maelstrom in which clever men struggled and fought as elsewhere;
"Oh, Dixon! Dixon! and I was away enjoying myself."
They heard her cry, and came to the door, but it was bolted inside.
"Please, go away," she said; "please, go. I will be very quiet; only, please, go."
She could not bear just then to read any more of Miss Monro's letter; she tore open Mr. Johnson's--the date was a fortnight earlier than Miss Monro's; he also expressed his wonder at not hearing from her, in reply to his letter of January 9; but he added, that he thought that her trustees had judged rightly; the handsome sum the railway company had offered for the land when their surveyor decided on the alteration of the line, Mr. Osbaldistone, &c. &c. She could not read anymore; it was Fate pursuing her. Then she took the letter up again and tried to read; but all that reached her understanding was the fact that Mr. Johnson had sent his present letter to Miss Monro, thinking that she might know of some private opportunity safer than the post. Mr. Brown's was just such a letter as he occasionally sent her from time to time; a correspondence that arose out of their mutual regard for their dead friend Mr. Ness. It, too, had been sent to Miss Monro to direct. Ellinor was on the point of putting it aside entirely, when the name of Corbet caught her eye: "You will be interested to hear that the old pupil of our departed friend, who was so anxious to obtain the folio Virgil with the Italian notes, is appointed the new judge in room of Mr. Justice Jenkin. At least I conclude that Mr. Ralph Corbet, Q.C., is the same as the Virgil fancier."
"Yes," said Ellinor, bitterly; "he judged well; it would never have done." They were the first words of anything like reproach which she ever formed in her own mind during all these years. She thought for a few moments of the old times; it seemed to steady her brain to think of them. Then she took up and finished Miss Monro's letter. That excellent friend had done all which she thought Ellinor would have wished without delay. She had written to Mr. Johnson, and charged him to do everything he could to defend Dixon and to spare no expense. She was thinking of going to the prison in the county town, to see the old man herself, but Ellinor could perceive that all these endeavours and purposes of Miss Monro's were based on love for her own pupil, and a desire to set her mind at ease as far as she could, rather than from any idea that Dixon himself could be innocent. Ellinor put down the letters, and went to the door, then turned back, and locked them up in her writing-case with trembling hands; and after that she entered the drawing-room, looking liker to a ghost than to a living woman.
"Can I speak to you for a minute alone?" Her still, tuneless voice made the words into a command. Canon Livingstone arose and followed her into the little dining-room. "Will you tell me all you know--all you have heard about my--you know what?"
"Miss Monro was my informant--at least at first--it was in the Times the day before I left. Miss Monro says it could only have been done in a moment of anger if the old servant is really guilty; that he was as steady and good a man as she ever knew, and she seems to have a strong feeling against Mr. Dunster, as always giving your father much unnecessary trouble; in fact, she hints that his disappearance at the time was supposed to be the cause of a considerable loss of property to Mr. Wilkins."
"No!" said Ellinor, eagerly, feeling that some justice ought to be done to the dead man; and then she stopped short, fearful of saying anything that should betray her full knowledge. "I mean this," she went on; "Mr. Dunster was a very disagreeable man personally--and papa--we none of us liked him; but he was quite honest--please remember that."
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