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CHAP. IX. What happened to Mr. Jones in the Prison. MR. Jones past above twenty-four melancholy hours by himself

, unless when relieved by the company of Partridge, before Mr. Nightingale returned; not that this worthy young man had deserted or forgot his friend; for, indeed, he had been much the greatest part of the time employed in his service.

He had heard, upon inquiry, that the only persons who had seen the beginning of the unfortunate rencounter, were a crew belonging to a man of war, which then lay at Deptford. To Deptford therefore he went in search of this crew, where he was informed that the men he sought after, were all

gone ashore. He then traced them from place to place, till at last he found two of them drink. ing together, with a third person, at a hedgetavern, near Aldersgate.

Nightingale desired to speak with Jones by himself (for Partridge was in the room when he came in). As soon as they were alone, Nightingale, taking Jones by the hand, cried, 'Come, my brave 'friend, be not too much dejected at what I am ' going to tell you---I am sorry I am the mes

I senger of bad news; but I think it my duty to tell

guess already what that bad news * is,' cries Jones. The poor gentleman then is · dead.'---'I hope not,' answered Nightingale. • He was alive this morning ; though I will not 'flatter you; I fear from the accounts I could get, ' that his wound is mortal. But if the affair be 'exactly as you told it, your own remorse would

be all you have reason to apprehend, let what ' would happen; but forgive me, my dear Tom, it 'I entreat you to make the worst of your story to 'your friends. If you disguise any thing to us, you will only be an enemy to yourself.'

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* What reason, my dear Jack, have I ever given * you,' said Jones, 'to stab me with so cruel a sus

picion?' 'Ilave patience,' cries Nightingale, and · I will tell you all. After the most diligent inquiry ' I could make, I at last met with two of the fellows ' who were present at this unhappy accident, and I

am sorry to say, they do not relate the story so ' much in your favour as you yourself have told it.'

Why, what do they say?' cries Jones. 'Indeed ' what I am sorry to repeat, as I am afraid of the consequence of it to you. They say, that they were at too great a distance to overhear any words 'that passed between you; but they both agree 'that the first blow was given by you.'. Tlien,

upon my soul,' answered Jones, they injure me. 'He not only struck me first, but struck me with' out the least provocation. What should induce 'those villains to accuse me falsely?' 'Nay, that 'I cannot guess,' said Nightingale, "and if you yourself, and I, who am so heartily your friend, cannot conceive a reason why they should belie 'you, what reason will an indifferent court of jus' tice be able to assign, why they should not believe 'them? I repeated the question to them several

? • times, and so did another gentleman who was

present, who, I believe, is a seafaring man, and • who really acted a very friendly part by you; for ' he begged them often to consider, that there was 'the life of a man in the case; and asked them

over and over, if they were certain ; to which 'they both answered, that they were, and would ' abide by their evidence upon oath. For heaven's

sake, my dear friend, recollect yourself; for if ' this should appear to be the fact, it will be your "business to think in time of making the best of

your interest. I would not shock you; but you • know, I believe, the severity of the law, whatever ' verbal provocations may have been given you.' * Alas ! my friend,' cries Jones, 'what interest hath 'such a wretch as I: Besides, do you think I

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' would even wish to live with the reputation of a ' murderer? If I had any friends (as alas! I have 'none), could I have the confidence to solicit 'them to speak in the behalf of a man condemned for the blackest crime in human nature? Believe me, I have no such hope; but I have some reliance on a throne still greatly superior ; which 'will, I am certain, afford me all the protection 'I merit.'

He then concluded with many solemn and vehement protestations of the truth of what he had at first asserted.

The faith of Nightingale was now again staggered, and began to incline to credit his friend, when Mrs. Miller appeared, and made a sorrowful report of the success of her embassy; which, when Jones had heard, he cried out most heroically,

Well, my friend, I am now indifferent as to what 'shall happen, at least with regard to my life ; and

if it be the will of heaven that I shall make an 'atonement with that for the blood I have spilt, I • hope the Divine Goodness will one day suffer my 'honour to be cleared, and that the words of a dying man, at least, will be believed, so far as to justify his character.'

A very mournful scene now past between the prisoner and his friends, at which, as few readers would have been pleased to be present, so few, I believe, will desire to hear it particularly related. We will, therefore, pass on to the entrance of the turnkey, who acquainted Jones, that there was a lady without who desired to speak with him, when he was at leisure.

Jones declared bis surprise at this message. IIe said, 'He knew no lady in the world whom he 'could possibly expect to see there. However, as he saw no reason to decline seeing any person, Mrs. Miller and Mr. Nightingale presently took their leave, and he gave orders to have the lady admitted,

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If Jones was surprised at the news of a visit from a lady, how greatly was he astonished when he discovered this lady to be no other than Mrs. Waters! In this astonishment then we shall leave him a while, in order to cure the surprise of the reader, who will likewise, probably, not a little wonder at the arrival of this lady.

Who this Mrs. Waters was, the reader pretty well knows; what she was, he must be perfectly satisfied. He will therefore be pleased to remember, that this lady departed from Upton in the same coach with Mr. Fitzpatrick and the other Irish gentleman, and in their company travelled to Bath.

Now there was a certain office in the gift of Mr. l'itzpatrick at that time vacant, namely, that of a wife; for the lady who had lately filled that office had resigned, or at least deserted her duty. Mr. Fitzpatrick therefore having thoroughly examined Mrs. Waters on the road, found her extremely fit for the place, which, on their arrival at Bath, he presently conferred upon her, and she, without any scruple, accepted. As husband and wife this gentleman and lady continued together all the time they stayed at Bath, and as husband and wife they arrived together in town.

Whether Mr. Fitzpatrick was so wise a man as not to part with one good thing till he had secured another, which he had at present only a prospect of regaining; or whether Mrs. Waters had so well discharged her office, that he intended still to retain her as principal, and to make his wife (as is often the case) only her deputy, I will not say; but certain it is, he never mentioned his wife to her, never communicated to her the letter given him by Mrs. Western, nor ever once hinted his purpose of repossessing his wife; much less did he ever inention the name of Jones. For though he intended to figlit with him wherever he met him, he did not imitate those prudent persons who think a wife, a mother, a sister, or sometimes a whole family, the

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safest seconds on these occasions. The first account therefore which she had of all this, was delivered to her from his lips, after he was brought home from the tavern where his wound had been drest.

As Mr. Fitzpatrick, however, had not the clearest way of telling a story at any time, and was now, perhaps, a little more confused than usual, it was sometime before she discovered that the gentleman who had given him this wound was the very same person from whom her heart had received a wound, which, though not of a mortal kind, was yet so deep that it had left a considerable scar behind it. But no sooner was she acquainted that Mr. Jones himself was the man who had been committed to the Gatehouse for this supposed murder, than she took the first opportunity of committing Mr. Fitzpatrick to the care of his nurse, and hastened away to visit the conqueror.

She now entered the room with an air of gaiety, which received an immediate check from the melancholy aspect of poor Jones, who started ard blessed himself when he saw her. Upon which she said, 'Nay, I do not wonder at your surprise ; I ' believe you did not expect to see me; for few

gentlemen are troubled here with visits from any lady, unless a wife. You see the power you

have over me, Mr. Jones. Indeed, I little thought ' when we parted at Upton, that our next meeting 'would have been in such a place.' 'Indeed, Mag • dam,' says Jones, • I must look upon this visit as ' kind; few will follow the miserable, especially to

such dismal habitations.' 'I protest, Mr. Jones,' says she, “I can hardly persuade myself you are • the same agreeable fellow I saw at Upton. Why, your face is more miserable than any dungeon in the universe. What can be the matter with you?" I thought, Madam,' said Jones, 'as you knew of my being here, you knew the unhappy reason.' · Pugh,' says she, ' you have pinked a man in a

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