"`A word with you,' replied Heyling. As he spoke, he seated himself at the other end of the table, and, throwing off his cloak and cap, disclosed his features.
"The old man seemed instantly deprived of the power of speech. He fell backward in his chair, and, clasping his hands together, gazed on the apparition with a mingled look of abhorrence and fear.
"`This day six years,' said Heyling, `I claimed the life you owed me for my child's. Beside the lifeless form of your daughter, old man, I swore to live a life of revenge. I have never swerved from my purpose for a moment's space; but if I had, one thought of her uncomplaining, suffering look, as she drooped away, or of the starving face of our innocent child, would have nerved me to my task. My first act of requital you well remember: this is my last.'
"The old man shivered, and his hands dropped powerless by his side.
"`I leave England to-morrow,' said Heyling, after a moment's pause. `To-night I consign you to the living death to which you devoted her--a hopeless prison--'
"He raised his eyes to the old man's countenance, and paused. He lifted the light to his face, set it gently down, and left the apartment.
"`You had better see to the old man,' he said to the woman as he opened the door, and motioned the
officer to follow him into the street. `I think he is ill.' The woman closed the door, ran hastily up-stairs,
and found him lifeless.
"Beneath a plain grave-stone, in one of the most peaceful and secluded churchyards in Kent, where wild flowers mingle with the grass, and the soft landscape around forms the fairest spot in the garden of England, lie the bones of the young mother and her gentle child. But the ashes of the father do not mingle with theirs; nor, from that night forward, did the attorney ever gain the remotest clue to the subsequent history of his queer client."
As the old man concluded his tale, he advanced to a peg in one corner, and taking down his hat and
coat, put them on with great deliberation; and, without saying another word, walked slowly away. As the
gentleman with the Mosaic studs had fallen asleep, and the major part of the company were deeply
occupied in the humorous process of dropping melted tallow-grease into his brandy and water, Mr. Pickwick
departed unnoticed, and having settled his own score, and that of Mr. Weller, issued forth, in company
with that gentleman, from beneath the portal of the Magpie and Stump. 1
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