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The Evil Genius

4. Randal Receives His Correspondence
Self-revealed by the family likeness as Herbert's brother, Randal Linley was nevertheless
greatly Herbert's inferior in personal appearance. His features were in no way remarkable
for manly beauty. In stature, he hardly reached the middle height; and young as he was,
either bad habit or physica l weakness had so affected the upper part of his figure that he
stooped. But with these, and other disadvantages, there was something in his eyes, and in
his smile--the outward expression perhaps of all that was modestly noble in his nature--so
irresistible in its attractive influence that men, women, and children felt the charm alike.
Inside of the house, and outside of the house, everybody was fond of Randal; even Mrs.
Presty included.
"Have you seen a new face among us, since you returned? were his sister-in-law's first
words. Randal answered that he had seen Miss Westerfield. The inevitable question
followed. What did he think of her? "I'll tell you in a week or two more," he replied.
"No! tell me at once."
"I don't like trusting my first impression; I have a bad habit of jumping to conclusions."
"Jump to a conclusion to please me. Do you think she's pretty?"
Randal smiled and looked away. "Your governess," he replied, "looks out of health, and
(perhaps for that reason) strikes me as being insignificant and ugly. Let us see what our
fine air and our easy life here will do for her. In so young a woman as she is, I am
prepared for any sort of transformation. We may be all admiring pretty Miss Westerfield
before another month is over our heads.--Have any letters come for me while I have been
He went into the library and returned with his letters. "This will amuse Kitty," he said,
handing his sister-in-law the illustrated New York newspaper, to which she had already
referred in speaking to her husband.
Mrs. Linley examined the engravings--and turned back again to look once more at an
illustration which had interested her. A paragraph on the same page caught her attention.
She had hardly glanced at the first words before a cry of alarm escaped her. "Dreadful
news for Miss Westerfield!" she exclaimed. "Read it, Randal."
He read these words:
"The week's list of insolvent traders includes an Englishman named James Bellbridge,
formerly connected with a disreputable saloon in this city. Bellbridge is under suspicion
of having caused the death of his wife in a fit of delirium tremens. The unfortunate
woman had been married, for the first time, to one of the English aristocracy--the
Honorable Roderick Westerfield--whose trial for casting away a ship under his command