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Chapter 36: IS A VERY SHORT ONE, AND MAY APPEAR OF NO GREAT IMPORTANCE IN ITS PLACE, BUT IT SHOULD BE READ NOTWITHSTANDING, AS A SEQUEL TO THE LAST, AND A KEY TO ONE THAT WILL FOLLOW WHEN ITS TIME ARRIVES (continued)
Harry Maylie looked as if he could have followed up this short dialogue by one or two remarks that would have staggered the doctor not a little; but he contented himself with saying, 'We shall see,' and pursued the subject no farther. The post-chaise drove up to the door shortly afterwards; and Giles coming in for the luggage, the good doctor bustled out, to see it packed.
'Oliver,' said Harry Maylie, in a low voice, 'let me speak a word with you.'
Oliver walked into the window-recess to which Mr. Maylie beckoned him; much surprised at the mixture of sadness and boisterous spirits, which his whole behaviour displayed.
'You can write well now?' said Harry, laying his hand upon his arm.
'I hope so, sir,' replied Oliver.
'I shall not be at home again, perhaps for some time; I wish you would write to me--say once a fort-night: every alternate Monday: to the General Post Office in London. Will you?'
'Oh! certainly, sir; I shall be proud to do it,' exclaimed Oliver, greatly delighted with the commission.
'I should like to know how--how my mother and Miss Maylie are,' said the young man; 'and you can fill up a sheet by telling me what walks you take, and what you talk about, and whether she--they, I mean--seem happy and quite well. You understand me?'
'Oh! quite, sir, quite,' replied Oliver.
'I would rather you did not mention it to them,' said Harry, hurrying over his words; 'because it might make my mother anxious to write to me oftener, and it is a trouble and worry to her. Let is be a secret between you and me; and mind you tell me everything! I depend upon you.'
Oliver, quite elated and honoured by a sense of his importance, faithfully promised to be secret and explicit in his communications. Mr. Maylie took leave of him, with many assurances of his regard and protection.
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