quite forgotten the terms—if “terms” they could be called—that he had

ended by accepting from herself; they had burdened her memory as little

as her conscience. “Oh yes, I see what you mean—you’ve been very nice

about that; but why drag it in so often?” She had been perfectly urbane

with him ever since the rough scene of explanation in his room the

morning he made her accept _his_ “terms”—the necessity of his making his

case known to Morgan. She had felt no resentment after seeing there was

no danger Morgan would take the matter up with her. Indeed, attributing

this immunity to the good taste of his influence with the boy, she had

once said to Pemberton “My dear fellow, it’s an immense comfort you’re a

gentleman.” She repeated this in substance now. “Of course you’re a

gentleman—that’s a bother the less!” Pemberton reminded her that he had

not “dragged in” anything that wasn’t already in as much as his foot was

in his shoe; and she also repeated her prayer that, somewhere and

somehow, he would find her sixty francs. He took the liberty of hinting

that if he could find them it wouldn’t be to lend them to _her_—as to

which he consciously did himself injustice, knowing that if he had them

he would certainly put them at her disposal. He accused himself, at

bottom and not unveraciously, of a fantastic, a demoralised sympathy with

her. If misery made strange bedfellows it also made strange sympathies.

It was moreover a part of the abasement of living with such people that

one had to make vulgar retorts, quite out of one’s own tradition of good

manners. “Morgan, Morgan, to what pass have I come for you?” he groaned

while Mrs. Moreen floated voluminously down the sala again to liberate

the boy, wailing as she went that everything was too odious.

Before their young friend was liberated there came a thump at the door

communicating with the staircase, followed by the apparition of a

dripping youth who poked in his head. Pemberton recognised him as the

bearer of a telegram and recognised the telegram as addressed to himself.

Morgan came back as, after glancing at the signature—that of a relative

in London—he was reading the words: “Found a jolly job for you,

engagement to coach opulent youth on own terms. Come at once.” The

answer happily was paid and the messenger waited. Morgan, who had drawn

near, waited too and looked hard at Pemberton; and Pemberton, after a

moment, having met his look, handed him the telegram. It was really by

wise looks—they knew each other so well now—that, while the

telegraph-boy, in his waterproof cape, made a great puddle on the floor,

the thing was settled between them. Pemberton wrote the answer with a

pencil against the frescoed wall, and the messenger departed. When he

had gone the young man explained himself.

“I’ll make a tremendous charge; I’ll earn a lot of money in a short time,

(C) 2013