"The Earl!" ejaculated the Captain.

Mr. Crowe had been unable to refrain his tongue from the delicious title, but now corrected himself. "Nor Mr. Neville, I mean. No one will be bound to give you a farthing, and any letter asking for anything more will forfeit the allowance altogether." The Captain vainly endeavoured to make better terms, and of course accepted those proposed to him. He would live in Paris,--dear Paris. He took five pounds for his journey, and named an agent for the transmission of his money.

And so Fred Neville was the Earl of Scroope. He had still one other task to perform before he could make his journey home. He had to send tidings in some shape to Ardkill of what had happened. As he returned to the barracks from Mr. Crowe's residence he thought wholly of this. That other matter was now arranged. As one item of the cost of his adventure in County Clare he must pay two hundred a year to that reprobate, the Captain, as long as the reprobate chose to live,--and must also pay Mr. Crowe's bill for his assistance. This was a small matter to him as his wealth was now great, and he was not a man by nature much prone to think of money. Nevertheless it was a bad beginning of his life. Though he had declared himself to be quite indifferent on that head, he did feel that the arrangement was not altogether reputable,--that it was one which he could not explain to his own man of business without annoyance, and which might perhaps give him future trouble. Now he must prepare his message for the ladies at Ardkill,--especially to the lady whom on his last visit to the cottage he had found armed with a dagger for the reception of her husband. And as he returned back to the barracks it occurred to him that a messenger might be better than a letter. "Simpkinson," he said, going at once into the young man's bed-room, "have you heard what has happened to me?" Simpkinson had heard all about it, and expressed himself as "deucedly sorry" for the old man's death, but seemed to think that there might be consolation for that sorrow. "I must go to Scroope immediately," said Neville. "I have explained it all to Johnstone, and shall start almost at once. I shall first lie down and get an hour's sleep. I want you to do something for me." Simpkinson was devoted. Simpkinson would do anything. "I cut up a little rough just now when you mentioned Miss O'Hara's name." Simpkinson declared that he did not mind it in the least, and would never pronounce the name again as long as he lived. "But I want you to go and see her to-morrow," said Neville. Then Simpkinson sat bolt upright in bed.

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