The address in my possession led me to some "livery stables," about a quarter of a mile distant from Forest Road. The proprietor proved to be a civil and respectable man. When I explained that an important family matter obliged me to ask him to refer to his books, for the purpose of ascertaining a date with which the record of his business transactions might supply me, he offered no objection to granting my request. The book was produced; and there, under the date of "July 26th, 1850," the order was entered in these words:
"Brougham to Count Fosco, 5, Forest Road. Two o'clock. (John Owen)."
I found, on inquiry, that the name of "John Owen," attached to the entry, referred to the man who had been employed to drive the fly. He was then at work in the stable-yard, and was sent for to see me, at my request.
"Do you remember driving a gentleman, in the month of July last, from Number Five, Forest Road, to the Waterloo Bridge station?" I asked.
"Well, sir," said the man; "I can't exactly say I do."
"Perhaps you remember the gentleman himself? Can you call to mind driving a foreigner, last summer—a tall gentleman, and remarkably fat?"
The man's face brightened directly. "I remember him, sir! The fattest gentleman as ever I see—and the heaviest customer as ever I drove. Yes, yes—I call him to mind, sir. We did go to the station, and it was from Forest Road. There was a parrot, or summat like it, screeching in the window. The gentleman was in a mortal hurry about the lady's luggage; and he give me a handsome present for looking sharp and getting the boxes."
Getting the boxes! I recollected immediately that Laura's own account of herself on her arrival in London, described her luggage as being collected for her by some person whom Count Fosco brought with him to the station. This was the man.
"Did you see the lady?" I asked. "What did she look like? Was she young or old?"
"Well, sir, what with the hurry and the crowd of people pushing about, I can't rightly say what the lady looked like. I can't call nothing to mind about her that I know of—excepting her name."
"You remember her name!"
"Yes, sir. Her name was Lady Glyde."
"How do you come to remember that, when you have forgotten what she looked like?"