The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom HTML version

Chapter 31
He By Accident Encounters His Old Friend, With Whom He Holds A Conference,
And Renews A Treaty.
Our hero, having thus provided himself with a proper subject for his hours of
dalliance, thought it was now high time to study the ground which he had pitched
upon for the scene of his exploits, and with that view made several excursions to
different parts of the town, where there was aught of entertainment or instruction
to be found. Yet he always, on these occasions, appeared in an obscure ordinary
dress, in order to avoid singularity, and never went twice to the same coffee-
house, that his person might not be afterwards known, in case he should shine
forth to the public in a superior sphere. On his return from one of those
expeditions, while he was passing through Ludgate, his eyes were suddenly
encountered by the apparition of his old friend the Tyrolese, who, perceiving
himself fairly caught in the toil, made a virtue of necessity, and, running up to our
adventurer with an aspect of eagerness and joy, clasped him in his arms, as
some dear friend, whom he had casually found after a most tedious and
disagreeable separation.
Fathom, whose genius never failed him in such emergencies, far from receiving
these advances with the threats and reproaches which the other had deserved at
his hands, returned the salute with equal warmth, and was really overjoyed at
meeting with a person who might one way or other make amends for the perfidy
of his former conduct. The Tyrolese, whose name was Ratchcali, pleased with
his reception, proposed they should adjourn to the next tavern, in which they had
no sooner taken possession of an apartment, than he addressed himself to his
old companion in these words:--
"Mr. Fathom, by your frank and obliging manner of treating a man who hath done
you wrong, I am more and more confirmed in my opinion of your sagacity, which I
have often considered with admiration; I will not therefore attempt to make an
apology for my conduct at our last parting; but only assure you that this meeting
may turn out to our mutual advantage, if we now re-enter into an unreserved
union, the ties of which we will soon find it our interest and inclination to
preserve. For my own part, as my judgment is ripened by experience, so are my
sentiments changed since our last association. I have seen many a rich harvest
lost, for want of a fellow-labourer in the vineyard; and I have more than once
fallen a sacrifice to a combination, which I could have resisted with the help of
one able auxiliary. Indeed, I might prove what I allege by mathematical
demonstration; and I believe nobody will pretend to deny, that two heads are
better than one, in all cases that require discernment and deliberation."
Ferdinand could not help owning the sanity of his observations, and forthwith
acquiesced in his proposal of the new alliance; desiring to know the character in
which he acted on the English stage, and the scheme he would offer for their
mutual emolument. At the same time he resolved within himself to keep such a
strict eye over his future actions, as would frustrate any design he might