in Paris they dropped into a small furnished apartment—a fourth floor in

a third-rate avenue, where there was a smell on the staircase and the

portier was hateful—and passed the next four months in blank indigence.

The better part of this baffled sojourn was for the preceptor and his

pupil, who, visiting the Invalides and Notre Dame, the Conciergerie and

all the museums, took a hundred remunerative rambles. They learned to

know their Paris, which was useful, for they came back another year for a

longer stay, the general character of which in Pemberton’s memory to-day

mixes pitiably and confusedly with that of the first. He sees Morgan’s

shabby knickerbockers—the everlasting pair that didn’t match his blouse

and that as he grew longer could only grow faded. He remembers the

particular holes in his three or four pair of coloured stockings.

Morgan was dear to his mother, but he never was better dressed than was

absolutely necessary—partly, no doubt, by his own fault, for he was as

indifferent to his appearance as a German philosopher. “My dear fellow,

you _are_ coming to pieces,” Pemberton would say to him in sceptical

remonstrance; to which the child would reply, looking at him serenely up

and down: “My dear fellow, so are you! I don’t want to cast you in the

shade.” Pemberton could have no rejoinder for this—the assertion so

closely represented the fact. If however the deficiencies of his own

wardrobe were a chapter by themselves he didn’t like his little charge to

look too poor. Later he used to say “Well, if we’re poor, why, after

all, shouldn’t we look it?” and he consoled himself with thinking there

was something rather elderly and gentlemanly in Morgan’s disrepair—it

differed from the untidiness of the urchin who plays and spoils his

things. He could trace perfectly the degrees by which, in proportion as

her little son confined himself to his tutor for society, Mrs. Moreen

shrewdly forbore to renew his garments. She did nothing that didn’t

show, neglected him because he escaped notice, and then, as he

illustrated this clever policy, discouraged at home his public

appearances. Her position was logical enough—those members of her family

who did show had to be showy.

During this period and several others Pemberton was quite aware of how he

and his comrade might strike people; wandering languidly through the

Jardin des Plantes as if they had nowhere to go, sitting on the winter

days in the galleries of the Louvre, so splendidly ironical to the

homeless, as if for the advantage of the calorifère. They joked about it

sometimes: it was the sort of joke that was perfectly within the boy’s

compass. They figured themselves as part of the vast vague hand-to-mouth

multitude of the enormous city and pretended they were proud of their

position in it—it showed them “such a lot of life” and made them

(C) 2013