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

“Yes, but they know you never pay.”

“They know I never do now, because I have no money; but they know I will pay if I come into the estate; and so I will, most honourably, besides a few more thousands that I have in my book.”

“I congratulate you, with all my heart, Major.  How old is the present Lord B——?”

“I have just been examining the peerage—­he is sixtytwo; but he is very fresh and hearty, and may live a long while yet.  By-the-bye, Newland, I committed a great error last night at the club.  I played pretty high, and lost a great deal of money.”

“That is unfortunate.”

“That was not the error; I actually paid all my losings, Newland, and it has reduced the stock amazingly.  I lost seven hundred and fifty pounds.  I know I ought not to have paid away your money, but the fact was, as I was hedging, it would not do not to have paid, as I could not have made up my book as I wished.  It is, however, only waiting a few weeks, till Mrs M——­ decides my fate, and then, either one way or the other, I shall have money enough.  If your people won’t give you any more till you are of age, why we must send to a little friend of mine, that’s all, and you shall borrow for both of us.”

“Borrow!” replied I, not much liking the idea; “they will never lend me money.”

“Won’t they?” replied the Major; “no fear of that.  Your signature, and my introduction, will be quite sufficient.”

“We had better try to do without it, Major; I do not much like it.”

“Well, if we can, we will; but I have not fifty pounds left in my desk; how much have you?”

“About twenty,” replied I, in despair at this intelligence; “but I think there is a small sum left at the banker’s; I will go and see.”  I took up my hat and set off, to ascertain what funds we might have in store.

Chapter XXVIII

     I am over head and ears in trouble about a lady’s ear-rings; commit
     myself sadly, and am very nearly committed.

I must say, that I was much annoyed at this intelligence.  The money-lenders would not be satisfied unless they knew where my estates were, and had examined the will at Doctors’ Commons; then all would be exposed to the Major, and I should be considered by him as an impostor.  I walked down Pall Mall in a very unhappy mood, so deep in thought, that I ran against a lady, who was stepping out of her carriage at a fashionable shop.  She turned round, and I was making my best apologies to a very handsome woman when her ear-rings caught my attention.  They were of alternate coral and gold, and the fac-simile in make to the chain given by Nattee to Fleta.  During my last visit, I had often had the chain in my hand, and particularly marked the workmanship.  To make more sure, I followed into the shop, and stood behind her, carefully examining them, as she looked over a quantity of laces.  There could be no doubt. 

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