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8/7/2019 Suraj Data 1/42 Page 472 Bloated monster on his pedestal. And yet the pair were well encountered: on the on eside, bulk on the other, genuine heroic fire. Down you shall came, you great big ugly brute! Cried morris aloud, with something of that passion which swept the Parisian mob against the walls of the Bastille. Down you shall came this night. I II have name of you in my lobby, The face from its indecent expression, had particularly animated the real of our inconoclast; and it was against the face that he began his operations. The great height of the demigod for he stood a fatheam and half in his stocking feet offered a preliminary obstacle to this attack. But here, in the first skirmish of the battle, intellect already began to triumph over matter, By means of a pair of library steps, the injured harseh older gained aposture of advantage; and , with great swipes of the coal axe, proceeded to decapitate the brute. Two hours later, what had been the crect image of a gigantic coal porter turned miraculously white, was now no more than a medley of disjected members; the quadragenarian torso prone against the pede stal; the lascivious countenance leering down the kitchen stair; the legs, the arms, the hands, and even the fingers, scattered lroadcast on the lobby floor. Half on hour more, and all the delris had been laboriously carted to the kitchen; and Morries , with with a gentle sentiment of triumph, looked round upon the scene of his achievements, UYes, he could deny all knowledge of it now: the lobby, beyond the fact that it was partly ruinous, be trayed no trace of the passage of Hercules. But it was a ewary Marris that creptup to bed ; his arms and shoulders ached, the plams of his hands lerned fram the rough kisses of the coal once, and there was one smarting finger that stole

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Bloated monster on his pedestal. And yet the pair were well encountered:on the on eside, bulk on the other, genuine heroic fire.

Down you shall came, you great big ugly brute! Cried morris aloud, withsomething of that passion which swept the Parisian mob against the walls of the Bastille. Down you shall came this night. I II have name of you in mylobby, The face from its indecent expression, had particularly animated thereal of our inconoclast; and it was against the face that he began hisoperations. The great height of the demigod for he stood a fatheam and half

in his stocking feet offered a preliminary obstacle to this attack. But here, inthe first skirmish of the battle, intellect already began to triumph overmatter, By means of a pair of library steps, the injured harseh older gainedaposture of advantage; and , with great swipes of the coal axe, proceeded todecapitate the brute.

Two hours later, what had been the crect image of a gigantic coal porter

turned miraculously white, was now no more than a medley of disjectedmembers; the quadragenarian torso prone against the pede stal; thelascivious countenance leering down the kitchen stair; the legs, the arms,the hands, and even the fingers, scattered lroadcast on the lobby floor. Half on hour more, and all the delris had been laboriously carted to the kitchen;and Morries , with with a gentle sentiment of triumph, looked round uponthe scene of his achievements, UYes, he could deny all knowledge of it now:

the lobby, beyond the fact that it was partly ruinous, be trayed no trace of the passage of Hercules. But it was a ewary Marris that creptup to bed ; hisarms and shoulders ached, the plams of his hands lerned fram the roughkisses of the coal once, and there was one smarting finger that stole

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continually to his mouth. Sleep long delayed to visit the dilapidated hero,and with the first peep of day it had again de started him.

The mornig, as though to accord with his disastrous fortunes, downedinclemenfly. An easterly gole was shouting in the street; flows of rain angrilyassailed the windows; and as morris dressed, the dr draught from thefireplace vividly played about his legs. I think, he could nothelp observingbitterty, that with all I have to bear, they might have given me decentweather, There was no bread in the house, for Miss Hazel tine like all wanenleft to them selves ha dsubsisted entirely upon cake. But some of this wasfound, and along with what the poets call a glass of fair, cold water made upa semblance of a morning meal, and then doun he sat undauntedly to hisdelicate task.

Nothing can be more in tere sting than the study of signatures, written asthey are before meals and after, during indigestion and intoxication; writtenwhen the signer is trembling for the life of his child or has come fromwinning the Derly, in his lawyers office, or under the bright eyes of his

sweetheart. To the vvlgor, these seem never the same; but to the expert,the bank clerk, or the lift ographer, they are constant questities and asrecongnisable as the North Star to the night watch on deck.

To all this Morris was alive. In the theory of that graceful art in which hewas now embriking, our spirited leather merchant was beyond all reproach.But happily for the investor, forgery is an affair of practice, And as Morris

sat surrounded by examples of his uncles signature and of his ownincompetence, insidious depression stole upon his spirits. From time to timethe wind withered in the chinney at his back; from time to time therer sweptover Bloomsbury a sqvall so dark thathe must rise and light the gas abouthim was the chill and the mean dis order of a house out of commission the

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floor bare, the sofa heaped with books and accounts enveloped in a dirtytable cloth, the pens rusted, the paper glazed with a thick film of dust; andyet these were but adminicles of misery, and the true root of his depression

lay round him on the table in the shape of misbegotten forgeries.

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It s one of the strangest things I ever heard of, he complained, It almostseems as if it was a tailent that I didn tpossess. He went once moreminujtely through his proofs. A clerk would simply gibe at them, said he.Well, there nothing else but tracing possible. He waited till a squall had

passed and there came a blink of scowling daylight. Then he went to thewindow, and in the face of all John street traced his uncles signature. It wasa poor thing at the best. But itmust do, said he as he stood gazing woefullyon his handiwork. He s dead, anyway. And he filled up the cheque for acouple of hundred and sallied forth for the Anglo Pataganion Bank.;

There, at the desk at which he was accustomed to transact business, and

with as much indifference as he could assume, Morries presented the forgedcheque to the big, red bearded Scots teller. The teller seemed to view it withsurprise; and as he turned it this way and that and ven scrutinized thesignature with a magnifying glass, his surprise appeared to warm intodisfavor. Begging to be excused for amoment, he passed away into itherearmost quarters of the bank whence, after an appreciable interval, hereturned again in earnest talk with a superior, an oldish, but a very

gentlemanly man.

Drawn! Cried Morris. By your uncle him self, continued the other. Not onlythat, but we discounted a bill for him for letme see howmuch was it for, MrBell? Eight hundred, Mr Judkin, replied the teller,. Bent Pintman! Cried

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Morris staggering back. I beg your pardon, said Mr. Judkin. It s only anexpletive, said Morries. I hope theres nothing worng, Mr Finsbury, said Mr.Bell. All I can tell you, said Morris, with a harsh laugh, is that the whole

things impossible. My uncle is at Bournemouth, unable to move.Really! Cried Mr. Bell, and he recovered the cheque from Mr. Judkin. But thischeque is dated in London, and today, he observed. How dye account forthat, sir? O, that was amistake, said Morris, and sa deep tide of colour dyedhis face and neck. No doubt, no doubt, said Mr judkin, but he looked at hiscustomer enquiringly. And and resumed Morris, even if there were noeffects this is very trifling sum to overdraw our firm the name of Finsbury, issurely good enough for such a wretched sum as this.

No doubt, Mr Finslury, returned Mr judkin; and if you insist I will take it intoconsideration but I hardly think in short, Mr finsbury, if there had beennothing else, the signature seems hardly all that we could with. That s of noconsequence, replied marris nervously. Ill get my uncle to sign this chequewith out assistance, and I fear that my holding the pen for him may have

made the difference in the signature.

Mr Judkin shot a keen glance into Morris s face; and then turned and lookedat Mr Bell. Well, he said, it seems as if we had been victimized by a swindler.Pray tell Mr Finsbury we shall put detectives on at once. As for this chequeof yours, I regret that, owing to the way it was signed, the bank conhardlyconsider it what shall I say? Businesslike, and he returned the cheque across

the counter. Morris took it up mechanically he was thinking of somethingvery different. In a case of this kind, he began, I believe the loss falls on us; Imean up on my uncle and my self.

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It does not, sir , replied Mr Bell; the bank is responsible, and the bank willeither recover the money or refund it, you may depend on that. Morris sface fell then it was visited by another gleam of hope. I II tell you what, he

said you leave this entirely in my hands. I II sift the matter. I ve an idea atany rate; and detectives he added appealingly, are so expensive, The bankwould nothear of it, returned Mr judkin. The bank stands to lose betweenthree and fourthousand pounds it will spend as much more if necessary. Anaundiscoveed forger is a permanent danger. We shall clear it up jto thebottan, Mr Finsbury set yourmind at rest on that.

Then I II stand the loss, said Morris boldly. I order you to abandon thesearch. He was determined that no enquiry should be made. I beg yourpardon, retured Mr judkin, but we have nothing to do with you in thsmatter, which is one between your uncle and ourselves. If he should takethis opinion, and will either come here him self or let me see him in his sickroom Quite impossible, cried Morris. Well then you see said Mr Judkin , howmy hands are tied. The whole affair must goat once into the hands of the

police.Morris mechanically folded the cheque and restored it to his pocket book.Good morning, said he, and scram Hed somehow out of the bank. I don tknow what suspect, he reflected I cant make then out their whole behavioris thououghly unbusinesslike. But it doesn t matter all s up with everything.The money has been paid the police are on the scent in two hours tat idiotPitman will be nabbed and that whole story of the dead body in the eveningpapers. If he could have heard what passed in the bank after his departurehe would have been less alarmed, perhaps more mortified.

That was a curious affair, Mr Bell, said Mr judkin. Yes, sir, said Mr Bell, but Ithink we have given him a fright. O, we shall hear no more of Mr Morris

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Finsbury, returned the other it was a first attempt, and the house havedealt with us so long that I was anxious to deal genfly. But I suppose, MrBell, there can be no mistake about yesterday? It was old Mr finsbury him

self? There could be no possible doubt of that, said Mr Bell with a chuckle.He explained to me the principles of banking.

Well , well , said Mr Judkin. The next time he calls adk him to step into myroom. It is only proper he should be warned. CHAPTER VII in which WilliamDent Pitman takes Legal Advice Norfolk Street, Kings Road jocularly knownamong Mr Pitman s lodgers as Norfolk Island is neither a long, a handsome,nor a pleasing thorugh fore. Dirty, undersized maids of all work issue from itin pursuit of beer. Or linger on its sidewalk listening ot the voice of love. Thecats meatman passes twice a day. An accasional argan grinder wander inand wanders our again, distgusted. In holding time the street is the arena of the young bloods of the heighbourhood, and the houses olders have onopportunity of studying the manly art of self defence. And yet NorfolkStreethas one claim to be respectable, for it contains not a single shope

unless you count the public house at the corner, which is really in the King sRoad.

The door of No. 7 bore a brassplate inscribed with the legend W.D. Pitman,Arist. It was not a particularly clean brass plate, nor was No. 7 itself aparticularly inwiting placeof residence. And Yet it had a character of tis own,such as may well quicen the pulse of the readers curiosity. For here was thehome of an artist and a distinguished artist too, highly distinguished by his illsuccess which had never been made the subject of an article in theillustrated magazines. No wood engraver had ever reproduced a corner inthe back drawing room or the studiomantelpiece of NO. 7; no young ladyauthor had ever connected on the unaffected simplicity with which MrPitman received her in the midst of his treasures. It is an omission I would

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gladly supply, but our business is only with the backward parts and objectrear of this aesthetic dwelling.

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Here was a garden, boasting a swarf fountain that never played in thecentre, a few griny looking flowers in pots, two or three newly planted treeswhich the pring of Chelsea visited with aoutnoticeable consequence, andtwo or three statues after the contique, representing satyrs and nymphs inthe worst possible style of sculptured art. On one side the garden was overshadowed by a pair of crazy studios, usually hired out to the more obscureand youthful practitioners of British art. Opposite these another lofty outbuilding, somewhat more carefully finished, and boasting of aCommunication with the house and a private door on the back lone,enshrined the multifarious industry of Mr Piston. All day, it is true, he wasengaged in the work of education at a seminary for young ladies but theevenings at least were his own, and these he would prolong for into thenight, now dashing off A landcaope with waterfall in oil, now a volunteerbust in marble, as he would gently but proudly observe of some bubliccharacter, now stooping his chisel to amere nymph for a gasbracket on astair, sir, or a life size infrnt somuvel for a religious nurserym Mr Pitman hadstudies in Paris, and he had studies in Rome, supplied with funds by a fondparent who went subsequently bankrupt in consequence of a fall in corsetsand though he was never though to have the smallest modicum of tailent, it

was at one time supposed that he had learned his business. Eighteen yearsof what is called tution had relieved him of the dangerous knowledge. Hisartist lodgers would sometimes reason with him; they would point out tohim how impossible it was to point by gaslight, or to sculpture life sizednymphs without a model.

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I know that, he would reply. No one in Nor folk street knows it better and if I were rich I should certainly employ the best models in London but, beingpoor, I have taught my self to do without them. An occasionail model only

disturb my ideal conception of the figure, and be a positive impedim,ent inmy career. As for painting by an artificial light, he would continue, thet issimply a knack I have foun d it necessary to acquire, my days beingengrossed in the work of tuition. At the moments when we must presenthim to our readers, Pitman was in his studio alone, by the dying light of theOctober day. He sat sure enough with unaffected simplicity in a Windsorchai, his low crowned black felt that by his side a dark, weak, harmless,

pathetic little man, clad in the hue of mourning, his coat longer than is usualwith the laity, his neck enclosed in a collar with out a parting, his necklothpail inhue and simply tied; the whole outward man, except for a pointedbeard, tentatively clerical. There was a thinning on the top of Pitman s head,there were silver hairs at Pitman s temple. Poor gentleman, he was nolonger young and years, and poverty, and humble ambition thwarted, makea cheerless lot.

In fornt of him, in corner by the door, there stood a portly barrel and lethim tum them where he might, it was always to the barrel that his thoughtsreturned. Should I open it? Should I returned it? Should I communicate withMr Sernitopolis at once? He wondered. No, he concluded finally, nothingwith out Mr Finshury s advice and he arose and produced a shabbilyleathern desk. It opened without the formality of unlocking, and displayed

the thick cream coloured notepaper on which Mr Pitman was in the habit of communicating with the proprietors of schools and the parents of his pupils.He placed the desk on the table by the window, and taking a aaucer of Indian ink from the chimney piece, laboriously composed the followingletters:

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My dear Mr fishery, it ran, would it be presuming on your kindness if I askedyou to pay me a visit here this evening? It is in no trifling matter that Iinwoke your Voiauable assistance, for need I say More than it concerns the

welfare of Mr semitoplis s statue of Hercules? I write you in great agitationof mind; for I have made all enquiries, and greafly fear that this work of ancient art has been mislaid. I labour besides under another perplexity, notunconnected with the first. Pray excuse the inelegance of this scrawl, andbelieve me yours in haste, William D. Pitman.

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Armed with this he setforth and rang the bell of No. 233 Kings Road, theprivate residence of Michael Finslury. He had metthe lawyer at a time of great public excitement in chesea Michael, who had a sense of humour anda great deal of careless kidness in his nature, followed the acquaintance up,and , having come to lough, remained to drop into a contemptuous kind of friendship. By this time, which was four years after the first meeting,Pitnman was the lawyer s dog, No, said the elderly house keeper, wheopened the door in person, Mr Michael s not in yet. But ye re lookingterribly poorly, Mr Pitman. Take a glass of sherry, sir, to cheer ye up.

No, I thank you, maam replied the artist., it is very good in ou, but I scarcelyfeel in sufficient spirits for sherry. Just give Mr Finsbury this note, and askhim to lokk round to the door in the lone, you will please tell him; I shall bein the studio all evening. And he turned again into the street and walkedslouly haneward. A hairdresser s window caught his attention, and he staredlong and earnesgly at the proud, high born, waxen lady in evening dress,who circulated in the centre of the show. The artist woke in him, in spite of his toubles.

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It is all very well to run down the men who make these things, he cried, butthere s a monething there s a haughtly, indefinable something about thatfigure. It s what I tried for in my empress Eugenie, he added, with a sigh, And

he went home reflecting on the quality. They don t teach you that directappeal in Paris, he thought, It s British, Come I am going to sleep, I mustwake up, I must aim higher aim higher, cried the little artist to him self. Allthrough his tea and afterward, as he was giving his eldest boy a lesson onthe fiddle, his mind dewlt no longer no his troubles, but he was rapt into thebetter land and no sooner was he at liberty than he hastened with positiveexhilaration to his studio.

Not5 even the sight of the barrel could entirely casthim down. He flunghimself with rising sest into his work a bust of Mr Gladstone from aphotograph turned with extraordinary success the difficulty of the back of the head, for which he had no documents beyond a hazy recollection of apublic meeting; delighted himself by his treatment of the collar and wasonly recalled to the care s of life ly Michal finsbury s rattle at the door. Well,

what s wrong? Said Michael, advancing to the graate, where, knowing hisfriend s delight in a bright fire, Mr Pitman had not spared the fuel. I supposeyou have come to gref somehow.

There is no expression strong enough, said the artist. Mr Semitopdis s statuehas not turned up, and I am afraid I shall be answerable for the money but Ithink nothing of that what I fear my dear Mr Finsbury, what I fear alas that Ishould have to say it! is exposure. The Hercules was to be smuggled out of Itoly; a thing positively wrong, a thing of which a man of my pri9nciples andin my responsibnle position should have taken as I now see too late no partwhatever. This sounds like very serious work, said the lawyer. It will requirea great deal of drink, Pitman.

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I took the liberty of in short, of being prepared for you, replied the artist,pointing to a kettle a bottle of gin, a lemon, and glasses, Michael mixedminself a grog, and offered the artist a cigar. No, thank you, said Pitman, I

used occasionally to be rather partical to it, but the smell is so disagreeableabout the clothes. All right, said the lawyer. I am comfortable now. Unfoldyour tale. At some length Pitman set forth his sorrows. He had gone today toWaterloo. Expecting to receive the collssal Hercules, and he had receivedinstead a barrel not big enough to hold Discoboluis yet the barrel wasadder ssed in the hand with which he was perfectly qcquainted of hisRomon correspondent. What was stranger still, a case had arrived by the

same train, large enough and heavy enough to contain the Hercules; andthis case had been taken to an address how undiscoverable. The varunan Iregret to say it had been drinking, and his language was such as I couldnever bring myself to repeat.

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He was at once discharged by the superintendent of the line, who behavedmost properly through out, and is to makes enquiries at Southampton in themeanwhile, what was I to do? I left my address and brought the barrelhome but, remembering an old adage, I determined not to open it exceptin the presence of my I covyer. Is that all? Asked Michael. I don t see anycause to worry. The Hercules has stuck upon the road. It will drop intanorrow or the day after and as for the barrel, depend upon it, it s a

testimonial from one of your young ladies, and probably contains oy sters.O, don t speak so loud! Cried the little artist., It would cost me my place if Iwere heard to speak lightly of the young ladies and besides, why oystersfrom Italy? And why should they come to me addressed in Signor Ricarishand? Well, let s have a look at it, said Michalel, Let s roll it forward to the

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light. The twomen rolled the barrel from the corner, and stood it on endbefore the fire. It s heavy enough to be oysters, remarked Michael

judiciously. Shall we open it at once? Enquired the artist, who had groun

decidedly cheerful under the combined effects of company and gin andwith out waiting for a reply he began to strip as if for a prize fight,l tossed hisclearical collar in the wastepaper basket, hung his clerical coat upon a mail,and with a chisel in one hand and a harmmer in the other, struck the fristblow of the evening.

That s the style, William Dent cried Michael. There s fire for yourmoney! Beromantic visit from one of the young ladies a short of Cleopatra business.Have a care and don t stove in Cleopatra shead. But the sight of Pitman salacrity was in factious. The lawyer could sit still no longer. Tossing his cigarin to the fire, he snatched the instrument frm the unwilling hands of theartist, and fell to him self. Soon the sweat stood in beads upon his large, fairbrow; his stylesh trouser were defaced with iron rust, and the state of hischisel testified to misdirected energies.

A cask is not an easy thing to open, even when you set about it in the rightway; when you set about it wrongly, the wholw structure must be resolvedinto its elements. Such was the course pursued alike by the artist and thelawyer. Presently the last hoop had been removed a couple of smart Howstum Hed the staves upon the ground and what had once been a barrel wasno more than a confused help of broken and distorted boards. In the midstof these, a certain dismal something, swathed in wankets, remained for oninstant upright, and then toppled to one side and heavely collapsed beforethe fire. Even as the thing subsided, and eye glass tingled to the gloor androlled toward the screaming Pitman.

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Hold your tongue! Said Michael. He dashed to the house door and locked itthem with a pale face and bitten li,. He drew hear, pulled aside a corner of the swathing blanket, and recoiled, shuddering. There was a long silence in

the studio. How tell me, said Michael in a low voice: Had you any hand in it?And he pointed to the body. The little artist could only utter broken anddisjointed sounds. Michael Poured Some gin into a glass. Drink that, he said,Don,t be afraid of me I m your friend through thick and thin.

Pitman put the liquor down untasted. Iswear befror God, he said this isanother my stery to me. In my worst I never dreamed of such a thing. Iwould not lay a finger on a sucking infront.l That s all square, said Michael,with a sigh of huge relief. I believe you, old boy. And he shook the artistwarmly by the hand. I though for a moment, he cadded with rather a ghasflysimle, I though for a movement you might have made away with Mr Semitopdis. It would make no difference if I had, groaned Pitman. All is at on endforme. There s the writing on the wall.

To begin with, said Michel, lets get him out of sight; for to be quite plain

with you, Pitman, I don t like your friends appearance. And with that thelawer shuddered. Where can we put it? You might put it in the coser there if you could bear to touch it, answered the artist. Somebody has to do it,Pitman returned the lawyer; and it seems as if it had to be me. You go overto the

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Table, turn your back, and mixme a grog; that s a fair division of labour.Aboutninety seconds later thte closet door was heard to shut.

There, observed Michael, that s more hanelike. You can tum now, my pallidPitman. Is this te grog? He ran on Heaven forgive you, it s a lenonale but o,

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Finslury, what are we to do with it? Walled the artist, laying a clutching handupon the lawyer s am Do with it? Repeated Michalel Bury it in one of yurflowerbeds, and erectone of your own statues for a movement. Itell you we

should look devilish romantic shoveling out the sod by the moon s pale roy.Here, put some gin in this.

I beg of you, Mr Finshbury, don not trifle with my misery, cried Pitman. Yousee before your amon who has been all his life I do not hesitate to say itimminenfly respectable. Even in this solemn hour I can lay my hand upon myheart without a blush. Except on the really trifling point of the amuggling of the Hercules and even of that I nowhumbly repent, my life has been entirelyfit for publication. I never feared the light, cried the little man and now now! Cheer up, dd boy Said Michael. I assure you we should count this littlecontretemps a trifle at the office it s the sort of thing that may occur to anyone and if you re perfectly sure you had no hand in it.

What language am I to find began Piman O I ll do that part of it, interruptedMichael you have no experience. But the point is this: If or rather since you

know nothing of the crime, since the party in the closet is neither yourfather, nor your brother, nor your creditor, nor yourm other in law, nor whatthey call an injured husband O, my dear sir! Interjected Pitman,hotertaining it is one I have long contemplated in the light of on AB case:here it is atlast under my hand in specie and I mean to pull you through. Doyou hear that? I mean to pull you through. Letmesee: it s a long time since Ihave had what I call a genuine holding I ll send an excuse tomorrow to theoffice. We had best be lively, he added significantly: for we must not spoilthe market for the otherman.

What fo you mean ? enquired Pitman. What otherman? The inspector of Police? Domn the inspector of police! Remarked his companion. If you wont

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take the short cut and lury this in your back garden, we must find some onewho will bury it in his. We must place the affair, in short, in the hand of some one with with fever scruples and more resources. Apriate detective,

perhaps? Suggested Pitman. There are times when you fill me with pity,observed the lawyer. By the way, Pitman, he added in another key, I havealways regretted that you have no piano in this den of yours. Even if yurdon t play your self, your friends might like to entertain then selves with alittle music while you were mudding.

I shall get one at once if you like, said Pitman nervously, anxious to please. Ipaly the fiddle a little as it is. I know you do, said Michael but what s thefiddle above all as your play it? What you want is polyph onic music. And I lltell you what it is since it s too late for you to buy a piano I ii give youmine.Thank you, said the arrist Hankly. You will give me yours? I am sure it s verygood in you. Yes, I LL give you mine, continued Michae, for the inspector of police to play on while his men are digging up your back garden. Pitmanstared athim in pained amazement.

No, I m not in some, Michael went on I m Playful, but quite coherent. Seehere, Pitman follow me one half minute. I mean to profit by the refreshingfact that we are really and truly innocent: nothing but the presence of theyou know what connects us with the crime: once let us getrid of it, nomatter how, and there is no possible clue to trace us by., Well, I give you mypiano we LL bring it round this very night. Tomorrow we rip the fittings out,deposite the our friends inside, plump th whole on a cart, and carry it to thechambers of a young gentleman whan I know by sight.

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Whom do you know by sight? Repeated Pitman. And what is more to thepurpose, continued Michael, whose chambers I know better than he doeshim self. A friend of mine I call him my friend for brevity: he is now, I

understand, in denerara and mostlikely in goal was the previous occupant. Idefended him, and I got him off too all saved bu honour: his assests were nil,buthe gave me what he had, poor gentleman, and along with the rest thekeuy of his chambers. It s there that I propose to leave the piano and, shallwe say, Cleopatra?

It seems very wild,s said Pitman and what will became of the poor younggentleman whan you know by sight? It will do him good, said Michaelcheerily. Just what he wants to steady him. But my dear sit, he might beinvolved in a charge of a charge of murder, gulped the arist. Well, he LL be

just where we are, returned the lawyer. He s innocent, you see., What hangspeople, my dear Pitman, is the unfortunate circumstance of guilt. Butindeed, indeed pleaded Pitman, the whole scheme appears to me so wild.Would it not be safer, after all, just to send for the police?

And make a candal? Enqured Michael. The Chelsea my stery; allegedinnocence of Pitman?: how would that do at the Seminary? It would implymy sicharge, admitted the drawingmaster. I cannot demy that. And besides,said Michael, I am not going to embark in such a business and have no funfro my money. O my dear sir, is that a proper sprit? Cried Pitman. O, I onlysaid that to cheer you up, said the uabashed Michael. Nothing like a little

judicious levity. But it s quite needless to discuss. If you mean to follow myadvice, come on sand let us get the piano at once. If you don t just drop methe word, and I LL leave you to deal with the, whole thing according to yourbetter judgment.

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You know perfectly well that I depend on you entirely, retumed pitman ButO, what a night is before me with that horror in my studio! How am I tothink of ti on my pilolow? Well, you know, my piano will be there to , said

Michael. That LL raise tha average. An hour later a cart came up the lane,and the lawyer spiano amomentous Broadwood grand was deposited in MrPitman s studio. CHAPTER VIII in Which Michael Finsbury Enjouys a HolidayPujnctually at eight o clock nextm oming the lauyer rattled according toprevious appointment on the studio door. He found the artist sadly alteredfor the worse bleached, bloodshot, and chalky aman upon wires, the tail of his haggard eye still wandering to the closet. Nor was the professor of

drawing less inclined to wonder at his friend. Michalel was usually attired inthe height of fashion, with a certain mercantile brilliancy best describedperhaps as stylish; nor could anything be said against him, as a rule, but thathe looked a rtifle too like a weddingguest to be quite a gentleman. Today hehad fallen altogether from these heights. He wore a flannel shirt of washedout shepherds tartan, and a suit of reddish tweeds, of the colour known totailors as hearhermixture his meckloth was black, and tied loosely in a sailor

s knot arustly ulster partly concealed these advantages and his feet wereshod with rough walking boots. His hat was on old soft felt, which heremoved with a flourish as he entered.

Here I am, William Dent! He cried and drawing frm his pocket two littlewisps of reddish hair he held then to his cheeks like sidehiskers and dancedabout the studio with the filmy graces of a ballet girl. Pitman laughed sadlyl.

I should never have known you, said he Nor were you intended to returnedMichael, replacing his false whiskers in his pocket. Now we must overhaulyou and your wardrobe, and disguise you up to the nines. Disguise! Cried theartist. Must I indeed disguise my self. Has it come to that?

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My dear creature, returned his companion, disguise is the spice of life. Whatis life, passionately exclaimed a French Philoshopher, with out the pleasureof disguise? I sont say it s always good taste, and I know it s unprofessional;

but what s the odds, downhearted drawing master? It has to be. We have toleave a false imprssion on the mind of many persons, and in particular onthe

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Mind of Mr Gideon forsyth the young gentleman I know by sight if he shouldhave the bad taste to be athome.

If he be athome a? faltered the artist. That would be the end of all. Wontmatter ad, returned Michael airily. Letme see your clothes, and I LL make anew man of you in a jiffy. In the bedroom, to which he was at onceconducted, Michael examined pitan s poot and scantly wardrobe with ahumorous eye , picked out a short jacket of Wack alpaca, and presentlyadded tothat a pair of summer trousers which somehow tookhis fance as

incongruous. Then, with the garments in his hand he scrutinized the artistcosely.

I don t like that clearical collar, he remarked. Have you nothing else? Theprofessor of drawing pondered for a moment, and them brightened I have apair of low necked shirts, he said that I used to wear in Pairs as student,They are rather loud. The very thig! Enjaculated Michalel, You LL look

perfectly beastly. JHere are spats too, he continued, drawing forth apair of those offensive for three quarters of anhour. After that you can rejoin me onthe field of glory.

So saying, Michael returned to th studio. It was the mornig of the easterlygole th wind Wew shrilly among the staues in the garden, and drove tha

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rain upon the skylight in the studio ceiling and at about the somemoment of the time when Morris attacked th hundredth version of his uncle s signaturein Bloonsbury, Michael, in Chelsea, began to rip the wires out of th

eBroadwood grand, Three quarters of an hour later Pitman was admitted, tofind the closet door standing open, the closet untenanted, and the pianodiscreetly shut.

It s a remarkeably heavy in stument, observed Michael, and turned toconsider his friend s disguise. You must shave off that beard of yours, hesaid. My beard cried Pitman. I connot shave my beard. I cannot tamper withmy appearance my prince ipal would object. They hold very stong views asto the oppearance of the professors youngladies are considered soromantic. My beard was regarded as quite a feature when I went about theplace. It was regarded, said the artist, with riging colour, it was regarded asunbecaning.

You can let it grow again, returned Michael, and then you LL be so preciousugly that they LL raise your salary. But I don t want to be ugly, cried the

artist. Don t be an ass said Michael, who hated beards and was delighted todestoyu one Off twith it like a man of Course, if your insist, said Pitman andthjen he signed, getched same hot water from the kitchen, and setting aglass upon his easer, frist clipped his beared with scissors and then shavedhis chin. He could not conced from himself, as he regarded the result, that islast claims to manhood had been sacrificed, but Michael seemed delighted.

A new man I declare! He cried. When I give you the wind owglass spectaclesI have in pocket, you LL the beau ideal of a French commercial traveler.Pitman did not reply, but continued to gaze disconsolately on his image inthe glass. Do you know, asked Michel, what the Governor of south Carolinasaid to the Governor of North Carolina? It s a long time between drink,

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observed that powerful thnker and if you will put your hand into the topleftr hand pocket of my ulster, I have an impression you will find a flask of brandly. Thank you, Pitman, he added, as he filled out a glass for each. Now

you will give me news of this.The artist reached outhis hand for the waterjug, bu Michael arrestedthemovement. Not if you went upon your knees! He cried. This is the finestliqueur brandly in Great Britain. Pitman puthis lip s to it, set it down again,and sighed. Well, I must say you re the poorest companion for a holiday!Cried Michael. If that s all you know of brandly, you shall have no more of it;and while I finish the flask, you may as well begain business. Come to thinkof ti he broke off, I have made on

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Abominable error you should have ordered the cart before you weredisguised. Why, Pitman,what the devils the use of you? Why couldn t youhave reminded me of that?

I never even knew there was a cart to be ordered, said the artist. But I cantake off the disguise again, he guggested eargerly. You would fine it rather abother to put on your beard, observed the lawyer. No, it s a false step thesort of thing that hangs people, he continued, with eminent cheerfulness, ashe sipped his brandly and it cant be retraced now. Off to the news with you,make all the arrangements: they re to take the piano fram here, cart it to

Victoria, and dispatch it thence by rail to cannon street, to lie till called for inthe name of fortune bisgobey.

Isn t that rather an awkward name pleaded Pitman. Awkward? CriedMichael scornfully. It would hang us both Broun is both safer and easier topronounce. Call ti Brown. I with, said Pitman, formy sake, I wish you

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wouldn t talk so much of hanging. Talking about it snothing, my boyreturned Michael. But take your hatand be off, and mind and pay everythingberorehand. Left to him self, the lawyer turned his attention for some thime

exclusively to the liqueur brandly. And his sprits, which had been pretty fairall morning now prodigiously rose. He proceeded to adjust his whiskersfinally before the glass. Devilish rich, he remarked, as he contemplated hisreflection. I looklike a purser s mate. And at that moment the window glassspectacles which he had hitherto destined for Pitman flashed into his mindhe put them on, and fell in love with the effect. Just what I required he said.I wonder what I look like now? Anhumorous novelist, I should think, and he

began to practice divers characters of walk, naming then to himself as heproceeded. Walk of a humorous novelist but that would require an umbrellawalk of a pursers mate. Walk of an Australian colonistrevisiting the scenesof childhood. Walk of sepoy colonel, ditto, ditto. And in the midst of thesepoy colonel which was an excellent assumption, although inconsistentwith the style of himmake up, his eye lighted on the piano. This instrumentwas made to lock both at the top and at the keyboard, but the key of

thelatter had been mislaid. Michael opened it and ran his hingers over thedumb keys. Fine instrument full, rich tone, he observed, and he drew in aseat.

When Mr Pitman returned to the studio, he was appalled to observe hisguide, Philosopher, and friend performing miracles of execution on thesilent grand. Heaven help me though the little man I fear he has been

drinking Mr Finsbuty, he said aloud and Michael, withoutrising, turned uponhim a countenance somewhat flushed, encircled with the bush of the redwhiskers, and bestridden by the spectacles. Capriccoio in B flat on thedepearture of a riend, said he continuning he noseless evolutions.

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Indignation awoke in the mind of Pitman. Those spectacles were to be mine,he cried. They are an essential part of my sisguise. I am going to wear themmy self, replied Michael and he added, with some show of truth, There

would be a devil of a lot of suspicion aroused if we both ware spectacles. Owell said the assenting Pitman, I rather counted on them but of course, of you insist. And at any rate, here is the cartat the door. While the men wereat work Michael concealed him self in the closet among the debris of thebarrel and the wires of the piano and as soon as the coast was clear the pairsallied forth by the lane jumped into ahansom in th Kings Road, and wereriven rapidly toward town It was still cold and raw and boisterous the rain

beat stongly in their faces, but Michael fefused to have the glass let down hehad now suddenly donned the character of circerone, and pointed out andlucidly commented on the sight of London, as they drove. My dear felolow,he said, you don t seem to know anything of yours native city. Suppose wevisited the Tower? No? Well, perhaps it s a trifle out of our way. Buit,anyway Here, cabby, drive round by Trafalgar Square and on that historicbattlefield he insisted on drawing up, while he criticized the statues and

gave the aristmany curious details quite new to history of the lives of thecelebrated men they represented.

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It would be difficult to express what Pitman suffered in the cab cold, wet,terror in the capital degree a grounded distrust of the commander under

whom he seved, a sense of imprudency in the matter of the low neckedshirt, a bitter sense of the decline and fall involved in the deprivation of hisbeard, all these were among the ingredients of the bowl. To reach therestaurant, for which they were deviously streeing, was the fistrelief. Tohear Michael be speak a private room was a second and a still greater. Nor,

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as they mounted the stair under theguidance of an unintelligible alien, didhe fail to note with gratitude the fewness of the persons present, or the stillmore cheering fact theat the greater part of these were exiles from the land

of France. It was thus a blessed thought that bnone of them would beconnected with the Seminary for even the French Professor, thoughadmittedely a papist, he could scarce imagine frequenting so rakish anestablishment.

The alien introduced them into a small bare room with a single table, a sofaand dwarfish fire and Michael called promptly for more coals and a coupleof brandies and sodas. O no, said Pitman, surely not no more to drink. Idontknow what you would be at, said Michael plaintively.l It s positivelynecessary to do something and one shouldn t smoke before meals I thoughthat was understood. You seem to have no idea of hygiene. And hecompared his watch with the clock upon the chinney piece.

Pitman fell into bitter musing here he was, ridiculously shorn absurdlydisguised, in the company of a drunken man in spectacles, and waiting for a

champagne luncheon in a restaurant painfully foreign. What would hisprincipal s think, if they could see him ? what if they knew his tragic anddeceitful errond? From these refections he was aroused by the entrance of the alien with the brandies and sodas. Michael took one and bade the waiterpass the other to his friend. Pitman waved ti from him with his hand. Don tlet me lose all self respect he said.

Anything to ablige a friend, returned Michael. But I m not going to drinkalone. Here, he added to te waiter, you take it. And, then touching glasses,The health of Mr Gideon Forsyth, said he Meestare Gidden Borsye, repliedth waiter, and he tossed off the liquor in four gulps. Have another? SaidMichael, with undisguised interest. I negver saw aman dirnk faster. It

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restores one s confidence in the human race. But the waiter excused himself politely, and, assisted by some one from with out, began to bring inlunch.

Michael made on excellentnedal, shich he washed down with a bottle of Heidsieck s dry nonopole. As for the artist, he was far too uneasy to eat, andhis companion flatly fefused to let him share in the champagne unless hedid. One of us must stay shober, remarked the lawyer, and I wont give youchampagne on th strength of aleg of grouse. I have to be cautious, he addedconfidentially. One drunken man, excellent business tow drunken men, allmy eye. On the production of coffee and departure of the waiter, Michaelmight have been observed to make portentous efforts after gravity of mien.He looked his friend in the face one eye perhaps a trifle off, and addressedhim tickly but severely.

Enough of this fooling, was his not inappropriate exordium. To bisiness.Mark me closely. I am an Australian. My name is John Dickson, though youmight not think it from my unassuming appearance. You will be relieved to

hear that I am rich, sir very rch. You cant go into this sort of thing toothoroughly, Pitman the whole secret is preparation, and I can get up mybiography from the beginning, and I could tell it you now, only I haveforgotten it. Perhaps I m stupid began Pitman. That s it cried Michael. Verystupid but rich too richer than I am. I thought you would enjoy it. Pitman,so I ve arranged that you were to be literally wallowing in wealth. But then,on the other hand, you re only an American, and amaker of india rubberover shoes at that. And the

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Worst of it is why should I conceal it from you? The worst of it is that you recalled Ezra Thoman Now, said Michael, with a really appalling seriousness of manner, tell me who we are.

The unfortunate little man was cross examined till he knew these facts byheart. There cried the lauyer. Our plans are laid. Thoroughly consistentthat s that great thing. But I don t understand, objected Pitman. O you IIunderstand right enough when it comes to the point, said Michael rising.There doesn t seem only story to ti, said the artist, ew can invent one as wego along, returned the lawyer But I cant invent, protested Pitman. I nevercould invent in all mylife. You II find you II have to, my boy was Michael seasy comment, and he began calling for the waiter, with whan he at onceresumed a sparkling conversation.

It was a downcast little man that followed him. Of course he is very clever,but can I trust him in such a state? He asked himself. And when they wereonce mire in a hanson, he took heart of grace. Don t you think, he faltered, itwould be wiser, considering all things, to put this business off? Put off till

tomorrow what can be done today? criedMichael. With indignation Neverheard of such a thing Cheer up it s all right go in and win there s a lionhearted Pitman At Cannon Street they enquired for Mr Brown s piano,which had duly arrived, drove thence to a heigh bouring mews, where theycontracted for a cart, and while that was being got ready, took shelter in theharness room beside the stove. Here the lawyer presently toppled againstthe wall and fell into a gentle slumber so that Pitman found him self launched on his own resource s in the midst of several staring loafers, suchas love to pend unprofitable days about a stable. Rough day, sir, observedone. Do you go far?

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Yes, it s a rather a rough day, said the artist and then feeling that he mustchange the conversation, My friend is an Australian he is very impulsive, headded. An Australian? Said another. I ve a brother my self in Melbourne.

Does your friend come from that way at all? No, not exactly, replies theartist, whose ideas of the geography of New Holland were a little scattered.He lives immensely for inland, and is very rich. The loafers gazed with greatrespect upon the slumbering colonist.

Well, remarked the second speaker, it s amightly big place, is Australia Doyou come from there away too? No, I do not, said Pitman. I do not, and Idon t want to, he added irritable. And then, feeling some diversion needful,he fell upon Michael and shok him up Hullo, said the lawyer, what s worng?The cart is nearly ready, said Pitman stemly. I( will not allow you to sleep. Allright no offence, old man, replied Michael, jyouwning. Alitele sleep neverdid anybody any harm I fell comparatively sobernow. But what s all thehurry? He added, looking round him glassily. I don t see the cart, and I veforgotten where we lefe the piano.

What more the lawyer might have said, in the confidence of the moment, iswith pitman a matter of tremulous conjecture to this day but by the most Hessed circumstance the cart was then announced, and Michael must bend theforces of his mind to the more difficult task of rising. Of course you II drive,he remarked to his companion, as he clambered on the vehicle. I drive criedPitman. I nvever did such a thing in my life. I connot drive. Very well,responded Michael with entire can I see. But just as you like. Anything tooblige a friend.

A glimpse of the osflers darkening countenance decided Pitman. All right, hesaid desperately, you drive. I II tell you where to go. On Michael in thecharacter of charioteer since this tis not intended to be anovel of adventure

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it would be superfluous to dwell at length. Pitman, as he sat holding on andgasping counsels, sole witness of this singular feat, knew not whetrmost toadmire the driver s valouror his undeserved good fortune. But the latter at

least prevailed, the cart reached Cannon Street with out disaster and MrBrown s piano was speedily and cleverly got on board.

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Well, sir said the leading porter, smiling as he mentally reckoned up ahandful of loose silver, that s amortal heavy piano. It s the richness of thetone, returned Michael, as he drove away. It was but a little distance in therain, which now fell thick and quiet,m to the heightbourhood of Mr Gideanforsyth s chambers in the Temple. There, in a deserted by street, Michaeldrew up the horses and gave them in charge to a Heighted shoe wack andthe pair descending from the cart, whereon they had giured soincongruously, set forth on foot for the decisive scene of their adventure.For the first time Michael displayed ashadow of uneasiness.

Are my whiskers right? He asked. It would be the devil and all if I wasspotted. They are perfectly in thir place, teturned Pitman, with scantattention But is my disguise equally effective? There is nothing more likelythan that I should meet some of my patrons. O nobody could tell youwithout your beard, said Michael. All you have to do is to remember tospeak slow you speak through your nose already. I only hope the young manwon t be at home, sighed Pitman And I only Hope he II be alone returnedthe lawyer. It will save aprecious sight of manoevring.

And sure enough, when they had knocked at the door, Gideon admittedthem in person to a room warmed by amoderate fire, framed nearly to theroof in works connected with the bench of British Thenis, and offering,

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except in one particular, eloquent testing only to the legal zeal of theproprietor, The one particular was the chinney piece, which displayed avaried assortment of pipes, tobacco, cigar boxes,m and yellow backed

French novels. Mr Forsyth,, I believe? It was Michael who thus opened theengagement. We have come to trouble you with a piece of business. I fear itis scarcely professional.

I am afraid I ought to be instructed though a solicitor, replied Gideon Welllwell, you shall name your own, and the whole affair can be put on a moreregular footing tomorrow, replied Michael taking a chair and motioningPitman to do the same. But you see we didn t know any solictitors we didhappen to know of you, and time presses. May I enquire, gentlemen, askedGideon, to whom it was I am indebted for a recommendation? You mayenquire, returned the lawyer, with a foolish laugh but I was invited not totell you till the thing was done.

My uncle, no doubtm was the barrister s conclusion. My name is JohnDickson, continued Michael a pretty well known name in Ballarat and my

riend here is Mr Ezra Thos, of the United States of America,m a wealthymanufacturer of india rubber over shoes stop one moment till I make a noteof thatm said Gideon anyu one might have supposed he was on oldpaactitioner Perhaps you wouldn t mind my soking a cigar? Asked Michael.He had pulled him self together for the entrance now againthere began tosettle on his mind clouds of irresponsible hum our and incipient slumber;and he hoped as somanyu have hoped in the like case that a cigar wouldclear him.

Oh, certainly, cried Gideon Handly. Try one fo fmine I can confidentlyrecommend them. And he handed the box to his client. In case I don t makemy self perfectly clear, observed the Australian it s perhaps best to tell you

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candidly that I ve been lunching. It s thing that may happen to any one Ocertainly, replied the affable barrister. But please be under no sense of hurry. I can give you, he added, thoughtfully consulting his watch yes, I can

give you the whole afternoon.The business that brings me here, resumed the Australian with gusto, isdelicate, I can tell you, My friend Mr Thomas, being on American of Portuguese extraction, unacquainted with our habits, and a wealthymanufacturer of Broadwook pianos Broadwood pianos? Cried Gideon,

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I know it s confusing at first, said the Australian with a beaming smile. But hein short he cambines the two professions. And many others besides many ,many others, repeatedMr Dickson,m with drunken solemnity. Mr Thomas scotton mills are one of the sights of Tallahassee; Mr Thoms s tobacco millsare the pride of Richmond, va; in short, he s one of my oldest friends, MrForsyth, and I lay his case before you with emotion. The barrister looked at

Mr Thoms and was agreeably prepossed by his open although nervouscountenance, and the simplicity and timidity of his manner. What a peopleare these Americans he ghough. Look at this nervous, weedly, simple littlebird in a lownecked shirt, and think of him wielding and directing interestsso extended and seemingly incongruous Buthad we not better, he observedaloud, had we not perhaps better approach the facts?

Man of business, I perceive, sir said the Australian. Lets approach the facts.It s a breach of promise case. The unhapply artist was so unprepared for thisview of his position that he could scarce suppress a cry. Dearme, saidGideon, they are apt to be very troublesome. Tell me every thing about it,he added kindly if yu required my assistance, conceal nothing. You tell him,

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said Michael, feeling, apparently, thathe had done his share. My friend willtell yoy all about it, he added to Gideon, with ayown. Excuse my closing myeyes amoment I ve been sitting up with a sick friend.

Pitman gazed blankly about the room; rage and despair seethed in hisinnocent sprit; thoughts of flight, thoughts even of suicide, come and wentbefore him and still the barrister patiently waited, and still the artist gropedin vain for any form of words however insignificant. It s a breach of promisecase, he said at last in a lowvoice. I I am threatened with a breach of promise case. Here, in desperate quest of inspiration, he made a clutch athis beard; his fingers closed upon th unfamiliar somoothness of a shavenchin; and with thaqt, hope and courage if such expressions could ever havebeen appropriate in the case of Pitman conjointly fled. He shook expressionscould ever have been appropriate in the case of Pitman donjointly fled. Heshook Michael roughly. Wake up he cried, with genuine irritation in histones.I connot do it, and you know I can t.

You must excuse my friend, said Michael; he s no hand as a narrator of

stirring incident. The case is simple, he went on my friend is a man of verystrong passions, and accustomed to a simple, patriarchal style of life. Yousee the thing from here unfortunate visit to Europe, followed byunfortunate acquaintance with sham foreign count, who has a lovelydaughter. Mr Thomas was quite carried away; he proposed, he wasaccepted, and he wrote worte in a style which I am sure he must regrettoday. If these letters are produced in court, sir Mr Thomas character isgone.

Am I to understand began Gideon. My dear sir, said the Australianemphatically, it isn ty possible to understand unless you saw then. That is apainful circumstance , said Gideon: he glanced pityingly in the direction of

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the culprit, and, observing on his countenance every mark of confussion,pityingly withdrew his eyes. And that would be nothing, continued MrDickson sternly, but I wish from my bheart, sir, I could say that Mr Thomas s

hands were clean. He has no excuse; for he was engaged at the time and isstill engaged to the belle of Constantinople, Ga. My friend s conduct wasunworthy of the brutes that perish.

Ga? Repeated Gideon enquiringly. Acontaction n current use, said Michael.Ga. For Georgia, in The some way as Co. for company. I was aware it wassometime s so written, returned the barrister, but not that it was sopronounced. Fact, assure you, said Michael. You now see for yourself, sir,that if this unhapply person is to be saved, some devilish sharp practice willbe needed. There s money, and no desire it. Mr Thomas could write acheque tomorrow for a hundred thousand. And, Mr forsyth, there s betterthan money. The foreign count count Tarnow,

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He calls him self was formerly a tobacconist in bay swater, and passed underthe humble but expressive name of Schmidt; his daughter if she is hisdaughter there s another point make a note of that, Mr Forsyth his daughterat that time actually served in the shop and she now proposes to marryaman of the eminence of Mr Thoms Now do you see our game? We knowthey contemplate a move; and we wish to forestallen. Down you go toHampton court, where they live and threaten, or birbe, or both, until youget the letters; if you cant God help us, we muyst go to court andThomasmust be exposed. I oo be done with him for one, added theunchivalrous friend.

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There seem some elements of success, said Gideom. Was Schmidt at allknown to the police/? We hope so, said Michael. We have every ground tothink so, Mark the heighbourhood Bayswater Doesn t Bay swater occur to

you as very suggestive? For perhaps the sixth time during this remarkableinterview, Gideon wondered if he were not becoming lightheaded. I supposeit s just because he has been lunching, he thought and then added aloud, Towhat figure may I go? Perhaps five thousand would be enough for today,said Michael. And now, sir, don not let me detain you any longer theafternoon wears on there are plenty of trains to Hampton Court and Ineedn t try to describe to you the impatience of my friend. Here is a five

pound note for current expense and here is the address. And Michael beganto write, poused, tore up the paper, and put the pieces in his pocket. I willdictate, he said, my writing is so uncertain.

Gideon took down the address, court tomow, Kurnaul Villa, Hampton Court.Then he wrote something else on a sheet of paper. You said you had notchosen a solicitor, he said. For a case of this sort, here is the bestman in

London. And he handed the paper to Michael. God blessme ejaculatedMichael, as he read his own address. O I dare say you have seen his nameconneted with some rather painful cases, said Gideon. But he is himself aperfectly honestman, and his capacity is recognized. And now, gentleman, tionly remains for me to ask where I shall communicate with you.

The Langham, of course, returned Michael. Till tonight. Till tonight, repliedGideon, Smiling I suppose I may knock you up at a late hour? Any hour, anyhour, cried the uanishing solicitor. Now there s a young fellow with a headup on his shoulders he said to Pitman, as soon as they were in the street.Pitman wsas indistinctly heard to murmur, Perfect fool. Not a bit of him,returned Michael. He knows whos the best solicitor in London, and its notevery man can say the same. But, I say, didn t I pitch it in hot?

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Pitman returned no answer. Hullo said the lawyer, pausing what s wrongwith the long suffering Pitman? You had no right to seak of me as you did,the artist broke out your language was perfectly unjustifiable you have

wounded me deeply. I never said a word about you, replied Michael. I spokeof Ezra Thomas and do please remember that there s no such party. It s justas hard to bear, said the artist. But by this time they had reached the cornerof the by street and there was the faithful shoeblack, standing by the horsesheads with a splendid assumption of dignity and there was the piano,figuring forlorn upon the cart, while the rain beatupon its unprotected sidesand trickled down its elegantly varnished legs.

The shoeblack was again put in requisition to bring five or six strong fellowsfrom the heigh bouring public house and the last battle of the compaignopened. It is probable that Mr Gideon forsyth has not yet taken his seat inthe train for Hampton court, before Michael opened the door of thechambers, and the drunting porters deposited the Broadwood grand in themiddle of the floor. And now, said the lawyer, after he had sent the men

about their business, one more precaution. We must leave him the key of the piano, and we must contrive that he shall find it. Letme see. And he builta square tower of cigars upon the top of the instrument, and dropped thekey into the middle.

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Pooryoungman, said the artist, as they descended the stairs, He is in a devilof a position, aassesnted Michael drily. It kk brace him up. And thatremindsme, observed the excellent Pitman, that I fear I displayed amostungrateful temper. I had no right, I see, to resent expressions, wounding asthey were, which were in no sense directed. That s all right cried Michael,

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getting on the cart. Not a word more, Pitman. Very proper feeling on yourpart no man of self respect can stand by and hear his alias insulted.

The rain had now ceased, Michael was fairly sober, the body had beendisposed of , and the friends were reconciled. The return to the mews wasthere fore in comparison with previous stages of the days advantures quite aholiday outing and when they had returned the cart and walked forth againform the stable yard, unchallenged, and even unsuspected, Pitman drew adeed breath of joy. And now, he said , we can go home. Pitman, said thelawyer, stpping short, your recklessness fills me with concern. What we havebeen wet through the greater p[art of the day and you propose, in coldblood, to go home No, sir hot scotch.

And taking his friend s arm he led him sternly towards the heare stpublichouse. Nor was Pitman I regret to say wholly unwilling. Now that peace wasrestored and the dody gone, a certain innocent skittishness began to appearin the manners of the artist and when he touched his steaming glass toMichaels he giggled aoud like a ventures some schoolgirl at a picnic.

CHAPTER IX Glorious conclusion of Michael Finsbury s Holiday I knowMichael Finsbury Personally my business I know Michael Fnsbuirypersonally my business I know the awakwardness of having such aman for alowyer still it an old story now and there is such a thing as gratitude, and inshort, my legal business, although now I am thankful to say of qquite aplacid character, remains entirely in Michael shands. But the trouble is Ihave no natural talent for addresses I learn one for every man that isfriendship s offering and the friend who subsequently chages his residence isdead to me, memory refusing to pursue him. Thus it comes about that, as Ialways write to Michael at his office, I connot swear to his number in thekings Road. Of course like my neighbours, I have been to dinner there. Of late years, since his accession to wealth, neglect of business and election to

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the club, these little festivals have become common. He picks up a fewfellows in the smoking room all men of Attic wit my self, for instance, if hehas the luck to find me disengaged a string of hansons may be observed by

Her Majesty bowling gaily through St James s Park and in a quarter of onhour the party surrounds one of the best appointed boards in London.

But at the time of which we write the house in the kings Road let us stillcontinue to call it No 233 was keptvery quiet when Michael entertainedguests it was at halls of Michal or verrey that he would convene then, andthe door of his private residence remained closed against his friends Theupper storey, which was sunny, was set apart for his father; the drawingroom was never opened: the dining room was the scene of Michael s life. Itis in this pleasant apartment sheltered form the curiosity of Kings Road bywire blinds, and entirely surrounded by the lawyer s unrivalled library of Poetry and criminal trials that we firnd him sitting down to his dinner afterhis holiday with Pitman. Aspare old lady, with very bright eyes and a mouthhum orously cojmpressed, waited upon th elawyers needs in every line of

her countenance she betrayed the fact that she was an old retainer in everyward that fell from he rlips she flaunted the glorious circumstance of aScottish origin and the fear with which this powerful combination fills theboldest was obviously no stranger to the bosom of our friend. The hotScotch having samewhat warned up the embers of the Heidsieck, it wastouching to observe the amster s eagerness to pull him self together underthe servant s eye; and when he remarked, I think, Teena, I II take a brandly

and sods, he spoke like aman doubtful of his elocution, and nothalf certainof obedience.

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No such athing, Mr Michael, was the promptreturn. Clart and water. Well,well, Teena I daresay you know best, said the master. Very fatiguing day atthe office, though. What? Said the retainer, ye never were near the office O

yes I was though; I was repeatedly along fleet street returned Michael.Pretty pliskies ye ve been at this doy cried the old lady, with humorousalacrity and them Take care don t breake my cry stal she cried, as the lawyercome within an oce of knocking the gtlasses off the table.

And how is he keeping? Asked Michael. O just the same, Mr Michael, justthe way he ii be till the end worthy man was the reply. But ye II not be thefirst that s asked me that the day No ? said the lawyer. Who else? Ay, that sa joke, too, said Teena grinly. A friend of yours Mr morris what was the littlebeggar wanting here? Enquired Michael Wantin? To see him, re3plied thehousekeeper, completing her meaning by a movement of the thumb towardthe upper storey. That s by his way of it but I ve on idée of my own He triedto bribe me, Mr Michael. Bribe me She repeated, with inimitable scorn. Thats no kind of a young gentleman.

Did he so? Said Michael. Ibethe didn t offermuch. NO more he did repliedTeena nor could any subsequent questioning elicit from her the sum withwhich the thrifty leather merchant had attempted to corrupt her. But FI senthim about his business, she said gallantly. He II not come here again in ahurry. He mustn t see my father, you know mind that Michael I m not goingto have any public exhibition to a little beast like him. No fear of me lettinghi, replied the trusty one. BNut the joke is this=, Mr Michael see, ye reupsetting the source, that s a clean tablecloth the best of the joke is that hethinks your fathers dead and you re keep in it dark.

Michael whistled. Seta thief to catch a thief, said he . Exacly what I told himcried the delighted done. I ii make him donce for that, said Michael. Couldn t

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ye get the law of him some way? Suggested Teena truculently. No, I don tthink I could, and I m quite sure a I don t want to replied Michael. But I say,Teena, I really don t believe this clarets whole some; it s not a sound,

reliable wine. Give us a brandy and soda, there s good soul. Teena s facebecame like adamant. Well, then, said the lawyer fretfully, I wont eat anymore dinner.

Ye can please yourself about that, Mr Michael, said Teena, and begancomposedly to take away. I do wish Teena wasn t a faithful servant signedthe lawyer, as he issued into Kings s Road The rain had ceased the wind stillblew bhut only with a pleasant freshness the town in the clear darkness of the night glittred with street lamps and shone with glancing rain pools.Come, this is better, thought the lawyer to himself, and he walked oneastward, lending a pleased ear to the wheels and the million footfalls of the city.

Near the end of the kings Road he remembered his brandy and soda, andentered a flaunting public house. A good mony persons were present, wa

waterman from a cab stand, half a dozen of the chronically unemployed,m agentleman in on corner trying to sell aesthetic photographs out of a leathercase to another and very youthful gentleman with a yellolw goatee, and apair of lovers debating some fine shade in the other. But the centre pieceand great attraction was a little old man in a black, ready made surtout,which was obviously a recent purchase. On the marble table in front of him,beside a sandwich and a glass of beer, there aly a battered forage cap. Hishand fluttered abroad with aratorical gestures his voice, naturally shrill, wasplainly tuned to the pitch of the lecture room; and by ars, comparable tothose of the ancient Mariner, he was now holding spellbound the barmaid,the waterman, and four of the unemployed.

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I have examined all the theatres in London, he was saying; and pacing theprincipal entrances I have ascertained them to be ridiculouslydisproportionate to the requirements of their audiences The doors opened

the worng way I forget at this moment which it is, but have a note of it athome; they were frequently locked during the performance, and when theauditorium was

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Literally thronged with English people. You have probably nothad myopportunities of camparing distant lands; but I can assure you this has beenlong ago recognized as a mark of aristocratic government. Do you suppose,in county really self governed, such abuses could exist? Your ownintelligence, however uncultivated, tells you they could not. Take Austria, acountry even possibly more enslaved than England. I have my self conversedwith one of the survivors of the Ring Theatre, and though his colloquialGerman was not very good, I succeeded in gathering a pretty clear idea of his opinion of the case. But what will perhaps interest you still more, here isa cutting on the subject from a Vienna newspaper, which I will now read toyou, translating as I go. You can see for yourselves it is printed in theGerman character. And he held the cutting out for verification, much as aconjuror passes a trick orange along the front bench.

Hullo, old gentleman Is this you? Saied Michael, laying his hand upon tharators shoulder the figure turned with a convulsion of alarm, and showedthe countedance of Mr Joseph Finsbury. You Michael. He cried. There s noone with you is there? No, replied Michael, ordering a brandy and soda,there s nobody with me whan do you expect? I thought of Morris or John,said the old gentleman, evidently greatly relieved,. What the devil would Ibe doing with Morris or John? Cried the nephew.

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There is something in that, returned Joseph. And I believe I can trust you. Ibelieve you will stand by me. I hardly know what you mean, said the lawyer,but if you are in need of money I am flush. It s not that, my dear boy, said

the uncle, shaking him by the hand. I ii tell you all about it afterwards. Allritgt, responded the nephew. I stand treat, Uncle Joseph; what will youhave? In that case, replied the old gentleman, I ii take another sand wich. Idare say I surprise you, he went on, with my presence in a public house; butthe fact is , I act on a sound bu little known principle of my own.

O, It s better known than you suppose, said Michael sipping his brandy andsoda. I always act on it myself when I want a drink. The old gentleman, whowas anxious to propitiate Michael, laughed a cheerless laugh. You have sucha flow of spirits, said he, I am sure I often find it quite amusing. Butregarding this principale of which I was about to speak. It is that of accommodating one s self to the manners of any land however humble inwhich our lot may be cast. No, in france, for instance, every one goes to acafé for his meals, in America, to what is called a two bit house; in England

the people resort to such on institution as the present for refreshument.With sandwiches, tea, and an occasionall glass of bitter beer, a man can livelbouriously in London for fourteen pounds twelve shillings per annum.

Yes I Know, returned Michael, but that s not including clothes, washing, orboots The whole thing, with cigars and occasional sprees, costs me overseven hundred a yhear. But this was Michael s last interruption. He listenedin good humoured silence to the remainder tof his uncle s lecture, whichspeedily branched to political reform, thence to the theory of the weatherglass, with an illustrative account of a bora in the Adriatic; thence again tothe bestmanner of teaching arithmetic to the deaf and dumb; and withtheat, the sandwich being then no more, explicuit valde feliciter.Amomentlater the pair issued forth on the Kings Road.

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Michael, I said his uncle, the reason that I am here is because I cannotendure those nephews of mine. I fine thm intolerable. I dare say you do,assented Michael, I never could stand them for a moment. They wouldn t let

me speak, continued the old gentleman bitterly; I never was allowed to get aword in edgewise I was shutup at once with some impertinenetremark.They kept me on shor allowance of pencils, when I wished to make notes of the most absorbing interest the daily newspaper was guarded form me like ayoung baby from a gorilla. Now, you know me, Michael. I live for mycalculations; I live for my manifold and ever changing views of life pens andpaper.

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And the productions of the popular press are ot me as importantas as foodand drink; and my life was growing quite intolerable when, in the confusionof that fortunate railway accident at Browndean, I made my escape. Theymust think me dead, and are trying to deceive the world for the chance of the tontine.

By the way, how do you stand for money? Asked Michael kindly.Pencuniarilyh speaking, I am rich returned the old man with cheerfulness. Iam living at present at the rate of one hundred a year, with unlimited pensand paper, the British Museum at which to get books and all th newspapers Ichoose to read. But it s extraordinary how little a man of intellectual interestrequires to bother with books in a progressive age. The newspaper supply allthe conclusions. I ii tell you what, said Michael, come and stay with me.

Michael, said the old gentleman, it s very kind of you, but you scarcelyunderstand what a peculiar position I occupy. There are some little financialcomplications as a guardian, my efforts were not altogether blessed and not

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ot put too fine a pointupon the matter, I am absolutely in the power of thatvile fellow, Morris. You should be disguised, cried Michaedl eagerly; Iwill lend you a pair of window glass spectacles and some red side. Whiskers.

I had already canvassed that idea, replied the old gentleman, but feared toawaken remark in my unpretentious lodgings. The aristocracy, I am wellaware

But see here, interrupted Michael, how do you come to have any money atall? Don t make a stranger of me, Uncle Joseph; I know alol about the trust,and the hash you made of it, and the assignment you were forced to makeot morris. Joseph narrated his dealings with the bank. O, but I say, this wontdo cried the lawyer. You ve put your foot in it. You had no right to do whatyou did . The whole thing is mine, Michael, protested the old gentleman. Ifounded and nursed that business on principles entirely of my own.

That s all very fine, said the lawyer; but you made an assignment, you wereforced to make it, too; even then your position was extremely shaky; butnow, my dear sir, it means the dock. It isn t possible, cried joseph; the law

connot be so unjust as that? And the cream of the thing, interruptedMichael, with a sudden shout of laughter, the cream of the thing is this, thatof course you ve downed the leather business I must say, Uncle Joseph, youhave strange ideas of law, but I like your teste in humour.

I see nothing ot laugh at, observed mr Finsbury tarfly. And talking of that,has morris any power to sign for the firm? Asked Michael. No one but my

self , replied Joseph. Poor devil of Morris O poor devil of Morris cried thelawyer in delight. And his keeping up the farce that you re at home O Morristhe lord has delivered you into my hands Let me see Uncle Joseph what doyou suppose the leather business worth ? It was worth a hundred thousand,said Joseph bitterly, when it was in my hands. But then there came a

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Scotsman it is supposed he had a certain talent it was entirely directed tobookkeeping no accountant in London could under stand a word of any of his books and then there was morris, who is perfectly incompetent. And

now it is worth very little. Morris tried to sell it last year; and portam and jarris offered only four thousand.

I shall turn my attention to leather, said Michael with decision. You? AskedJoseph. I advise you not . There is nothing in the whole field of commercemore surprising than the fluctuations of the leather market. Its sensitivenessmay be described as morbid. And now, Uncle Joseph, What have you donewith all that money? Asked the lawyer. Paid it into a bank and drew twentypounds, answered Mr Finsbury promptly. Why? Very well, said Michael.Tomorrow I shall send down a clerk with a cheque for a hundred, and he IIdraw out the orginal sum and return in to the Anglo Patagonian, with somesort of explanation which I will try to invent for you. That will Clear your

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