"Ah don't say that - it sounds as if I set you against them!"

"You do - the sight of you. It's all right; you know what I mean.

I shall be beautiful. I'll take their affairs in hand; I'll marry

my sisters."

"You'll marry yourself!" joked Pemberton; as high, rather tense

pleasantry would evidently be the right, or the safest, tone for

their separation.

It was, however, not purely in this strain that Morgan suddenly

asked: "But I say - how will you get to your jolly job? You'll

have to telegraph to the opulent youth for money to come on."

Pemberton bethought himself. "They won't like that, will they?"

"Oh look out for them!"

Then Pemberton brought out his remedy. "I'll go to the American

Consul; I'll borrow some money of him - just for the few days, on

the strength of the telegram."

Morgan was hilarious. "Show him the telegram - then collar the

money and stay!"

Pemberton entered into the joke sufficiently to reply that for

Morgan he was really capable of that; but the boy, growing more

serious, and to prove he hadn't meant what he said, not only

hurried him off to the Consulate - since he was to start that

evening, as he had wired to his friend - but made sure of their

affair by going with him. They splashed through the tortuous

perforations and over the humpbacked bridges, and they passed

through the Piazza, where they saw Mr. Moreen and Ulick go into a

jeweller's shop. The Consul proved accommodating - Pemberton said

it wasn't the letter, but Morgan's grand air - and on their way

back they went into Saint Mark's for a hushed ten minutes. Later

they took up and kept up the fun of it to the very end; and it

seemed to Pemberton a part of that fun that Mrs. Moreen, who was

very angry when he had announced her his intention, should charge

him, grotesquely and vulgarly and in reference to the loan she had

vainly endeavoured to effect, with bolting lest they should "get

something out" of him. On the other hand he had to do Mr. Moreen

and Ulick the justice to recognise that when on coming in they

heard the cruel news they took it like perfect men of the world.


When he got at work with the opulent youth, who was to be taken in

hand for Balliol, he found himself unable to say if this aspirant

had really such poor parts or if the appearance were only begotten

of his own long association with an intensely living little mind.

From Morgan he heard half a dozen times: the boy wrote charming

young letters, a patchwork of tongues, with indulgent postscripts

in the family Volapuk and, in little squares and rounds and

crannies of the text, the drollest illustrations - letters that he

was divided between the impulse to show his present charge as a

vain, a wasted incentive, and the sense of something in them that

publicity would profane. The opulent youth went up in due course

and failed to pass; but it seemed to add to the presumption that

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