“I’ll begin by asking what you think a reasonable fee for an attorney in a case of this kind. I hope you will act for me.”
“You don’t want to spend it all in a lump, do you?” asked Mr. Grant, smiling. “We can hardly act as counsel for both you and Mr. Jones.”
“But I must have a lawyer, and the will limits the number of my confidants. What am I to do?”
“We will consult Mr. Jones in regard to the question. It is not regular, you see, but I apprehend no legal difficulties. We cannot accept fees from both sides, however,” said Mr. Grant.
“But I want attorneys who are willing to help me. It won’t be a help if you decline to accept my money.”
“We’ll resort to arbitration,” laughed Ripley.
Before night Montgomery Brewster began a career that would have startled the world had the facts been known. With true loyalty to the “Little Sons of the Rich,” he asked his friends to dinner and opened their eyes.
“Champagne!” cried Harrison, as they were seated at table. “I can’t remember the last time I had champagne.”
“Naturally,” laughed “Subway” Smith. “You couldn’t remember anything after that.”
As the dinner progressed Brewster explained that he intended to double his fortune within a year. “I’m going to have some fun, too,” he said, “and you boys are to help me.”
“Nopper” Harrison was employed as “superintendent of affairs”; Elon Gardner as financial secretary; Joe Bragdon as private secretary; “Subway” Smith as counsel, and there were places in view for the other members.
“I want the smartest apartment you can find, Nopper,” he commanded. “Don’t stop at expense. Have Pettingill redecorate it from top to bottom, Get the best servants you can find. I’m going to live, Nopper, and hang the consequences.”
A fortnight later Montgomery Brewster had a new home. In strict obedience to his chief’s command, “Nopper” Harrison had leased until the September following one of the most expensive apartments to be found in New York City. The rental was $23,000, and the shrewd financial representative had saved $1,000 for his employer by paying the sum in advance. But when he reported this bit of economy to Mr. Brewster he was surprised that it brought forth a frown. “I never saw a man who had less sense about money,” muttered “Nopper” to himself. “Why, he spends it like a Chicago millionaire trying to get into New York society. If it were not for the rest of us he’d be a pauper in six months.”
Paul Pettingill, to his own intense surprise and, it must be said, consternation, was engaged to redecorate certain rooms according to a plan suggested by the tenant. The rising young artist, in a great flurry of excitement, agreed to do the work for $500, and then blushed like a schoolgirl when he was informed by the practical Brewster that the paints and material for one room alone would cost twice as much.