a waste of time. But we defending interesting clients who will do our best."

were accused-falsely, no doubt“There is no doubt,” said the of mistaking other people's property Baron, as he folded up the letter, for their own. It was not a dis“that, as my good friend says, this tinguished circle of clients, but it will be quite sufficient for your paid well. Of late years the firm purpose, at least for the present. had soared into higher, and perhaps It will enable you to make your purer, regions, and the name of first move. Depend upon it, you Stodgers was as much esteemed in will be able to prove that Mr the fashionable world as formerly it Margrave married an American, had been in Field Lane and Saffron if that is all you require."

Hill. The solicitor could at least “You do not know how happy boast that he saved more cases you have made me,” said Mrs Til than he lost; and, after all, a toff, holding out her hand. Baron fashionable physician does no more, Phlog pressed it gently, and sat and very frequently he cannot do down by her side. If there had as much always been some one like you to Mrs Tiltoff went herself to see advise me, how much misery I Mr Stodgers, for she knew how should have escaped.”

little would be gained by sending her husband, or even by taking him quiet attention, and saw at a with her. In the one case, he glance all that there was in it to would have confused and bungled be seen. Then he asked for the the whole business; in the other marriage certificate, and looked at he would have been in the way. that. Then he inquired for his Hence she preferred to go alone, client's husband, who, it has been though as she went she could not intimated was an old acquaintance; but dwell upon the thought which in fact, many things were known had already found partial expres- to Mr Stodgers about him which sion that day—that is, how great would have exceedingly surprised an advantage it would have been Mrs Tiltoff, little as she thought to her if she had chanced to have there was left for her to learn. had at this crisis in her life the Lastly, the lawyer mentioned the help of so ready, prompt, and cool interesting fact that he had dined an adviser as Baron Phlog. He the night before with the Duke of invariably smoothed away all diffi- Dartford, who had been exceedculties. In talking with him, there ingly amusing, and who had even was never any necessity to lose promised to pay Mr Stodgers a time in explaining one's meaning. visit during the summer at his He saw it at once; whereas the little place on the Thames. genius of the War Office was slow “And what do you advise me of comprehension, and generally to do?" asked Mrs Tiltoff at length, managed to get hold of every ques- not so much interested in the Duke tion submitted to him upside down. of Dartford as Mr Stodgers was. After one had been talking to him “I advise you to do nothing," for some little time, it was usually replied the lawyer, resuming his discovered that he had somehow business - like manner. “I will or other managed to misunderstand write a note in a day or two to Mr every word that had been said ; nor Margrave's lawyer, whose name is was he in the least degree discon- Morgan. A clever fellow, but I certed when this was pointed out do not think he will be able to to him. He was merely satisfied make very much out of this case. that his own way of looking at The fact is, I knew something of the matter was the best.

all these circumstances before you Mr Stodgers received his client came here to-day. I never express with the politeness which he in- an opinion as to the issue of a convariably displayed to young and test of this kind ; but this I will pretty women. There were seven say—I would rather be on your or eight clients fidgeting about on side than on the other. Leave it the anxious seat in the next room, all to me, and I will do the best but none of them were so attrac- I can. Does the captain know of tive as Mrs Tiltoff, nor were they this?at all connected with the social “Only in part." world in which Mr Stodgers now “Exactly; that is all he need moved. Therefore he had no hesi- know about it at present. If we tation in keeping them waiting, win, I hope some arrangement can especially as they were not likely be made in your interest, my dear to run away. Mr Stodgers was Mrs Tiltoff, otherwise much of this well aware that he could do with money will go where all the other out them far better than they has gone.” Mr Stodgers spoke could do without him.

plainly, but he had a right to do He heard the story through with so; and Mrs Tiltoff was not at all where to the West, and about two “If I can but help you now," years after the marriage he re- he replied softly, “I must be conturned—without his wife. What tent. It is as much good fortune became of her I have been unable as I dare to hope for." to find out. As for her parents, “I suppose I had better go at Senator Blower is quite convinced once and see the lawyer ?they were Americans, and that “Decidedly. Why lose any time? Mrs Margrave herself was born in You have a lawyer whom you can New York. He mentioned rather trust ?” mysteriously the name of the cele- “My husband has always gone brated Dexter File as an authority to Mr Stodgers—you have heard on that point. Blower is supposed of him ?”. to have a good understanding with “Oh yes; everybody is familiar File, especially on all legislative with that name. You will be in matters in which File is interested. safe hands, if he is faithful to you I followed up his hint, therefore, and that no one could help but Mr Dexter File would tell us being." nothing. At last, however, I hit The name of Abraham Stodgupon the traces of the minister ers was, indeed, a well-known one: who married Margrave—an Epis- no man in his profession was held copalian, now settled in Albany. in greater fear, for no man was From him I obtained a copy of the acquainted with so many personal marriage certificate, and you will and family secrets. A letter signed find it enclosed. You will see that by him was often quite sufficient the woman is described as an to put a stop to a threatened American citizen, the man as an action, or to induce an obstinate English subject. There is no doubt and troublesome claimant to come as to the genuineness of this docu- down,” like the famous coon, withment. I thought it would probably out waiting to be shot at. There be sufficient for you ; but if it is had been a time when the firm of not, we must try again to get at which Stodgers was the head had Mr Dexter File, although I fear it found its chief source of profit in would be a waste of time. But we defending interesting clients who will do our best."

were accused-falsely, no doubt“There is no doubt,” said the of mistaking other people's property Baron, as he folded up the letter, for their own. It was not a dis“that, as my good friend says, this tinguished circle of clients, but it will be quite sufficient for your paid well. Of late years the firm purpose, at least for the present. had soared into higher, and perhaps It will enable you to make your purer, regions, and the name of first move. Depend upon it, you Stodgers was as much esteemed in will be able to prove that Mr the fashionable world as formerly it Margrave married an American, had been in Field Lane and Saffron if that is all you require.” Hill. The solicitor could at least

“You do not know how happy boast that he saved more cases you have made me," said Mrs Til- than he lost; and, after all, a toff, holding out her hand. Baron fashionable physician does no more, Phlog pressed it gently, and sat and very frequently he cannot do down by her side. “If there had as much. always been some one like you to Mrs Tiltoff went herself to see advise me, how much misery I Mr Stodgers, for she knew how should have escaped.”

little would be gained by sending

offended. The lawyer had under case, as well as a good cause—and taken the task of extricating her they do not often go together. husband from the difficulties con- Good dav. I must see a woman nected with his brief and checkerect who is waiting in the next room. career on the turt, and he had done Perhaps you noticed her?" his work with his usual skill : but “A woman in a black dress ? the facts which had come to his Poor thing she was crying bitterly knowledge then and subsequent- as I passed through." ly, had not caused him to form "Very likely; her husband is in a favourable opinion of Tiltott's trouble." common-sense or morals. And - Is it anything serious, Mr Stodgers himself was a thoroughly Stodvers?” moral man. He had passed the “Rather so," replied the lawyer, greater part of his life among coolly. “The fact is he has been people who were not, and perhaps convicted of murder, and is to be that had something to do with hanged next Monday." his own attachment to the domes- - How very shocking!" cried Mrs tic virtues.

Tiltorf, with a look of genuine “The property is a handsome horror. one," said he, as he rose to open " No doubt; but nothing more the door, “and I sincerely hope can be done. His wife there thoryou will come into it without hav- onghly believes in his innocence. ing to endure the anxiety of a pro- Women generally take that view." tracted suit. I never like going “And what is your opinion !" into court."

* Vine! Well, mine does not “And yet no man in London much matter; but I happen to goes so successfully."

know that he committed the mur“You are very kind to say so: der, and that he is a most desperate but, I assure you, I always dislike villain. He well deserves his fate. going there. I almost invariably But I cannot tell his wife that. advise people who come to me not It does not do to tell wives all that to try the risks of the law. But we know about their husbands," in this instance I really cannot said Mr Stodgers, as he made a low bring myself to give that advice, bow to the captain's wife, and because I think you have a strong watched her out of the door.

CHAPTER XIV.-THE MINE EXPLODES.

In the course of forty-eight hours, old antagonist would never have the letter which Mr Stodgers pro- taken up this business unless he mised to write to Margrave's solici- had felt very certain of his ground. tor wils duly received by Mr Wil. Instead, therefore, of communicatliam Morgan, who knew as soon as ing the purport of Stodgers's letter he had real it that the affair was to his client, he wrote a note to seriotis. These two men had so him, begging him to come to town often been concerned in cases of at once on a matter of great immore or less intricacy and difficulty, portance. that they understood one another's Margrave obeyed the summons; ways without the necessity of ex- and indeed, even in the absence of planation and Morgan felt sure any such call, he would have prethat his professional brother and sented himself at that very time at

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