and we’ll live on it.”

“Well, I hope the opulent youth will be a dismal dunce—he probably will—”

Morgan parenthesised—“and keep you a long time a-hammering of it in.”

“Of course the longer he keeps me the more we shall have for our old


“But suppose _they_ don’t pay you!” Morgan awfully suggested.

“Oh there are not two such—!” But Pemberton pulled up; he had been on

the point of using too invidious a term. Instead of this he said “Two

such fatalities.”

Morgan flushed—the tears came to his eyes. “Dites toujours two such

rascally crews!” Then in a different tone he added: “Happy opulent


“Not if he’s a dismal dunce.”

“Oh they’re happier then. But you can’t have everything, can you?” the

boy smiled.

Pemberton held him fast, hands on his shoulders—he had never loved him

so. “What will become of you, what will you do?” He thought of Mrs.

Moreen, desperate for sixty francs.

“I shall become an homme fait.” And then as if he recognised all the

bearings of Pemberton’s allusion: “I shall get on with them better when

you’re not here.”

“Ah don’t say that—it sounds as if I set you against them!”

“You do—the sight of you. It’s all right; you know what I mean. I shall

be beautiful. I’ll take their affairs in hand; I’ll marry my sisters.”

“You’ll marry yourself!” joked Pemberton; as high, rather tense

pleasantry would evidently be the right, or the safest, tone for their


It was, however, not purely in this strain that Morgan suddenly asked:

“But I say—how will you get to your jolly job? You’ll have to telegraph

to the opulent youth for money to come on.”

Pemberton bethought himself. “They won’t like that, will they?”

“Oh look out for them!”

Then Pemberton brought out his remedy. “I’ll go to the American Consul;

I’ll borrow some money of him—just for the few days, on the strength of

the telegram.”

Morgan was hilarious. “Show him the telegram—then collar the money and


Pemberton entered into the joke sufficiently to reply that for Morgan he

was really capable of that; but the boy, growing more serious, and to

prove he hadn’t meant what he said, not only hurried him off to the

Consulate—since he was to start that evening, as he had wired to his

friend—but made sure of their affair by going with him. They splashed

through the tortuous perforations and over the humpbacked bridges, and

they passed through the Piazza, where they saw Mr. Moreen and Ulick go

into a jeweller’s shop. The Consul proved accommodating—Pemberton said

it wasn’t the letter, but Morgan’s grand air—and on their way back they

went into Saint Mark’s for a hushed ten minutes. Later they took up and

kept up the fun of it to the very end; and it seemed to Pemberton a part

(C) 2013