lighted back windows. He had simply given himself away to a band

of adventurers. The idea, the word itself, wore a romantic horror

for him - he had always lived on such safe lines. Later it assumed

a more interesting, almost a soothing, sense: it pointed a moral,

and Pemberton could enjoy a moral. The Moreens were adventurers

not merely because they didn't pay their debts, because they lived

on society, but because their whole view of life, dim and confused

and instinctive, like that of clever colour-blind animals, was

speculative and rapacious and mean. Oh they were "respectable,"

and that only made them more immondes. The young man's analysis,

while he brooded, put it at last very simply - they were

adventurers because they were toadies and snobs. That was the

completest account of them - it was the law of their being. Even

when this truth became vivid to their ingenious inmate he remained

unconscious of how much his mind had been prepared for it by the

extraordinary little boy who had now become such a complication in

his life. Much less could he then calculate on the information he

was still to owe the extraordinary little boy.


But it was during the ensuing time that the real problem came up -

the problem of how far it was excusable to discuss the turpitude of

parents with a child of twelve, of thirteen, of fourteen.

Absolutely inexcusable and quite impossible it of course at first

appeared; and indeed the question didn't press for some time after

Pemberton had received his three hundred francs. They produced a

temporary lull, a relief from the sharpest pressure. The young man

frugally amended his wardrobe and even had a few francs in his

pocket. He thought the Moreens looked at him as if he were almost

too smart, as if they ought to take care not to spoil him. If Mr.

Moreen hadn't been such a man of the world he would perhaps have

spoken of the freedom of such neckties on the part of a

subordinate. But Mr. Moreen was always enough a man of the world

to let things pass - he had certainly shown that. It was singular

how Pemberton guessed that Morgan, though saying nothing about it,

knew something had happened. But three hundred francs, especially

when one owed money, couldn't last for ever; and when the treasure

was gone - the boy knew when it had failed - Morgan did break

ground. The party had returned to Nice at the beginning of the

winter, but not to the charming villa. They went to an hotel,

where they stayed three months, and then moved to another

establishment, explaining that they had left the first because,

after waiting and waiting, they couldn't get the rooms they wanted.

These apartments, the rooms they wanted, were generally very

splendid; but fortunately they never COULD get them - fortunately,

I mean, for Pemberton, who reflected always that if they had got

them there would have been a still scantier educational fund. What

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