For the first time, in this complicated connexion, our friend felt

his collar gall him. It was, as he had said to Mrs. Moreen in

Venice, trop fort - everything was trop fort. He could neither

really throw off his blighting burden nor find in it the benefit of

a pacified conscience or of a rewarded affection. He had spent all

the money accruing to him in England, and he saw his youth going

and that he was getting nothing back for it. It was all very well

of Morgan to count it for reparation that he should now settle on

him permanently - there was an irritating flaw in such a view. He

saw what the boy had in his mind; the conception that as his friend

had had the generosity to come back he must show his gratitude by

giving him his life. But the poor friend didn't desire the gift -

what could he do with Morgan's dreadful little life? Of course at

the same time that Pemberton was irritated he remembered the

reason, which was very honourable to Morgan and which dwelt simply

in his making one so forget that he was no more than a patched

urchin. If one dealt with him on a different basis one's

misadventures were one's own fault. So Pemberton waited in a queer

confusion of yearning and alarm for the catastrophe which was held

to hang over the house of Moreen, of which he certainly at moments

felt the symptoms brush his cheek and as to which he wondered much

in what form it would find its liveliest effect.

Perhaps it would take the form of sudden dispersal - a frightened

sauve qui peut, a scuttling into selfish corners. Certainly they

were less elastic than of yore; they were evidently looking for

something they didn't find. The Dorringtons hadn't re-appeared,

the princes had scattered; wasn't that the beginning of the end?

Mrs. Moreen had lost her reckoning of the famous "days"; her social

calendar was blurred - it had turned its face to the wall.

Pemberton suspected that the great, the cruel discomfiture had been

the unspeakable behaviour of Mr. Granger, who seemed not to know

what he wanted, or, what was much worse, what they wanted. He kept

sending flowers, as if to bestrew the path of his retreat, which

was never the path of a return. Flowers were all very well, but -

Pemberton could complete the proposition. It was now positively

conspicuous that in the long run the Moreens were a social failure;

so that the young man was almost grateful the run had not been

short. Mr. Moreen indeed was still occasionally able to get away

on business and, what was more surprising, was likewise able to get

back. Ulick had no club but you couldn't have discovered it from

his appearance, which was as much as ever that of a person looking

at life from the window of such an institution; therefore Pemberton

was doubly surprised at an answer he once heard him make his mother

in the desperate tone of a man familiar with the worst privations.

Her question Pemberton had not quite caught; it appeared to be an

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