conscious of a democratic brotherhood. If Pemberton couldn’t feel a

sympathy in destitution with his small companion—for after all Morgan’s

fond parents would never have let him really suffer—the boy would at

least feel it with him, so it came to the same thing. He used sometimes

to wonder what people would think they were—to fancy they were looked

askance at, as if it might be a suspected case of kidnapping. Morgan

wouldn’t be taken for a young patrician with a preceptor—he wasn’t smart

enough; though he might pass for his companion’s sickly little brother.

Now and then he had a five-franc piece, and except once, when they bought

a couple of lovely neckties, one of which he made Pemberton accept, they

laid it out scientifically in old books. This was sure to be a great

day, always spent on the quays, in a rummage of the dusty boxes that

garnish the parapets. Such occasions helped them to live, for their

books ran low very soon after the beginning of their acquaintance.

Pemberton had a good many in England, but he was obliged to write to a

friend and ask him kindly to get some fellow to give him something for


If they had to relinquish that summer the advantage of the bracing

climate the young man couldn’t but suspect this failure of the cup when

at their very lips to have been the effect of a rude jostle of his own.

This had represented his first blow-out, as he called it, with his

patrons; his first successful attempt—though there was little other

success about it—to bring them to a consideration of his impossible

position. As the ostensible eve of a costly journey the moment had

struck him as favourable to an earnest protest, the presentation of an

ultimatum. Ridiculous as it sounded, he had never yet been able to

compass an uninterrupted private interview with the elder pair or with

either of them singly. They were always flanked by their elder children,

and poor Pemberton usually had his own little charge at his side. He was

conscious of its being a house in which the surface of one’s delicacy got

rather smudged; nevertheless he had preserved the bloom of his scruple

against announcing to Mr. and Mrs. Moreen with publicity that he

shouldn’t be able to go on longer without a little money. He was still

simple enough to suppose Ulick and Paula and Amy might not know that

since his arrival he had only had a hundred and forty francs; and he was

magnanimous enough to wish not to compromise their parents in their eyes.

Mr. Moreen now listened to him, as he listened to every one and to every

thing, like a man of the world, and seemed to appeal to him—though not of

course too grossly—to try and be a little more of one himself. Pemberton

recognised in fact the importance of the character—from the advantage it

gave Mr. Moreen. He was not even confused or embarrassed, whereas the

young man in his service was more so than there was any reason for.

(C) 2013