ON the next morning but one, news was received from Mr. Pendril. The place of
Michael Vanstone's residence on the Continent had been discovered. He was
living at Zurich; and a letter had been dispatched to him, at that place, on the day
when the information was obtained. In the course of the coming week an answer
might be expected, and the purport of it should be communicated forthwith to the
ladies at Combe-Raven.
Short as it was, the interval of delay passed wearily. Ten days elapsed before the
expected answer was received; and when it came at last, it proved to be, strictly
speaking, no answer at all. Mr. Pendril had been merely referred to an agent in
London who was in possession of Michael Vanstone's instructions. Certain
difficulties had been discovered in connection with those instructions, which had
produced the necessity of once more writing to Zurich. And there "the
negotiations" rested again for the present.
A second paragraph in Mr. Pendril's letter contained another piece of intelligence
entirely new. Mr. Michael Vanstone's son (and only child), Mr. Noel Vanstone,
had recently arrived in London, and was then staying in lodgings occupied by his
cousin, Mr. George Bartram. Professional considerations had induced Mr. Pendril
to pay a visit to the lodgings. He had been very kindly received by Mr. Bartram;
but had been informed by that gentleman that his cousin was not then in a
condition to receive visitors. Mr. Noel Vanstone had been suffering, for some
years past, from a wearing and obstinate malady; he had come to England
expressly to obtain the best medical advice, and he still felt the fatigue of the
journey so severely as to be confined to his bed. Under these circumstances, Mr.
Pendril had no alternative but to take his leave. An interview with Mr. Noel
Vanstone might have cleared up some of the difficulties in connection with his
father's instructions. As events had turned out, there was no help for it but to wait
for a few days more.