Moreen.

"I think he ought to. I make sacrifices for him. Though I've

heard of those YOU make I don't see them."

Mrs. Moreen stared a moment; then with emotion she grasped her

inmate's hand. "WILL you make it - the sacrifice?"

He burst out laughing. "I'll see. I'll do what I can. I'll stay

a little longer. Your calculation's just - I DO hate intensely to

give him up; I'm fond of him and he thoroughly interests me, in

spite of the inconvenience I suffer. You know my situation

perfectly. I haven't a penny in the world and, occupied as you see

me with Morgan, am unable to earn money."

Mrs. Moreen tapped her undressed arm with her folded bank-note.

"Can't you write articles? Can't you translate as I do?"

"I don't know about translating; it's wretchedly paid."

"I'm glad to earn what I can," said Mrs. Moreen with prodigious

virtue.

"You ought to tell me who you do it for." Pemberton paused a

moment, and she said nothing; so he added: "I've tried to turn off

some little sketches, but the magazines won't have them - they're

declined with thanks."

"You see then you're not such a phoenix," his visitor pointedly

smiled - "to pretend to abilities you're sacrificing for our sake."

"I haven't time to do things properly," he ruefully went on. Then

as it came over him that he was almost abjectly good-natured to

give these explanations he added: "If I stay on longer it must be

on one condition - that Morgan shall know distinctly on what

footing I am."

Mrs. Moreen demurred. "Surely you don't want to show off to a

child?"

"To show YOU off, do you mean?"

Again she cast about, but this time it was to produce a still finer

flower. "And YOU talk of blackmail!"

"You can easily prevent it," said Pemberton.

"And YOU talk of practising on fears," she bravely pushed on.

"Yes, there's no doubt I'm a great scoundrel."

His patroness met his eyes - it was clear she was in straits. Then

she thrust out her money at him. "Mr. Moreen desired me to give

you this on account."

"I'm much obliged to Mr. Moreen, but we HAVE no account."

"You won't take it?"

"That leaves me more free," said Pemberton.

"To poison my darling's mind?" groaned Mrs. Moreen.

"Oh your darling's mind -!" the young man laughed.

She fixed him a moment, and he thought she was going to break out

tormentedly, pleadingly: "For God's sake, tell me what IS in it!"

But she checked this impulse - another was stronger. She pocketed

the money - the crudity of the alternative was comical - and swept

out of the room with the desperate concession: "You may tell him

any horror you like!"

CHAPTER VI

A couple of days after this, during which he had failed to profit

by so free a permission, he had been for a quarter of an hour

walking with his charge in silence when the boy became sociable

again with the remark: "I'll tell you how I know it; I know it

Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>
(C) 2013 Как раскрутить сайт навсегда