p>"Your obedient servants,
"Gearns & Baker.
"To the Rev. Reginald Lindo, M.A."
The barrister read this letter with even greater surprise than seemed natural, and, when he had done, looked at his companion with wondering eyes. "Claversham!" he ejaculated. "Why, I know it well!"
"Do you? I have never heard you mention it."
"I knew old Williams!" Jack continued, still in amaze. "Knew him well, and heard of his death, but little thought you were likely to succeed him. My dear fellow, it is a wonderful piece of good fortune! Wonderful! I shake you by the hand! I congratulate you heartily! But how did you come to know the high and mighty earl? Unbosom yourself, my dear boy!"
"I do not know him--do not know him from Adam!" replied the young clergyman gravely.
"You don't mean it?"
"I do. I have never seen him in my life."
Jack Smith whistled. "Are you sure it is not a hoax?" he said, with a serious face.
"I think not," the rector-elect replied.