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The old man gazed around the room, glanced at each face in turn, and finally
said: ‘I see none here but paltry knaves, scum o’ the streets. Which is he?’ The
jailer laughed.

‘Here,’ he said; ‘scan this big animal, and grant me an opinion.’ The old man
approached, and looked Hendon over, long and earnestly, then shook his head
and said: ‘Marry, this is no Hendon-nor ever was!’ ‘Right! Thy old eyes are
sound yet. An I were Sir Hugh, I would take the shabby carle and-’ The jailer
finished by lifting himself a-tiptoe with an imaginary halter, at the same time
making a gurgling noise in his throat suggestive of suffocation. The old man
said, vindictively: ‘Let him bless God an he fare no worse. An I had the handling
o’ the villain, he should roast, or I am no true man!’ The jailer laughed a pleasant
hyena laugh, and said: ‘Give him a piece of thy mind, old man-they all do it.
Thou’lt find it good diversion.’ Then he sauntered toward his anteroom and
disappeared. The old man dropped upon his knees and whispered: ‘God be
thanked, thou’rt come again, my master! I believed thou wert dead these seven
years, and lo, here thou art alive! I knew thee the moment I saw thee; and main
hard work it was to keep a stony countenance and seem to see none here but
tuppenny knaves and rubbish o’ the streets. I am old and poor, Sir Miles; but say
the word and I will go forth and proclaim the truth though I be strangled for it.’
‘No,’ said Hendon, ‘thou shalt not. It would ruin thee, and yet help but little in
my cause. But I thank thee; for thou hast given me back somewhat of my lost
faith in my kind.’ The old servant became very valuable to Hendon and the king;
for he dropped in several times a day to ‘abuse’ the former, and always
smuggled in a few delicacies to help out the prison bill of fare; he also furnished
the current news. Hendon reserved the dainties for the king; without them his
majesty might not have survived, for he was not able to eat the coarse and
wretched food provided by the jailer. Andrews was obliged to confine himself to
brief visits, in order to avoid suspicion; but he managed to impart a fair degree
of information each time-information delivered in a low voice, for Hendon’s
benefit, and interlarded with insulting epithets delivered in a louder voice, for
the benefit of other hearers.

So, little by little, the story of the family came out. Arthur had been dead six
years. This loss, with the absence of news from Hendon, impaired his father’s
health; he believed he was going to die, and he wished to see Hugh and Edith
settled in life before he passed away; but Edith begged hard for delay, hoping
for Miles’s return; then the letter came which brought the news of Miles’s death;
the shock prostrated Sir Richard; he believed his end was very near, and he and
Hugh insisted upon the marriage; Edith begged for and obtained a month’s
respite; then another, and finally a third; the marriage then took place, by the
death-bed of Sir Richard. It had not proved a happy one. It was whispered about
the country that shortly after the nuptials the bride found among her husband’s
papers several rough and incomplete drafts of the fatal letter, and had accused
him of precipitating the marriage-and Sir Richard’s death, too-by a wicked
forgery. Tales of cruelty to the Lady Edith and the servants were to be heard on
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