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good reasons for communicating with me, learnt what was going
on; and it was I who told him that the boy was no son of the man
who claimed to be his father. All this time I had never seen the
boy. At length, I heard from this same source that he was very ill,
and where he was. I travelled down there, that I might recall
myself, if possible, to his recollection and confirm my story. I came
upon him unexpectedly; but before I could speak he knew me--he
had good cause to remember me, poor lad!--and I would have
sworn to him if I had met him in the Indies. I knew the piteous
face I had seen in the little child. After a few days’ indecision, I
applied to the young gentleman in whose care he was, and I found
that he was dead. He knows how quickly he recognised me again,
how often he had described me and my leaving him at the school,
and how he told him of a garret he recollected: which is the one I
have spoken of, and in his father’s house to this day. This is my
story. I demand to be brought face to face with the schoolmaster,
and put to any possible proof of any part of it, and I will show that
it’s too true, and that I have this guilt upon my soul.’

‘Unhappy man!’ said the brothers. ‘What reparation can you
make for this?’

‘None, gentlemen, none! I have none to make, and nothing to
hope now. I am old in years, and older still in misery and care.
This confession can bring nothing upon me but new suffering and
punishment; but I make it, and will abide by it whatever comes. I
have been made the instrument of working out this dreadful
retribution upon the head of a man who, in the hot pursuit of his
bad ends, has persecuted and hunted down his own child to death.
It must descend upon me too. I know it must fall. My reparation
comes too late; and, neither in this world nor in the next, can I

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