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"Base is the slave that pays."--ANCIENT PISTOL.
The Captain was neither drowned nor poisoned, neither miasmatised nor
anatomised. But, before we proceed to account for him, we must look back to a
young lady, of whom some little notice was taken in the first chapter; and who,
though she has since been out of sight, has never with us been out of mind: Miss
Susannah Touchandgo, the forsaken of the junior Crotchet, whom we left an
inmate of a solitary farm, in one of the deep valleys under the cloud-capt summits
of Meirion, comforting her wounded spirit with air and exercise, rustic cheer,
music, painting, and poetry, and the prattle of the little Ap Llymrys.
One evening, after an interval of anxious expectation, the farmer, returning from
market brought for her two letters, of which the contents were these:
"Dotandcarryonetown, State of Apodidraskiana. "April 1, 18..
My Dear Child,
"I am anxious to learn what are your present position, intention, and prospects.
The fairies who dropped gold in your shoe, on the morning when I ceased to be a
respectable man in London, will soon find a talismanic channel for transmitting
you a stocking full of dollars, which will fit the shoe as well as the foot of
Cinderella fitted her slipper. I am happy to say I am again become a respectable
man. It was always my ambition to be a respectable man, and I am a very
respectable man here, in this new township of a new state, where I have
purchased five thousand acres of land, at two dollars an acre, hard cash, and
established a very flourishing bank. The notes of Touchandgo and Company, soft
cash, are now the exclusive currency of all this vicinity. This is the land in which
all men flourish; but there are three classes of men who flourish especially,--
methodist preachers, slave-drivers, and paper-money manufacturers; and as one
of the latter, I have just painted the word BANK on a fine slab of maple, which
was green and growing when I arrived, and have discounted for the settlers, in
my own currency, sundry bills, which are to be paid when the proceeds of the
crop they have just sown shall return from New Orleans; so that my notes are the
representatives of vegetation that is to be, and I am accordingly a capitalist of the
first magnitude. The people here know very well that I ran away from London; but
the most of them have run away from some place or other; and they have a great
respect for me, because they think I ran away with something worth taking, which
few of them had the luck or the wit to do. This gives them confidence in my
resources, at the same time that, as there is nothing portable in the settlement
except my own notes, they have no fear that I shall run away with them. They
know I am thoroughly conversant with the principles of banking, and as they have
plenty of industry, no lack of sharpness, and abundance of land, they wanted
nothing but capital to organise a flourishing settlement; and this capital I have
manufactured to the extent required, at the expense of a small importation of
pens, ink, and paper, and two or three inimitable copper plates. I have
abundance here of all good things, a good conscience included; for I really
cannot see that I have done any wrong. This was my position: I owed half a
million of money; and I had a trifle in my pocket. It was clear that this trifle could