Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a foundling

5. Chapter v. In which the history is continued. (continued)

"What lawyer, madam? what is it you mean?" said Allworthy. "Nay, nay," said she, "this is so like you to deny your own goodness: but Mr Nightingale here saw him." "Saw whom, madam?" answered he. "Why, your lawyer, sir," said she, "that you so kindly sent to enquire into the affair." "I am still in the dark, upon my honour," said Allworthy. "Why then do you tell him, my dear sir," cries she. "Indeed, sir," said Nightingale, "I did see that very lawyer who went from you when I came into the room, at an alehouse in Aldersgate, in company with two of the fellows who were employed by Lord Fellamar to press Mr Jones, and who were by that means present at the unhappy rencounter between him and Mr Fitzpatrick." "I own, sir," said Mrs Miller, "when I saw this gentleman come into the room to you, I told Mr Nightingale that I apprehended you had sent him thither to inquire into the affair." Allworthy shewed marks of astonishment in his countenance at this news, and was indeed for two or three minutes struck dumb by it. At last, addressing himself to Mr Nightingale, he said, "I must confess myself, sir, more surprized at what you tell me than I have ever been before at anything in my whole life. Are you certain this was the gentleman?" "I am most certain," answered Nightingale. "At Aldersgate?" cries Allworthy. "And was you in company with this lawyer and the two fellows?"--"I was, sir," said the other, "very near half an hour." "Well, sir," said Allworthy, "and in what manner did the lawyer behave? did you hear all that past between him and the fellows?" "No, sir," answered Nightingale, "they had been together before I came.--In my presence the lawyer said little; but, after I had several times examined the fellows, who persisted in a story directly contrary to what I had heard from Mr Jones, and which I find by Mr Fitzpatrick was a rank falshood, the lawyer then desired the fellows to say nothing but what was the truth, and seemed to speak so much in favour of Mr Jones, that, when I saw the same person with you, I concluded your goodness had prompted you to send him thither."--"And did you not send him thither?" says Mrs Miller.--"Indeed I did not," answered Allworthy; "nor did I know he had gone on such an errand till this moment."--"I see it all!" said Mrs Miller, "upon my soul, I see it all! No wonder they have been closeted so close lately. Son Nightingale, let me beg you run for these fellows immediately----find them out if they are above-ground. I will go myself"--"Dear madam," said Allworthy, "be patient, and do me the favour to send a servant upstairs to call Mr Dowling hither, if he be in the house, or, if not, Mr Blifil." Mrs Miller went out muttering something to herself, and presently returned with an answer, "That Mr Dowling was gone; but that the t'other," as she called him, "was coming."

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