’No, he wouldn’t. Nobody would suppose that anybody would pick me out for this kind of thing. If I’d known that you were going to tell me such a story as this I wouldn’t have come with you.’
‘That’s nonsense, Dolly.’
’Very well. I can’t bear these kind of things. I feel all in a twitter already.’
‘You mean to go on playing just the same?’
’Of course I do. If he won anything very heavy I should begin to think about it, I suppose. Oh; this is Abchurch Lane, is it? Now for the man of money.’
The man of money received them much more graciously than Felix had expected. Of course nothing was said about Marie and no further allusion was made to the painful subject of the baronet’s ‘property.’ Both Dolly and Sir Felix were astonished by the quick way in which the great financier understood their views and the readiness with which he undertook to comply with them. No disagreeable questions were asked as to the nature of the debt between the young men. Dolly was called upon to sign a couple of documents, and Sir Felix to sign one,—and then they were assured that the thing was done. Mr Adolphus Longestaffe had paid Sir Felix Carbury a thousand pounds, and Sir Felix Carbury’s commission had been accepted by Mr Melmotte for the purchase of railway stock to that amount. Sir Felix attempted to say a word. He endeavoured to explain that his object in this commercial transaction was to make money immediately by reselling the shares,—and to go on continually making money by buying at a low price and selling at a high price. He no doubt did believe that, being a Director, if he could once raise the means of beginning this game, he could go on with it for an unlimited period;—buy and sell, buy and sell;—so that he would have an almost regular income. This, as far as he could understand, was what Paul Montague was allowed to do,—simply because he had become a Director with a little money. Mr Melmotte was cordiality itself, but he could not be got to go into particulars. It was all right. ’You will wish to sell again, of course,—of course. I’ll watch the market for you.’ When the young men left the room all they knew, or thought that they knew, was, that Dolly Longestaffe had authorized Melmotte to pay a thousand pounds on his behalf to Sir Felix, and that Sir Felix had instructed the same great man to buy shares with the amount. ‘But why didn’t he give you the scrip?’ said Dolly on his way westwards.
‘I suppose it’s all right with him,’ said Sir Felix.
’Oh yes;—it’s all right. Thousands of pounds to him are only like half-crowns to us fellows. I should say it’s all right. All the same, he’s the biggest rogue out, you know.’ Sir Felix already began to be unhappy about his thousand pounds.
Lady Carbury continued to ask frequent questions as to the prosecution of her son’s suit, and Sir Felix began to think that he was persecuted. ‘I have spoken to her father,’ he said crossly.