“You do not understand. Mr. Chalker. You really do not, and I cannot explain. But about this bill of sale—never mind my granddaughter.”
“You the aforesaid Richard Emblem”—Mr. Chalker began to recite, without commas—“have assigned to me David Chalker aforesaid his executors administrators and assigns all and singular the several chattels and things specifically described in the schedule hereto annexed by way of security for the payment of the sum of three hundred and fifty pounds and interest thereon at the rate of eight per cent. per annum.”
“Thank you, Mr. Chalker. I know all that.”
“You can’t complain, I’m sure. It is five years since you borrowed the money.”
“It was fifty pounds and a box of old law books out of your office, and I signed a bill for a hundred.”
“You forget the circumstances.”
“No, I do not. My grandson was a rogue. One does not readily forget that circumstance. He was also your friend, I remember.”
“And I held my tongue.”
“I have had no more money from you, and the sum has become three hundred and fifty.”
“Of course you don’t understand law, Mr. Emblem. How should you! But we lawyers don’t work for nothing. However it isn’t what you got, but what I am to get. Come, my good sir, it’s cutting off your nose to spite your face. Settle and have done with it, even if it does take a little slice off your granddaughter’s fortune? Now look here”—his voice became persuasive—“why not take me into your confidence? Make a friend of me. You want advice; let me advise you. I can get you good investments—far better than you know anything of—good and safe investments—at six certain, and sometimes seven and even eight per cent. Make me your man of business—come now. As for this trumpery bill of sale—this trifle of three fifty, what is it to you? Nothing—nothing. And as for your intention to enrich your granddaughter, and cut off your grandson with a shilling, why I honor you for it—there, though he was my friend. For Joe deserves it thoroughly. I’ve told him so, mind. You ask him. I’ve told him so a dozen times. I’ve said: ‘The old man’s right, Joe.’ Ask him if I haven’t.”
This was very expansive, but somehow Mr. Emblem did not respond.
Presently, however, he lifted his head.
“I have three weeks still.”
“Three weeks still.”
“And if I do not find the money within three weeks?”
“Why—but of course you will—but if you do not—I suppose there will be only one thing left to do—realize the security, sell up—sticks and books and all.”
“Thank you, Mr. Chalker. I will look round me, and—and—do my best. Good day, Mr. Chalker.”
“The best you can do, Mr. Emblem,” returned the solicitor, “is to take me as your adviser. You trust David Chalker.”
“Thank you. Good-day, Mr. Chalker.”
On his way out, Mr. Chalker stopped for a moment and looked round the shop.