In Friendship's Guise eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 271 pages of information about In Friendship's Guise.

“You are a regular globe-trotter,” replied Victor, laughing to hide his sudden look of relief.  “I wish I could induce you to spend the season in London.”

“That’s well enough for an idle young dog like yourself—­you can’t exist out of London.  What are you doing?”

“Nothing in particular.  I read a good bit—­”

“Yes, trashy novels.  Does your income hold out?”

“I manage to get along, with economy.”

“Economy?  Humph!  I have taken the liberty to look about your rooms.  The landlady remembered me and let me in.  You have a snug nest—­more luxurious than the last time I was here.  It is fit for a Sybarite.  Your brandy is old liquor, and must have cost you a pretty penny.  Your cigars are too good for me, sir, and I’ll warrant you don’t pay less than ten pounds a hundred for them.  As for your clothing, you have enough to start a shop.”

“I must keep up appearances, my dear uncle.”

“Yes, I suppose so.  I don’t blame you for wanting to stand well with your friends, if you can afford it.  Your father and mother spoiled you.  You should have gone to the bar, or into the army or the church.  However, it is too late to talk about that now.  But, to be frank with you, my boy, it has come to my ears that you are leading a fast life.”

“It is false!” Victor cried, indignantly.

“I sincerely trust so.  I have heard only rumors, and I do not care to attach any credence to them.  But a word of warning—­of advice—­may not be out of place.  Young men must have their fling, and I think none the worse of them for it.  But you are not young, in your knowledge of the world.  It is six or seven years since you were thrown on the Continent with a full purse.  You have been able to indulge every whim and fancy.  You have had enough of wild oats.  Fill your niche in Society and Clubdom, if you like.  Be a butterfly and an ornament, if you feel no inclination for anything better.  But be a gentleman—­be honorable.  If you ever forget yourself, and bring a shadow of shame upon the unsullied names of Chesney or Nevill, by gad, sir, you shall never touch a penny of my money.  I will leave it all to charities, and turn Priory Court into a hospital.  Mark that!  If you go wrong, I’ll hear of it.  I’m good for twenty years yet, if I’m good for a day.”

“You seem to have a very bad opinion of me, Uncle Lucius.  I never give your fortune a thought.  As for the honor of the family, it is as dear to me as it is to you.”

“Glad to hear you say it, my boy,” replied Sir Lucius, breathlessly.  “It shows spirit.  Well, I hope you’ll overlook my sharp words.  I meant them for your good.  And if you want a check—­”

“Thanks, awfully, but I don’t need it,” Victor interrupted, with a stroke of inspiration.  “My income keeps me going all right.  It is only in trifles that I am extravagant.  I have inherited a taste, sir, for good cigars and old brandy.”

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In Friendship's Guise from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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