« 이전계속 »
“Lay the canvas down,” said Burls, “and “Look at that,” said Mr. Burls one day rub it. If the varnish comes off after a to Frank—"that's a seller, aint it? I lay few rubs of your fingers, it's mastic, and 'll you a new hat I don't have that here a fortall rub off clean down to the paint. If it night, and I shall ask sixty guineas for it.” won't chafe, it's copal, and you must get it “Is it not the one that has been in the off with spirits, and be careful not to take shop some time?" Frank asked. the paint away with it. I've seen that done “No, it aint; but it's the own brother to often.”
it, and here's two more of the family-only So Frank and Burls spent much of their they aint done up yet," said the dealer, pulltime together, chafing the dirty varnish off old / ing down two other canvases from a rack. pictures. When they had rubbed it off, and Frank opened his eyes—wide. got down to the paint, one or the other The pictures were landscapes in the style dipped a wide brush in mastic varnish of Claude. The first was cracked all over, dabbed it on like whitewash on a ceiling, respectably dirty, and looked certainly a and then laid the canvas flat on the floor of hundred years old. The paint of the other the next room.
two was scarcely dry. “It all dries down smooth enough,” Burls
" It would have deceived me, I believe," said. “That's the beauty of it."
said Frank. And this, gentle British public, is the art “Deceive anybody," said Mr. Burls. of cleaning old oil paintings on a system in- “Now, you wouldn't look at that picture vented by ourselves, without the slightest and think it's only a month old, would you? injury or damage, advertised by Bartholomew That's all it is. It was like these here two Burls and Co., Trafalgar-street, Haymarket.
a month ago.
I've sold four or five of Country orders carefully attended to. And 'em." you are charged for it entirely according to “It would not do to sell them to intimate Mr. Burls's belief in your capacity to pay friends, would it?” said Frank. -sometimes ten shillings, sometimes ten “Trust me for that. I send 'em about pounds; but the process is always the same, the country. I've bought everything lately and it takes a very slightly skilled labourer at an old maiden lady's at Bexley Heath, any time from fifteen minutes to sixty to
and described the place to the customers; complete the operation.
but I think I've used it
Give us Sometimes the pictures wanted repaint- a good name, now, of a place for stuff to ing in places: then Frank took them into
come from." his own room, and did what was required, Frank thought a moment, and suggested before they were varnished off.
Compton Green. “Mind you, cleaning's an art, and I've “Where's Compton Green?" asked Mr. taught it you,” Mr. Burls would say.
Burls. For painting and painters he had a pro ." It's five miles from Market Basing, in per contempt. He bought their works so Holmshire," said Frank. cheap, and they-at least, the specimens he “Well, I'll try Compton Green. I've got saw—were always such poor devils. But a customer coming to look at some pictures gilding frames, cleaning and restoring pic-to-day, I hope it'll be as lucky as Bexley tures—these were profitable arts, and he re- Heath has been. Jack and me's sold some spected them.
hundreds now, I think, from there; so it's He told Frank many queer anecdotes of time we had a change.” the trade, of his customers, and how he had 'Do," said Frank. “It has one advanimposed upon their credulity. And how cre- tage, at all events, nobody will know it.” dulous customers are, only such men as Mr. “Now I'm going to show my customer Burls know.
this Claude. I wish I'd got a dozen as He told him tales of the sales and knock- good. It cost me fifteen pounds; and it outs; and one day took him to one at a wasn't painted half a mile from where public-house in Pall-mall, where Frank formed we stand. I want some different subjects. an acquaintance with the habits, customs, and couldn't you paint me some ?" language of the trade, and saw all the lots Frank tried; and, after some time, sucthey had bought at Christie's put up again, ceeded, to Mr. Burls's entire satisfaction, in and resold among themselves at a good imitating Old Crome. profit.
“That's right enough,” said the dealer.
“I'll give you ten pound a-piece for a dozen pictures. They brought him ten pounds each; as good as that."
but they lost him his employment. In this Frank was delighted. Here was fortune way. come at last.
One day, as he was going out to his “I'm fair and straight, I am," said the tea, when he got as far as the iron staircase dealer. “There aint much in painting that connected the gallery with the shop, he 'em when you've been showed what's observed Burls showing some pictures to wanted. It's the doing 'em up. That's a two customers: one of them was his Old secret as only a few of us have got. It cost Crome. me something to learn it, I can tell you. I “Compton Green, I assure you, they all paid for it, and it's paid me. This picture, came from,” Burls was saying. when I've done with it, 'll be worth sixty, if “Near Market Basing?" asked a clerical it's worth a sovereign. But there's art, I old gentleman, who was one of his two cuscan tell you, in doing what I do to 'em." tomers.
There always was, according to Mr. “That's the place, sir. I fetched 'em all Burls's version of the case, art in doing any- away myself, I assure you." thing to a picture but painting it.
“But there is nobody there who ever had Frank watched the processes his picture any pictures. I live near the village myself.” went through with interest.
Here was a facer for the dealer. It went to be lined, and stretched on an He saw Frank, and called him. Frank old strainer. As it was to be an old picture, had given him the name. Frank must get the supposed old canvas it was painted on
him out of the scrape. must be concealed by a lining.
“Here, Shipley” —he winked hard—"you Then it received several coats of mastic went down with me to fetch these pictures. varnish, in which red and yellow lake and Tell this gentleman the house we got 'em other colours were mixed to tone it down, from. It's a genuine Crome as ever I sold, laid on with Burls's liberal hand. As the sir”—Frank was coming up the shop, and first coat dried, a second, and so on. the old gentleman's back was turned towards
Then it was brushed over one night with him—"and it's a cheap picture at sixty a substance which we have all eaten times guineas. I would not take pounds for it." without number. In the morning, Frank's By this time Frank was close to him. Old Crome was cracked all over.
“Tell this gentleman where we got these He was astonished, and well he might be. pictures from, every one of them. You The surface, hard and dry, was a network of went with me.” very thin cracks. It was put into a real old Frank turned crimson. He knew the frame of the period, the door mat shaken customer. over canvas and frame several days in suc- The old gentleman turned round, and saw cession, and the business was complete. him before he could escape. He fell back
The picture looked old and mellow; the a step or two, shaded his eyes with his cracks bore witness to its genuineness; it hand, looked very hard at Frank, then exhad been lined to keep the rotting canvas claimed, cordially holding out his handfrom dropping to pieces as it stood; but the “God bless me! Young Mr. Melliship!” frame was the one it had always hung in, in “Dr. Perkins!” stammered Frank. the old manor house at Compton Green. “My dear young gentleman, who-ever
“It's a simple thing when you know how would-have thought of seeing you here?” to do it, aint it?" asked Mr. Burls of Frank. Frank was interrupted in a rambling apo
“It is, indeed,” said the artist, astonished logy by Mr. Burls. at his own work in its altered guise. “It is Very clever young man - valuable to simple."
me. He'll tell you”-here he winked again But what that simple thing is I must not at Frank—“all about the place we fetched tell, or I shall have some of my younger them from.” readers trying the experiment of cracking “Well, I shall have some other things to their fathers' pictures; and it wants some talk about with him of more importance; but practice to ensure success in making the perhaps he will excuse me if, to settle this, cracks natural in appearance, and not having I ask where possibly at Compton Green too many of them.
there could be pictures without me knowFrank set to work to make more of these ling it?"
“Ah!” said Burls," he can tell you. I go been here before us. I don't think that it's into so many houses, I forget where they nice of him to speak of his father in that are almost."
way; though mamma declares that his voice “Nowhere," said Frank, looking Dr. Per always shakes as he does it. All poor aunt's kins—whom he knew as an old friend of his dresses were hanging up just as she had left father's—full in the face. “ I painted it my- them. Dick gave every one to mamma, with self.”
her lace—you know what beautiful lace And he was gone out of the shop. It was Aunt Susan had. There is not much, after in vain the old clergyman and his son-in-law all; for she never dressed very well, as you tried to overtake him. They soon lost sight know. And mamma, in her brusque way, of him in the crowded street.
transferred the gowns to old Hester on the
spot. CHAPTER THE TWENTY-SECOND.
“Then we went downstairs to the first "I MUST tell you," wrote . Grace to Kate Moor - Mr. Mortiboy's own floor. Here
we “of the great day we had at Derngate. had a the was You know all the dreadful news, because press, which Dick opened. My dear Kate, Lucy has told you how Uncle Mortiboy, it was full of gold and silver cups, and plate after he had given all his money to Dick, of all kinds. Had a paralytic stroke, and is quite helpless “Dick tossed them all on the table with now. He seems to know people, though he his usual careless manner. cannot speak. He gives a sort of a grunt “Now, cousin,” he said, 'if you can find for 'yes,' and frowns when he means 'no' anything here with the Heathcote crest on Though we all feel sure he will never recover it, take it.' his faculties again, poor old man, he is not “I found an old cup, which must have at all a pitiable object to look at. He has been my great-grandfather's, which I took completely lost the use of one side, and par- home to papa. tially that of the other. His face is drawn “I am going to pick out the Mortiboy curiously out of shape, and it gives him a plate,' said Dick, and sell all the rest.' happy and pleasant look he never used to Oh, Kate! among the rest was a great have. He actually looks as if he were smil- deal of yours, which Uncle Mortiboy had ing all the while-a thing, as you know, he bought up from the sale. I waited till did not often do. They have taken him mamma was not looking, and I begged him downstairs, and old Hester looks after him. not to sell that. He did not know that it Dick has moved into that little villa which was yours, and promised. So that is all safe stands across the river, the only house there. for the present. And then he produced He has a boat to go across in. It seems a Aunt Susan's jewels and trinkets, and diprosaic way of getting over a river for a man vided them between Lucy and me. I shall who knows all about California and Texas, have such splendours to show you when we doesn't it? I told him that we all expected meet again. It is old-fashioned, of course, him to strike out a new idea.
but very good. “But the moving was the great thing. He “Then he put all the things back again. asked us all there to come.down while he ran- “We're going to look for money,' he sacked the old house. So down we went. said. "Hester says he used to hide it We went in to see poor old Mr. Mortiboy, / away.' and he seemed to know us, and to want to "Then we saw the use of the steps and speak; but it was no use. Then our voyage the hammer. Mr. Tweedy went about hamof discovery began. We had Mr. Tweedy, mering everywhere, to see if things were the builder, who went about with the house- solid or hollow. In a window-seat which steps and a hammer. He went first. Dick he forced open—it had been screwed down be at all curious; and old Hester brought one of them now. Behind a panel of the up the rear.
wainscoting, which had a secret spring-I “First, Aunt Susan's room. Then we did not know there were any houses in Maropened all her drawers, boxes, and cup- ket Basing with secret springs and panels boards. There was nothing in one of them we found another bag, with thirty old spade except old letters and things of no interest guineas in it. Wherever a hiding place or value. "The old man,' Dick said, 'has I could be made, Uncle Mortiboy had hidden
came next. We followed,
pretending not to we found a bag full of guineas. I have
away some money. There was quite a hand- her mother, and only came to see Dick some sum in an old and well-darned stock. when old Mrs. Lumley was out or gone to ing foot, and ever so many guineas under bed. his bed. He seems to have had a great Her venerable parent was a bedridden penchant for saving guineas. Hester says old lady, of prepossessing ugliness, who rehe thought they brought luck.
sided in a cottage, neither picturesque nor “How much is left to find, of course we clean, in the outskirts of Market Basing. cannot tell. It seems now that he was By the assistance of her daughter, she was never quite easy in his mind about the able to rub along and get her small comthings in his house. You know their queer, forts. She was not a nice old lady to look narrow, old staircase? Well, he used always at, nor was she eminently moral; being one to take his after-dinner nap on the stairs, of those who hold that lies cost nothing, where nothing could pass him without awak- and very often bring in a good deal. ing him; and he used to pay the policeman “Get money out of him, Polly," she said. extra money for giving a special look at the Get as much as you can—it won't last, house. How it was he was not robbed, I you know.". can't think.
“And why shouldn't it last? What's to “ After all this, we went home, loaded prevent it lasting, you old croaker?" with spoil. Mamma began again about “ The other will turn up some day, Polly. Dick's 'intentions;' but that only annoys I know it-I'm certain of it. Make him me a very little now.
give you money. Tell him it's for Bill.” “Dick has got old Mrs. Lumley, whom “Mother, Dick's no fool. I've had fifty you know, for his housekeeper. He fired pounds out of him for little Bill in the last pistols at his first woman, and she ran away. four months. I told him, only a fortnight ago, But Mrs. Lumley is not afraid, and I haven't that Bill had got the scarlet fever; and he heard of any pistols being fired at her. told me to go to the devil. He's deep, too.
“When are you going to give me fresh He doesn't say anything, but he's down on news of Frank? Kate, dear, give him my you all of a sudden. Mother, I lie awake love-my real and only love-and tell him at night and tremble sometimes. I'm afraid not to forget me, and to keep up his courage. of him, he is so masterful.” If he would only be helped, all would be “But try, Polly, my dear-try. Tell him well. I am sure papa liked him better than I want things at my time of life.” anybody that came to Parkside. And, after "I might do that. But it's no use preall, papa-is papa."
tending anything about Bill for awhile. The
other night he said Bill was played out. He It was a fine time this, for Polly. She wants to know where the boy is, too." had plenty of Dick's society. He was at “Where is he, Polly? Tell your old home nearly every evening, and generally mother, deary.". alone. Then she would sit with him while “Sha’n’t,” said Polly. he drank, smoked, told her queer stories, She made a long story about her mother and sang her jovial sea songs. As for her, that very night, and coaxed ten pounds out she always behaved as a lady, put on a silk of Dick for her. The old woman clutched dress every evening, and had her bottle of the gold, and put it away under her pillow, port before her, carrying her adherence to where she kept all the money that Polly got the usages of polite society so far as gene- out of Dick. rally to make a large hole in it.
It was odd that he could endure the Occasional wayfarers along the towing-woman at all. She was rough-handed, roughpath would hear sounds of merriment and tongued, coarse - minded, intriguing, and singing. It was whispered that Dick Morti- crafty-and he knew it. Her tastes were of boy even entertained the Evil One himself, the lowest kinds. She liked to eat and and regaled him with cigars and brandy. drink, and do little work. They had no
Sometimes they played cards, games that topics in common. He was lazy, and liked to Dick taught her. Sometimes they used to “let things slide.” She had all the faults quarrel, but not often; because once, when that a woman can have; but she had a sort she threatened her husband, he took her by of cleverness which was not displeasing to the shoulders, and turned her out of doors. him. Sometimes he would hate her. This
She had left Parkside, and now lived with was generally after he had been spending
an evening at Parkside almost the only bill he cuts his Lucky so as hes your own house he visited.
Son and not mine i dont see wy should Here, under the influence of the two girls kepe him any longer for Nuthink and reand their father, he became subdued and main dear poly your affeckshunit sobered. The subtle influence of the pure
“ANNE MARIAR KNEEBONE. and sweet domestic life as strong enough to touch him: to move him, but not to bring old woman a ritin her letter wich it toke her
“P.s.—[This in another hand]—i see the him back.
The sins of youth are never forgiven or hall day and the babies a starvin, so i had forgotten. Now, when all else went well
a P.s. to say as she is verry hard up and so
am i and so his bill. “METHOOSALEM." with Dick, when things had turned out beyond his wildest hopes, this woman
Dick read this precious epistle with a look whom he had married in a fit of calf love
of extreme bewilderment. Then he read it stood in his way, and seemed to drag him over again. Gradually arriving at a sense of down again when he would fain have risen its meaning, he looked again at the address above his own level. Other things had and the name, so as not to forget them—he passed away and been forgotten. There never forgot anything--and then he twisted was no fear that the old Palmiste business it up and burned it in the candle. After would be revived. Facts and reports, ugly that he went to bed, putting off meditation enough, were safe across the Atlantic. Of till the following morning. Dick was not the twelve years of Bohemian existence no going to spoil his night's rest because Polly one knew: they were lost to history as com
had told him lies. pletely as the forty years' wandering of the
Little Bill—that was Polly's child; presumIsraelites. Only Lafleur, who was sure to ably, therefore, his as well.' Therefore, little keep silent for his own sake, knew. And William Mortiboy—the heir-apparent to his this woman alone stood in the way, warning father's fortunes. him back from the paths of respectabilityan Apollyon whom it was impossible to pass. to himself, next morning after breakfast, "ap
“William Mortiboy's position,” said Dick But one evening, Polly, who had come pears unsatisfactory. He lives with a lady in to see him, cried in a maudlin way named Kneebone, who has a lodging-house over the love she had for the boy; and for babies. Wonder if the babies like the pulling her handkerchief out of her pocket lodgings? William Mortiboy associates, apto dry her eyes, dragged with it a letter, parently, with a gentleman called Methoosawhich Dick, who was sitting opposite her lem, who refuses to work. Is he one of the and not too far off, instantly covered with babies? Wonder if he is! William Mortihis foot. Ignorant of her loss, she went on boy is expected to prig. That's a devilish crying till the fit passed; and then, finishing bad beginning for William. William Mortioff the port, marched off to bed in rather a boy's companions are not, apparently, the corkscrew fashion. Dick, lifting his foot, heirs to anything—not even what the man picked up the letter and read it.
in the play calls a stainless name. Polly, It was a very odd epistle, and was dated I'm afraid you're a bad lot ! ...: Anyfrom some suburb of London of which he how, you might have paid the five bob knew nothing, called “Paragon-place, Gray's a-week out of all the money you've had in Inn-road."
the last four months. But we'll be even The orthography was that of a person im- with you. Only wait a bit, my young lady.” perfectly educated, and Dick deciphered it with some difficulty.
VIDOCQ AND FRENCH DETEC“MY DEER POLY"-it went—"escuse Me
TIVES. trubbbling you butt im hard up, haveing six of themm Cussed babies to look after and DETECTIVES and the detective system Heds of and what with methoosalem as -are not, perhaps, the pleasantest subjects wont wurk and bill as Wont Prig im most in the world to touch upon. But as criminals crasy with them you Owe me for six will continue to disturb society, and crime Munths which six Pound ten and hope as must be discovered and brought home to youll send me the munney sharp as Else | the guilty if possible, the detective is, to a