self as if I was cruel in going to be married and not helping you. It ain't kind. Now, is it kind, Poor Thing?"
"Sally! Hear me, my dear. My entreaty is for no help in the future. It applies to what is past. It is only to be told in two words."
"There! This is worse and worse," cries Sally, "supposing that I understand what two words you mean."
"You do understand. What are the names they have given my poor baby? I ask no more than that. I have read of the customs of the place. He has been christened in the chapel, and registered by some surname in the book. He was received last Monday evening. What have they called him?"
Down upon her knees in the foul mud of the by-way into which they have strayed--an empty street without a thoroughfare giving on the dark gardens of the Hospital--the lady would drop in her passionate entreaty, but that Sally prevents her.
"Don't! Don't! You make me feel as if I was setting myself up to be good. Let me look in your pretty face again. Put yo
This excellent collaboration between two great 19th-century writers shows all of Dickens' talent for description and characterization and all of Collins' skill at creating suspense.
Walter Wilding, left at a foundlings' hospital as an infant by his distressed mother and recovered by her as an adolescent, is
profoundly disturbed to discover that he is the wrong Walter Wilding, and his beloved mother wasn't his mother at all. Accordingly, he wills her legacy to the correct Walter Wilding, if he can be found.
His partner and executor, George Vendale, inherits the quest, but holds it lightly, until he falls in love, becomes entangled with a serious crime and goes on a desperate journey.
As a romance, this novel is fairly tame; as a crime story, it foreshadows the procedural, yet its ending still comes as a surprise.