144 MEHOIES OF JOSEPH GBIMALDI.
there after he had left them. She insisted that Gfrimaldi, •who
was tired, should go to bed, while she sat up and waited for her
son. He did so, and the mother remained all through the long
night anxiously expecting his arrival.
This may appear a long story, but its conclusion invests it
with a degree of interest which warrants the detail. The
running away to sea of a young man, and his return after a
lapse of years, is, and ever has been, no novelty in this island.
This is not the burden of the tale. It possessed an awful interest
to those whom it immediately concerned, and cannot fail to have
some for the most indifferent reader.
From that night in November, 1803, to this month of January,
1838, the missing man was never seen again ; nor was any intel-
ligence, or any clue of the faintest or most remote description,
ever obtained by his Mends respecting him.
Next morning, and many mornings afterwards, the mother
still anxioTisly and hopelessly expected the arrival of her son.
Again and again did she question Grimaldi aboiit him—his ap-
pearance, Ms manner, what he said, and all the details of his
disappearance; again and again was every minute fact recalled,
and every possible conjecture hazarded relative to his fate. He
could scarcely persuade Mmself but that the events of the pre-
ceding night were a delusion of his brain, until the inquiries
after Ms brother, wMch were made by those who had seen him
on the previous night, placed them beyond all doubt. He com-
municated to Ms friends the strange Mstory of the last few
hours, with all the circumstances of his brother's sudden appear-
ance, and of Ms equally sudden disappearance. He was ad-
vised to wait a little while before he made the circumstance
public, in the hope that he might have been induced to spend
the night with some sMpmates, and might speedily return.
But a week passed away, and then further silence would have
been criminal, and he proceeded to set on foot every inquiry
wMch his own mind could suggest, or the kindness of Ms Mends to finish the scene, in the