curiosities, Lord Dorrington carried himself as a man of the world;

wondering too whether, for such services, his companions took a fee

from him. The autumn at any rate waned, the Dorringtons departed,

and Lord Verschoyle, the eldest son, had proposed neither for Amy

nor for Paula.

One sad November day, while the wind roared round the old palace

and the rain lashed the lagoon, Pemberton, for exercise and even

somewhat for warmth - the Moreens were horribly frugal about fires;

it was a cause of suffering to their inmate - walked up and down

the big bare sala with his pupil. The scagliola floor was cold,

the high battered casements shook in the storm, and the stately

decay of the place was unrelieved by a particle of furniture.

Pemberton's spirits were low, and it came over him that the fortune

of the Moreens was now even lower. A blast of desolation, a

portent of disgrace and disaster, seemed to draw through the

comfortless hall. Mr. Moreen and Ulick were in the Piazza, looking

out for something, strolling drearily, in mackintoshes, under the

arcades; but still, in spite of mackintoshes, unmistakeable men of

the world. Paula and Amy were in bed - it might have been thought

they were staying there to keep warm. Pemberton looked askance at

the boy at his side, to see to what extent he was conscious of

these dark omens. But Morgan, luckily for him, was now mainly

conscious of growing taller and stronger and indeed of being in his

fifteenth year. This fact was intensely interesting to him and the

basis of a private theory - which, however, he had imparted to his

tutor - that in a little while he should stand on his own feet. He

considered that the situation would change - that in short he

should be "finished," grown up, producible in the world of affairs

and ready to prove himself of sterling ability. Sharply as he was

capable at times of analysing, as he called it, his life, there

were happy hours when he remained, as he also called it - and as

the name, really, of their right ideal - "jolly" superficial; the

proof of which was his fundamental assumption that he should

presently go to Oxford, to Pemberton's college, and, aided and

abetted by Pemberton, do the most wonderful things. It depressed

the young man to see how little in such a project he took account

of ways and means: in other connexions he mostly kept to the

measure. Pemberton tried to imagine the Moreens at Oxford and

fortunately failed; yet unless they were to adopt it as a residence

there would be no modus vivendi for Morgan. How could he live

without an allowance, and where was the allowance to come from?

He, Pemberton, might live on Morgan; but how could Morgan live on

HIM? What was to become of him anyhow? Somehow the fact that he

was a big boy now, with better prospects of health, made the

question of his future more difficult. So long as he was markedly

frail the great consideration he inspired seemed enough of an

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