Ezra Girdlestone is faces financial ruin and his only hope lies in the legacy bequeathed to his young ward John. Anxious to claim the money, Ezra plots the fellow's murder -- but young Kate Horston's suspicions get in the way...
steel bars. "Depend upon it, though, he feels this more than he shows. Why, it's the only friend he ever had in the world--or ever will have, in all probability. However, it's no business of mine," with which comforting reflection he began to whistle as he turned over the pages of the private day-book of the firm.
It is possible that his son's surmise was right, and that the gaunt, unemotional African merchant felt an unwonted heartache as he hailed a hansom and drove out to his friend's house at Fulham. He and Harston had been charity schoolboys together, had roughed it together, risen together, and prospered together. When John Girdlestone was a raw-boned lad and Harston a chubby-faced urchin, the latter had come to look upon the other as his champion and guide. There are some minds which are parasitic in their nature. Alone they have little vitality, but they love to settle upon some stronger intellect, from which they may borrow their emotions and conclusions at second-hand. A strong, vigorous bra
Essentially a Dickens novel. Long, full of many dilatory passages that don't really move the plot forward, an orphan, evil guardian, thwarted suitor, sweet innocent heiress, etc.
Goes to show how Dickens actually was good at what he did.
Quite a departure from the usual detective stories of Arthur Conan Doyle. However, still interesting enough to keep you turning the pages on your ebook reader.
Compare this with Balzac's Cesar Birotteau. Both books deal with the subject of impending bankruptcy, but the way in which their respective protagonists handle it, is completely different.