In Luck at Last eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about In Luck at Last.

This is a sound which to some ears is more delightful than the finest music in the world.  It awakens all the most pleasurable emotions; it provokes desire and hankering after possession; and it fills the soul with the imaginary enjoyment of wealth.

“Certainly not,” said Mr. Chalker, confident that better terms than those would be offered.  “If that is all you have to say, you may go away again.”

“But the rest is usury.  Think!  To give fifty, and ask three hundred and fifty, is the part of an usurer.”

“Call it what you please.  The bill of sale is for three hundred and fifty pounds.  Pay that three hundred and fifty, with costs and sheriff’s poundage, and I take away my man.  If you don’t pay it, then the books on the shelves and the furniture of the house go to the hammer.”

“The books, I am informed,” said Lala Roy, “will not bring as much as a hundred pounds if they are sold at auction.  As for the furniture, some of it is mine, and some belongs to Mr. Emblem’s granddaughter.”

“His granddaughter!  Oh, it’s a swindle,” said Mr. Chalker angrily.  “It is nothing more or less than a rank swindle.  The old man ought to be prosecuted, and, mind you, I’ll prosecute him, and you too, for conspiring with him.”

“A prosecution,” said the Hindoo, “will not hurt him, but it might hurt you.  For it would show how you lent him fifty pounds five years ago; how you made him give you a bill for a hundred; how you did not press him to pay that bill, but you continually offered to renew it for him, increasing the amount on each time of renewal; and at last you made him give you a bill of sale for three hundred and fifty.  This is, I suppose, one of the many ways in which Englishmen grow rich.  There are also usurers in India, but they do not, in my country, call themselves lawyers.  A prosecution.  My friend, it is for us to prosecute.  Shall we show that you have done the same thing with many others?  You are, by this time, well known in the neighborhood, Mr. Chalker, and you are so much beloved that there are many who would be delighted to relate their experiences and dealings with so clever a man.  Have you ever studied, one asks with wonder, the Precepts of the great Sage who founded your religion?”

“Oh, come, don’t let us have any religious nonsense!”

“I assure you they are worth studying.  I am, myself, an humble follower of Gautama, but I have read those precepts with profit.  In the kingdom imagined by that preacher, there is no room for usurers, Mr. Chalker.  Where, then, will be your kingdom?  Every man must be somewhere.  You must have a kingdom and a king.”

“This is tomfoolery!” Mr. Chalker turned red, and looked very uncomfortable.  “Stick to business.  Payment in full.  Those are my terms.”

“You think, then, that the Precepts of your Sage are only intended for men while they sit in the church?  Many Englishmen think so, I have observed.”

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In Luck at Last from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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