Then Marowsko took counsel as to baptizing the new liqueur. He wanted to call it “Extract of currants,” or else “Fine Groseille” or “Groselia,” or again “Groseline.” Pierre did not approve of either of these names.
Then the old man had an idea:
“What you said just now would be very good, very good: ‘Fine Ruby.’” But the doctor disputed the merit of this name, though it had originated with him. He recommended simply “Groseillette,” which Marowsko thought admirable.
Then they were silent, and sat for some minutes without a word under the solitary gas-lamp. At last Pierre began, almost in spite of himself:
“A queer thing has happened at home this evening. A friend of my father’s, who is lately dead, has left his fortune to my brother.”
The druggist did not at first seem to understand, but after thinking it over he hoped that the doctor had half the inheritance. When the matter was clearly explained to him he appeared surprised and vexed; and to express his dissatisfaction at finding that his young friend had been sacrificed, he said several times over:
“It will not look well.”
Pierre, who was relapsing into nervous irritation, wanted to know what Marowsko meant by this phrase.
Why would it not look well? What was there to look badly in the fact that his brother had come into the money of a friend of the family?
But the cautious old man would not explain further.
“In such a case the money is left equally to the two brothers, and I tell you, it will not look well.”
And the doctor, out of all patience, went away, returned to his father’s house, and went to bed. For some time afterward he heard Jean moving softly about the adjoining room, and then, after drinking two glasses of water, he fell asleep.
The doctor awoke next morning firmly resolved to make his fortune. Several times already he had come to the same determination without following up the reality. At the outset of all his trials of some new career the hopes of rapidly acquired riches kept up his efforts and confidence, till the first obstacle, the first check, threw him into a fresh path. Snug in bed between the warm sheets, he lay meditating. How many medical men had become wealthy in quite a short time! All that was needed was a little knowledge of the world; for in the course of his studies he had learned to estimate the most famous physicians, and he judged them all to be asses. He was certainly as good as they, if not better. If by any means he could secure a practice among the wealth and fashion of Havre, he could easily make a hundred thousand francs a year. And he calculated with great exactitude what his certain profits must be. He would go out in the morning to visit his patients; at the very moderate average of ten a day, at twenty francs each,