The Black Robe
Father Benwell's Correspondence
Arthur Penrose to Father Benwell.
REVEREND AND DEAR FATHER--When I last had the honor of seeing you, I
received your instructions to report, by letter, the result of my conversations
on religion with Mr. Romayne.
As events have turned out, it is needless to occupy your time by dwelling at
any length on this subject, in writing. Mr. Romayne has been strongly
impressed by the excellent books which I have introduced to his notice. He
raises certain objections, which I have done my best to meet; and he
promises to consider my arguments with his closest attention, in the time to
come. I am happier in the hope of restoring his mental tranquillity--in other
and worthier words, of effecting his conversion--than I can tell you in any
words of mine. I respect and admire, I may almost say I love, Mr. Romayne.
The details which are wanting in this brief report of progress I shall have the
privilege of personally relating to you. Mr. Romayne no longer desires to
conceal himself from his friends. He received a letter this morning which has
changed all his plans, and has decided him on immediately returning to
London. I am not acquainted with the contents of the letter, or with the name
of the writer; but I am pleased, for Mr. Romayne's sake, to see that the
reading of it has made him happy.
By to-morrow evening I hope to present my respects to you.
Mr. Bitrake to Father Benwell.
SIR--The inquiries which I have instituted at your request have proved
successful in one respect.
I am in a position to tell you that events in Mr. Winterfield's life have
unquestionably connected him with the young lady named Miss Stella
The attendant circumstances, however, are not so easy to discover. Judging
by the careful report of the person whom I employ, there must have been
serious reasons, in this case, for keeping facts secret and witnesses out of the
way. I mention this, not to discourage you, but to prepare you for delays that
may occur on our way to discovery.