"Ah! all the better," was the cool reply: "he will be useful to let us know what we want; he will tell Jane, and Jane me. You don't think he will live, do you?"
"Live! no: and then who will know the money is here?"
"Who should know? Did not he say he had just landed, and been shipwrecked? Shipwrecked men do not bring fourteen thousand pounds ashore." The speaker's eyes sparkled: Skinner watched him demurely. "Skinner," said he solemnly, "I believe my daughter Jane is right, and that Providence really interferes sometimes in the affairs of this world. You know how I have struggled to save my family from disgrace and poverty: those struggles have failed in a great degree: but Heaven has seen them, and saved this money from the sea, and dropped it into my very hands to retrieve my fortunes with. I must be grateful: spend a portion of it in charity, and rear a noble fortune on the rest. Confound it all!"
And his crestfallen countenance showed some ugly misgiving had flashed on him quite suddenly.
"What sir? what?" asked Skinner eagerly.
"THE receipt? Oh, is that all? _You_ have got that," said Skinner very coolly.
"What makes you think so?" inquired the other keenly. He instantly suspected Skinner of having it.
"Why, sir, I saw it in his hand."