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THE CHIMNEY CORNER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 252, 26 January 1881
THE CHIMNEY CORNER.
1 MY MEMORANDUM BOOK- - . ■ PART 11. —Gontimied. Repairing one morning to the reading rbom to see the English papers being naturally, anxious to learn what :Was going, on at-home, I found a file of the Times for the past month or two studied, together; and while casually perusing the agony columns, my eye fell upon the advertisement I have read to you, as. also to an appended description of myself, -Tiie transaction flashed, upon me.,’ 1' at once looked up the entries in my pocket book, and found that the date when I got change at Dibdbn’s corresponded with that given in. the advertisement. You see, here are the entries :—August vyth —Bank of England note 37,299, Lio, from Roberts and Co.” And—“ September 2nd —Bank of England note 65,982, L 5, from iliibden, Knollys and Dibden.” ' I need scarcely tell you that I lost no time in leaving Paris for London ; and when I arrived there I at once found my way to ' the office of Smith and Olliver. ' At the - very moment I was about to enter their chambers a young lady was in the act of leaving them. Her eyes no sooner met mine than she seemed fixed to the spot. Thinking she might possibly have recognised hi me an old acquaintance, I raised my hat and was about to speak, when she eagerly replied, “ Did you see the advertisement ?”
I replied that I had seen an advertisement in the. Times which I believed referred to myself, and that I was there that rooming in consequence. The strained and anxious expression on her face seemed to become intensified as she asked ; “And was it you who gave him the note ?” ■ You will see I was until now quite ignorant of what had taken place with regard to that ten-pound note, or even why any information was wished from me regarding it; I did not, therefore, quite understand the question, and looked, I dare say, somewhat taken aback. Ere I could reply, however, she spoke. • “ Oh,” she said, “ J beg your pardon ; but something dreadful has happened in connection with that note, and I. spoke as if you must have known all about it.. Will you kindly come in and see Mr. Oliver?”
I went in, and a very few minutes’ conversation . with the solicitor was sufficient to acquaint me of the very distressing occurrence to which the young lady had referred. I observed that she was still much agitated, and seemed to await my reply with something like- impatience, and as I drew forth the blue pocket-book, her eyes were riveted upon it with an eagerness painful to behold I then exhibited the entries which I have already shown you, and placed the book in the hands of Mr. Oliver. Both he and the young lady examined and compared then!, without speaking a word. He took from a bunch of papers on the table a folded sheet, . which, when he had opened it out, I saw . was a criminal indictment. Glancing it over for a minute, he read ; out slowly and distinctly, .the . number “ 3-y-2-g-g,” comparing it, figure by figure, with the first entry in the pocket-book. .. , “ Thank God,” said the young lady, “ that is it.” . During this time her face had changed from, being pallid to a hue like that of death ; and now, as tears started from her eyes, ; she sank, halffainting, intd a chair. I was not surprised at the nature of her excitement when 'I canie to .know all, and that when I met her she was- leaving the chambers in a state of despondency almost bordering on despair—-day after day having passed, and no reply being received to her repeated advertisements and appeals. . Mr. Oliver spoke kindly and encouragingly to her, and in a little while she had so far recovered as to allow him to prosecute, the inquiries which naturally, arose out of the information I had given him.. “ I have already mentioned to you,” he said, “that the note-which the young gentleman admitted having received from you and placed in the cash box was a forged note j I trust the fact that you had that note in your possession can be satisfactorily explained, as we should be very sorry indeed if the information which promises to give such relief to us should in any way reflect on you.”. I said 1 hoped npt. .. I had received the note, as entered in the memorandum, from a firm called Roberts and Go. ; but I knew nothing further of them, the firm having been a strange one to me, and the transaction—the first and last I had with them—a cash one.
, He asked if I remembered the ad- ; dress of the firm. I told him as near as'l could ; whereupon, again referring to his papers, he showed me a cutting from a newspaper containing the detection anjt-cotitrictibirof' : a £arig/of. banknote forgers, who had transacted business under various : cognomens, one of these being’?? Roberts attd Co.;” and he stated;’, what was afterward verified, .that the persons from whom I had received the note which had . caused all this trouble to innocent people were in all probability inferred.to. V.‘ r . | It was thus that ! ac- • of ISli§s^3?ierly, and I may” ■bf iriy old, gblue _ppcket-hopk; ivith its mass of apparently than when the SeCretaryibf* State, after hearing the statement we made' to hith; accepted my. pocket-mhrrtprahda as eyi? dbnc^;‘ and' ln; due codrsd dSSuecl an orderfSr feeprge'Hamilton’s' liberation.; ‘ Tnh yb^d?y;toe;otd'Q r .was.received I < went to Millbank to take him back;
aSSwwaliours'he was sitting at dinneij in)|fee you now occupy, with hisshaHome-. bride elect at his side. The atoxftment I could make him fdrjhe suffering I had innocently caijsed him was do take the place of a father, arid give her away on her wed-ding-day,: _ You will now, I hope, perceive the value I place upon such memoranda as my old pocket-book contains. To make such entries is only the work of a minute; and when '• knowing what .usefuLpurpose fhey’|nay serve. There Can be" no’ reasonable ■doubt that if I- hadiwHKKl llli actions above aboye fefened as at first sight they mayhrave appeafSdi” duly entered) in my ;meraqgndag statements to the Secreturv of bedn of nb' avarfj would have looked like the .trumped-up fictions of a latei- Hour, cbritmaea l pt 1 <the purpose of defeating justice. . it was the entries stood in my boo? under ther proper date,, and were ® ficient of themselves, apart from my. parole evidence, to prove that the person to whom I pound note on the and of September was not the of the farmed r rrote, whoever may have ”been, n] the r,gpiUy*,ir-f party; consequently,. I was thus able ■ to free an innocent person, not only from prison and -from a lohg and degrading course., ; .-.oEVpenaV "scfvitnde,but from the life-long.stigma which- the imputation of such a> crime would.|have left on his character. And now; my dear boy, I am gbirig - to mike yoU ; a ,1. present of a nice new memorandum-d----book, and I hope you’ll make good.use } of it. — Chamber? JoutnaL ,
THE CHIMNEY CORNER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 252, 26 January 1881
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