brilliancy was not expected of him all at once that his parents,
condoning the lapse, which they good-naturedly treated as little as
possible as if it were Pemberton's, should have sounded the rally
again, begged the young coach to renew the siege.
The young coach was now in a position to lend Mrs. Moreen three
louis, and he sent her a post-office order even for a larger
amount. In return for this favour he received a frantic scribbled
line from her: "Implore you to come back instantly - Morgan dread
fully ill." They were on there rebound, once more in Paris - often
as Pemberton had seen them depressed he had never seen them crushed
- and communication was therefore rapid. He wrote to the boy to
ascertain the state of his health, but awaited the answer in vain.
He accordingly, after three days, took an abrupt leave of the
opulent youth and, crossing the Channel, alighted at the small
hotel, in the quarter of the Champs Elysees, of which Mrs. Moreen
had given him the address. A deep if dumb dissatisfaction with
this lady and her companions bore him company: they couldn't be
vulgarly honest, but they could live at hotels, in velvety
entresols, amid a smell of burnt pastilles, surrounded by the most
expensive city in Europe. When he had left them in Venice it was
with an irrepressible suspicion that something was going to happen;
but the only thing that could have taken place was again their
masterly retreat. "How is he? where is he?" he asked of Mrs.
Moreen; but before she could speak these questions were answered by
the pressure round hid neck of a pair of arms, in shrunken sleeves,
which still were perfectly capable of an effusive young foreign
"Dreadfully ill - I don't see it!" the young man cried. And then
to Morgan: "Why on earth didn't you relieve me? Why didn't you
answer my letter?"
Mrs. Moreen declared that when she wrote he was very bad, and
Pemberton learned at the same time from the boy that he had
answered every letter he had received. This led to the clear
inference that Pemberton's note had been kept from him so that the
game practised should not be interfered with. Mrs. Moreen was
prepared to see the fact exposed, as Pemberton saw the moment he
faced her that she was prepared for a good many other things. She
was prepared above all to maintain that she had acted from a sense
of duty, that she was enchanted she had got him over, whatever they
might say, and that it was useless of him to pretend he didn't know
in all his bones that his place at such a time was with Morgan. He
had taken the boy away from them and now had no right to abandon
him. He had created for himself the gravest responsibilities and
must at least abide by what he had done.
"Taken him away from you?" Pemberton exclaimed indignantly.
"Do it - do it for pity's sake; that's just what I want. I can't
stand THIS - and such scenes. They're awful frauds - poor dears!"Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>