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80                          JGBMOIES OP JOSEPH GEIMALDI.

which it was made, it was obvious to him that some one had
endeavoured to injure him in that gentleman's opinion; and
.fortunately chancing to have in his pocket-book the letters he
had received from Mr. Cross, and copies of Ms own replies, he
lost no time in clearing himself of the charge.

" My dear sir," he said, " I do not know Mr. Cross personally,
hut very well as a correspondent, inasmuch as he has repeatedly
written, offering engagements to me, all of wMch I have de-
dined;" and he placed the papers before Mm.

The perusal of these letters seemed to satisfy Mr. Hughes,
Tpfao returned them, and said smilingly, " Well then, we'll talk
about a fresh engagement here, as you prefer old quarters, Let
me see: your salary is now four pounds per week:ówell, I will
engage you for three seasons, and the terms shall be these: for
the first season, six pounds per week; for the second, seven; and
for the third, eight. "Will that do ?"

He readily agreed to a proposition wMoh, handsome in itself,
greatly exceeded anything he had anticipated. As Mr. Hughes
seemed anxious to have the affair settled, and Grimaldi was
perfectly content that it should he, two witnesses were sent for,
and the articles were drawn up, and signed upon the spot.

Then again they were left alone, and after a few moments
more of desultory conversation, Mr. Hughes rose, saying, " I
shall see you, I suppose, in the evening, as I am going to J)rury
Lane to see Blue Beard." He advanced towards the door as he
spoke, and then suddenly turning round, added, "Have you
aayMng else to say to me ?"

How was the time, or never. Screwing Ms courage to the
stieking-place, Gbrimaldi proceeded to place before Mr. Hughes
Ms hopes and prospects, strongly urging that Ms own happiness
and that of his daughter depended upon Ms consent being given
to their marriage.

Mr. Hughes had thought over the subject well, and displayed
by no means that displeasure wMch the young man's anxiousg instantly to bed, he remained sound asleep for severaldler's Wells, where the late Mrs. Cawse was also an actress.