Yes. Even your mother did not know. I acted through an agent, and the interest was two per cent.
A nominal rate. Your mother was so proud—
Well, but there were other matters, long ago, that I have only lately heard about. You and father once started in business together....
We did. And I advised him to sell out when I did, but he thought better to hold on.
Poor father. You made—he lost....
But if he had followed my advice—. All this is painful to me, Richard, and leads nowhere. As for yourself, I have always been interested in you, more so than you realize, and now—
I cannot feel at fault for anything that has happened. Your father was unsuited for modern life. By the ordinary standards he was bound to fail. Still, it gives me great satisfaction that at the present time, Richard, I can offer you a home. Yes, Richard, a home.
It’s difficult to decide.... You see, my studio—
Well! I confess I can’t understand all this uncertainty!
For three years I have worked as hard as anybody could to make a position allowing me to paint. I have succeeded. I no longer need help!
Of course not! I don’t question your ability to get along. At the same time, your attitude now is rather quixotic. Besides, as far as your painting is concerned, you can always go about where you require. It isn’t slavery I am planning for you here, Richard!
Well ... but then, as I must live by my sales and commissions, I’d cut a poor figure in surroundings like these.
Ha! Very quaint that, Richard, very quaint! I suppose artists are like that.... Richard, I see you do not yet understand. I shall be most happy to provide for you in every way. Yes. I have considered the whole matter carefully, and for some time have only waited an opportunity to explain to you in person. Consider, then, that you shall have an income of your own. You see, Richard?