“Much better than I expected also, Major,” replied I; “but now, how much of the money would you like to have?”
“My dear fellow, this is very handsome of you; but, I thank Heaven, I shall be soon able to repay it: but what pleases me, Newland, is your perfect confidence in one whom the rest of the world would not trust with a shilling. I will accept your offer as freely as it is made, and take L500, just to make a show for the few weeks that I am in suspense, and then you will find, that with all my faults, I am rot deficient in gratitude.” I divided the money with the Major, and he shortly afterwards went out.
“Well, sir,” said Timothy, entering, full of curiosity, “what have you done?”
“I have borrowed a thousand to pay fifteen hundred when I come into my property.”
“You are safe then. Excellent, and the Jew will be bit.”
“No, Timothy, I intend to repay it as soon as I can.”
“I should like to know when that will be.”
“So should I, Tim, for it must depend upon my finding out my parentage.” Heigho, thought I, when shall I ever find out who is my father?
The Major is very fortunate
and very unfortunate—He receives a
large sum in gold and one ounce of lead.
I dressed and went out, met Harcourt, dined with him, and on my return the Major had not come home. It was then past midnight, and feeling little inclination to sleep, I remained in the drawing-room, waiting for his arrival. About three o’clock he came in, flushed in the face, and apparently in high good humour.
“Newland,” said he, throwing his pocket-book on the table, “just open that, and then you will open your eyes.”
I obeyed him, and to my surprise took out a bundle of bank-notes; I counted up their value, and they amounted to L3500.
“You have been fortunate, indeed.”
“Yes,” replied the Major; “knowing that in a short time I shall be certain of cash, one way or the other, I had resolved to try my luck with the L500. I went to the hazard table, and threw in seventeen times—hedged upon the deuce ace, and threw out with it—voila. They won’t catch me there again in a hurry—luck like that only comes once in a man’s life; but, Japhet, there is a little drawback to all this. I shall require your kind attendance in two or three hours.”
“Why, what’s the matter?”
“Merely an affair of honour. I was insulted by a vagabond, and we meet at six o’clock.”
“A vagabond—but surely, Carbonnell, you will not condescend—”
“My dear fellow, although as great a vagabond as there is on the face of the earth, yet he is a peer of the realm, and his title warrants the meeting—but, after all, what is it?”
“I trust it will be nothing, Carbonnell, but still it may prove otherwise.”
“Granted; and what then, my dear Newland? we all owe Heaven a death, and if I am floored, why then I shall no longer be anxious about title or fortune.”