Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

The gentleman bowed, and appeared quite satisfied.  Major Carbonnell’s partner paid me one hundred and forty pounds, which I put in my pocket-book, and we quitted the club.

Chapter XXV

     We fund our winnings, and consider to refund, a work of
     supererogation—­In looking after my father, I obey the old adage,
     “Follow your nose.”

As soon as we were in the street, I commenced an inquiry as to the Major’s motives.  “Not one word, my dear fellow, until we are at home,” replied he.  As soon as we arrived, he threw himself in a chair, and crossing his legs, commenced:  “You observe, Newland, that I am very careful that you should do nothing to injure your character.  As for my own, all the honesty in the world will not redeem it; nothing but a peerage will ever set me right again in this world, and a coronet will cover a multitude of sins.  I have thought it my duty to add something to our finances, and intend to add very considerably to them before we leave Cheltenham.  You have won one hundred and twenty-eight pounds.”

“Yes,” replied I; “but you have lost it.”

“Granted; but, as in most cases, I never mean to pay my losses, you see that it must be a winning speculation as long as we play against each other.”

“I perceive,” replied I; “but am not I a confederate?”

“No; you paid when you lost, and took your money when you won.  Leave me to settle my own debts of honour.”

“But you will meet him again to-morrow night.”

“Yes, and I will tell you why.  I never thought it possible that we could have met two such bad players at the club.  We must now play against them, and we must win in the long run:  by which means I shall pay off the debt I owe him, and you will win and pocket money.”

“Ah,” replied I, “if you mean to allow him a chance for his money, I have no objection—­that will be all fair.”

“Depend upon it, Newland, when I know that people play as badly as they do, I will not refuse them; but when we sit down with others, it must be as it was before—­we must play against each other, and I shall owe the money.  I told the fellow that I never would pay him.”

“Yes; but he thought you were only joking.”

“That is his fault—­I was in earnest.  I could not have managed this had it not been that you are known to be a young man of ten thousand pounds per annum, and supposed to be my dupe.  I tell you so candidly; and now good-night.”

I turned the affair over in my mind as I undressed—­it was not honest—­but I paid when I lost, and I only took the money when I won,—­still I did not like it; but the bank notes caught my eye as they lay on the table, and—­I was satisfied.  Alas! how easy are scruples removed when we want money!  How many are there who, when in a state of prosperity and affluence, when not tried by temptation, would

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Japhet, in Search of a Father from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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