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CHAPTER XXI. CONCLUSION.




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THE last chapter of the work has now to be written, and it shall be short. Arabin recovered, and was soon able to ride about as well as before; his affairs prospered, and he was as comfortable as he could have expected. He was again residing in town.

About three months after the letter had arrived from Captain Thomson, his servant entered to say that a person waited to speak to him.

“Who may it be, Mary?” he inquired.

“I can't say, sir,” replied the girl, attempting to conceal a laugh. “He winked at me sir, and told me to excuse his game eye. I think he must be a sailor.”

“Show him in,” said Dr. Arabin sharply.

A person dressed in a Jim Crow cap and pea-jacket here rolled into the room. Arabin bowed with forced politeness, his usual practice towards strangers, and said, “What can I do for you, sir?”

“I am troubled with a consumption,” said the man.

Arabin stared; the person was the picture of robust health. His round mottled countenance had an expression of roguery, as he added, “It is a consumption of the finances, though.”

Dr. Arabin recognised in this sickly patient his former friend Captain Thomson, and he welcomed


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him back with great pleasure. After the usual compliments had passed, the Captain began to unburthen himself of his many mishaps.

“You see I was an ass to leave this here Colony upon any such scheme as trying to recover the property, without first finding out that it was to be recovered, and I have suffered for it by the loss of a great part of my property. The scamp, too, turned right round upon me, because I would not pay his passage back in the cabin. That's what one gets for being kind and obliging. Nothing like number one after all. But when I saw that I was wrong, I determined to make the most of what I had remaining. So you see it struck me that wool-bags would run high this year, and I invested my money in them. I knew I could not lose, as they are always saleable. I took my passage out in the steerage. When I arrived in Sydney, woolpacks happened to be scarce, and every person asked if any woolpacks had come. Mine was the only lot in the vessel, and all wished to buy. I sold to the best account possible, at 100 per cent premium. I had £500 invested, and just got my £1000 back, which I never expected to see. I don't care a fig now for any mortal man. I have had a voyage for nothing, but that is all over, and I will look before I leap next time.”

“I think” said Arabin, “you have managed to get very cleverly out of a scrape.”

“Yes, I am no Johnny Raw,” replied the other. “There are no paving-stones about my eyes.”

“And what are you going to do with the money?” inquired Arabin.




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“I hardly yet know; I must do the best I can with it: a thousand pounds will go some way in this Colony even now.”

The worthy old fellow remained to dinner, and amused all of them with accounts of his misfortunes and his adventures. He did not like England; his heart had been set upon coming out extensively when the money was recovered, and he could not brook the idea of remaining idle there. He allowed the Colonies were now the only field upon which he should figure, and that the profession at which he would amuse himself would be sheep-farming.

It happened that the station which had belonged to Willis was still in the market; to it the attention of Captain Thomson was directed. He found it might be made to answer his purpose, and he purchased it a very great bargain from the officers of the crown, who have the charge of intestate estates. Thus, after all his wanderings, he found himself once more comfortably settled within a few miles of his former station.

We do not know whether the example set him by Dr. Arabin was contagious, but in a few months afterwards he disappeared rather mysteriously for some weeks. When he returned, he was not single: he had grown tired of celibacy, and the hardships he had experienced in his voyage had imbued him with a desire for comfort. A nice little woman, whom he had wooed and won, graced his fireside. As neighbours, this couple were liked, notwithstanding some of the Captain's eccentric whims. The Butlers, the Arabins, and the Thomsons were upon the best and


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most intimate terms, and contributed not a little towards the happiness of each other.

And now our history is at an end. We take leave of all our friends who have figured in these pages. To enter into a detail of their domestic felicity would be but to tire our readers. We could not endure to be deemed tedious, and we bring our tale here to a conclusion, without any further apology.

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