But strangely enough Geoffrey soon found that he was happier than he had been since his marriage. To begin with, he set to work like a man, and work is a great source of happiness to all vigorous-minded folk. It is not, in truth, a particularly cheerful occupation to pass endless days in hanging about law-courts amongst a crowd of unbriefed Juniors, and many nights in reading up the law one has forgotten and threading the many intricacies of the Judicature Act. But it happened that his father, a younger brother of Sir Robert’s, had been a solicitor, and though he was dead, and all direct interest with the firm was severed, yet another uncle remained in it, and the partners did not forget Geoffrey in his difficulties.
They sent him what work they could without offending their standing counsel, and he did it well. Then by degrees he built up quite a large general practice of the kind known as deviling. Now there are few things more unsatisfactory than doing another man’s work for nothing, but every case fought means knowledge gained, and what is more it is advertisement. So it came to pass that within less than two years from the date of his money misfortunes, Geoffrey Bingham’s dark handsome face and square strong form became very well known in the Courts.
“What is that man’s name?” said one well-known Q.C. to another still more well known, as they sat waiting for their chops in the Bar Grill Room, and saw Geoffrey, his wig pushed back from his forehead, striding through the doorway on the last day of the sitting which preceded the commencement of this history.
“Bingham,” answered the other. “He’s only begun to practise lately, but he’ll be at the top of the tree before he has done. He married very well, you know, old Garsington’s daughter, a charming woman, and handsome too.”
“He looks like it,” grunted the first, and as a matter of fact such was the general opinion.
For, as Beatrice had said, Geoffrey Bingham was a man who had success written on his forehead. It would have been almost impossible for him to fail in whatever he undertook.
WHAT BEATRICE DREAMED
Geoffrey lay upon his back, watching the still patch of sunshine and listening to the ticking of the clock, as he passed all these and many other events in solemn review, till the series culminated in his vivid recollection of the scene of that very morning.
“I am sick of it,” he said at last aloud, “sick and tired. She makes my life wretched. If it wasn’t for Effie upon my word I’d . . . By Jove, it is three o’clock; I will go and see Miss Granger. She’s a woman, not a female ghost at any rate, though she is a freethinker—which,” he added as he slowly struggled off the couch, “is a very foolish thing to be.”