Wylie soon entered Nancy's house, and her first question was, "The 2,000 pounds, how did you get them?"
"No matter how I got them," said Wylie, sulkily. "What have you done with them?"
"That is all right. I'm blest if I didn't think they were gone forever."
"I wish they had never come. Ill-gotten money is a curse." Then she taxed him with scuttling the _Proserpine,_ and asked him whether that money had not been the bribe. But Joe was obdurate. "I never split on a friend," said he. "And you have nobody to blame but yourself, you wouldn't splice without 2,000 pounds. I loved you, and I got it how I could. D'ye think a poor fellow like me can make 2,000 pounds in a voyage by hauling in ropes, and tying true-lovers' knots in the foretop?"
Nancy had her answer ready, but this remembrance pricked her own conscience and paved the way to a reconciliation. Nancy had no high-flown notions. She loved money, but it must be got without palpable dishonesty; _per contra,_ she was not going to denounce her sweetheart, but then again she would not marry him so long as he differed with her about the meaning of the eighth commandment.
This led to many arguments, some of them warm, some affectionate; and so we leave Mr. Wylie under the slow but salutary influence of love and unpretending probity. He continued to lodge next door. Nancy would only receive him as a visitor.
HELEN had complained to Arthur, of all people, that she was watched and followed; she even asked him whether that was not the act of some enemy. Arthur smiled, and said: "Take my word for it, it is only some foolish admirer of your beauty; he wants to know your habits, in hopes of falling in with you; you had better let me go out with you for the next month or so; that sort of thing will soon die away."
As a necessary consequence of this injudicious revelation, Helen was watched with greater skill and subtlety, and upon a plan well calculated to disarm suspicion; a spy watched the door, and by a signal unintelligible to any but his confederate, whom Helen could not possibly see, set the latter on her track. They kept this game up unobserved for several days, but learned nothing, for Helen was at a standstill. At last they got caught, and by a truly feminine stroke of observation. A showily dressed man peeped into a shop where Helen was buying gloves.