This he sent by a special messenger, who returned with a note to his lodgings long before he was up on the following morning.
’No;—no; certainly not. No word of this will ever pass my mouth.
Mr Broune thought that he was very well out of the danger, and resolved that Lady Carbury should never want anything that his friendship could do for her.
On Friday, the 21st June, the Board of the South Central Pacific and Mexican Railway sat in its own room behind the Exchange, as was the Board’s custom every Friday. On this occasion all the members were there, as it had been understood that the chairman was to make a special statement. There was the great chairman as a matter of course. In the midst of his numerous and immense concerns he never threw over the railway, or delegated to other less experienced hands those cares which the commercial world had intrusted to his own. Lord Alfred was there, with Mr Cohenlupe, the Hebrew gentleman, and Paul Montague, and Lord Nidderdale,—and even Sir Felix Carbury. Sir Felix had come, being very anxious to buy and sell, and not as yet having had an opportunity of realizing his golden hopes, although he had actually paid a thousand pounds in hard money into Mr Melmotte’s hands. The secretary, Mr Miles Grendall, was also present as a matter of course. The Board always met at three, and had generally been dissolved at a quarter past three. Lord Alfred and Mr Cohenlupe sat at the chairman’s right and left hand. Paul Montague generally sat immediately below, with Miles Grendall opposite to him;—but on this occasion the young lord and the young baronet took the next places. It was a nice little family party, the great chairman with his two aspiring sons-in-law, his two particular friends,—the social friend, Lord Alfred, and the commercial friend Mr Cohenlupe,—and Miles, who was Lord Alfred’s son. It would have been complete in its friendliness, but for Paul Montague, who had lately made himself disagreeable to Mr Melmotte;—and most ungratefully so, for certainly no one had been allowed so free a use of the shares as the younger member of the house of Fisker, Montague, and Montague.
It was understood that Mr Melmotte was to make a statement. Lord Nidderdale and Sir Felix had conceived that this was to be done as it were out of the great man’s heart, of his own wish, so that something of the condition of the company might be made known to the directors of the company. But this was not perhaps exactly the truth. Paul Montague had insisted on giving vent to certain doubts at the last meeting but one, and, having made himself very disagreeable indeed, had forced this trouble on the great chairman. On the intermediate Friday the chairman had made himself very unpleasant to Paul, and this had seemed to be an effort on his part to frighten the inimical director