at the same time I did, to see you on private business, gave way to me, said he should come again; may I ask who he is?"
"I cannot guess; no one ever calls here on business except the tax-gatherer."
The old woman-servant now entered. "A gentleman, ma'am; says his name is Rugge."
"Rugge,—Rugge; let me think."
"I am here, Mrs. Crane," said the manager, striding in. "You don't, perhaps, call me to mind by name; but—oho! not gone, sir! Do I intrude prematurely?"
"No, I have done; good-day, my dear Mrs. Crane."
"Stay, Jasper. I remember you now, Mr. Rugge; take a chair."
She whispered a few words into Losely's ear, then turned to the manager, and said aloud, "I saw you at Mr. Waife's lodging, at the time he had that bad accident."
"And I had the honour to accompany you home, ma'am, and—but shall I speak out before this gentleman?"
"Certainly; you see he is listening to you with attention. This gentleman and I have no secrets from each other. What has become of that person? This gentleman wishes to know."
LOSELY.—"Yes, sir, I wish to know-particularly."
RUGGE.—"So do I; that is partly what I came about. You are aware, I think, ma'am, that I engaged him and Juliet Araminta, that is, Sophy."
LOSELY.—"Sophy? engaged them, sir,—how?"
RUGGE.—"Theatrical line, sir,—Rugge's Exhibition; he was a great actor once, that fellow Waife."
LOSELY.—"Oh, actor! well, sir, go on."
RUGGE (who in the course of his address turns from the lady to the gentleman, from the gentleman to the lady, with appropriate gesture and appealing look).—"But he became a wreck, a block of a man; lost an eye and his voice too. How ever, to serve him, I took his grandchild and him too. He left me—shamefully, and ran off with his grandchild, sir. Now, ma'am, to be plain with you, that little girl I looked upon as my property,—a very valuable property. She is worth a great deal to me, and I have been done out of her. If you can help me to get her back, articled and engaged say for three years, I am willing and happy, ma'am, to pay something handsome,—uncommon handsome."
MRS. CRANE (loftily).—"Speak to that gentleman; he may treat with you."