AMONGST the packet of letters which Robert Audley had found in George's trunk, there was one labelled with the name of the missing man's father--the father, who had never been too indulgent a friend to his only son, and who had gladly availed himself of the excuse afforded by George's imprudent marriage to abandon the young man to his own resources. Robert Audley had never seen Mr. Harcourt Tal boys; but George's careless talk of his father had given his friend some notion of that gentleman's character. He had written to Mr. Talboys immediately after the disappearance of George, carefully wording his letter, which vaguely hinted at the writer's fear of some foul play in the mysterious business; and after the lapse of several weeks, he had received a formal epistle, in which Mr. Harcourt Talboys expressly declared that he had washed his hands of all responsibility in his son George's affairs upon the young man's weddingday; and that his absurd disappearance was only in character with his preposterous marriage. The writer of this fatherly letter added in a postscript that if Mr. George Talboys had any low design of alarming his friends by this pretended disappearance, and thereby playing on their feelings with a view to pecuniary advantage, he was most egregiously deceived in the character of those persons with whom he had to deal.
Robert Audley had answered this letter by a few indignant lines, informing Mr. Talboys that his son was scarcely likely to hide himself for the furtherance of any deep-laid design on the pockets of his relatives, as he had left twenty thousand pounds in his bankers' hands at the time of his disappearance. After despatching this letter, Robert had abandoned all thought of assistance from the man who, in the natural course of things, should have been most interested in George's fate; but now that he found himself advancing every day some step
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Publication information: Book title: Lady Audley's Secret. Contributors: Mary Elizabeth Braddon - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 160.
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