"Zenobie? Who in the world is SHE?"
"A nurse I used to have - ever so many years ago. A charming
woman. I liked her awfully, and she liked me."
"There's no accounting for tastes. What is it you know through
"Why what their idea is. She went away because they didn't fork
out. She did like me awfully, and she stayed two years. She told
me all about it - that at last she could never get her wages. As
soon as they saw how much she liked me they stopped giving her
anything. They thought she'd stay for nothing - just BECAUSE,
don't you know?" And Morgan had a queer little conscious lucid
look. "She did stay ever so long - as long an she could. She was
only a poor girl. She used to send money to her mother. At last
she couldn't afford it any longer, and went away in a fearful rage
one night - I mean of course in a rage against THEM. She cried
over me tremendously, she hugged me nearly to death. She told me
all about it," the boy repeated. "She told me it was their idea.
So I guessed, ever so long ago, that they have had the same idea
"Zenobie was very sharp," said Pemberton. "And she made you so."
"Oh that wasn't Zenobie; that was nature. And experience!" Morgan
"Well, Zenobie was a part of your experience."
"Certainly I was a part of hers, poor dear!" the boy wisely sighed.
"And I'm part of yours."
"A very important part. But I don't see how you know that I've
been treated like Zenobie."
"Do you take me for the biggest dunce you've known?" Morgan asked.
"Haven't I been conscious of what we've been through together?"
"What we've been through?"
"Our privations - our dark days."
"Oh our days have been bright enough."
Morgan went on in silence for a moment. Then he said: "My dear
chap, you're a hero!"
"Well, you're another!" Pemberton retorted.
"No I'm not, but I ain't a baby. I won't stand it any longer. You
must get some occupation that pays. I'm ashamed, I'm ashamed!"
quavered the boy with a ring of passion, like some high silver note
from a small cathedral cloister, that deeply touched his friend.
"We ought to go off and live somewhere together," the young man
"I'll go like a shot if you'll take me."
"I'd get some work that would keep us both afloat," Pemberton
"So would I. Why shouldn't I work? I ain't such a beastly little
muff as that comes to."
"The difficulty is that your parents wouldn't hear of it. They'd
never part with you; they worship the ground you tread on. Don't
you see the proof of it?" Pemberton developed. "They don't dislike
me; they wish me no harm; they're very amiable people; but they're
perfectly ready to expose me to any awkwardness in life for your
The silence in which Morgan received his fond sophistry struck
Pemberton somehow as expressive. After a moment the childDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>