In the Year of Jubilee eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 509 pages of information about In the Year of Jubilee.

In the Year of Jubilee eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 509 pages of information about In the Year of Jubilee.

‘Oh, you’ll get rich,’ declared Nancy, laughing.  ’No doubt about it.’

’There was a spot down the South Western Railway where we wanted to stick up a board, a great big board, as ugly as they make ’em.  It was in a man’s garden; a certain particular place, where the trains slow, and folks have time to read the advertisement and meditate on it.  That chap wouldn’t listen.  What! spoil his garden with our da——­with our confounded board! not for five hundred a year!  Well, I went down, and I talked to him—­’

‘Like a father,’ put in Nancy.

’Just so, like a father.  “Look here,” said I, “my dear sir, you’re impeding the progress of civilisation.  How could we have become what we are without the modern science and art of advertising?  Till advertising sprang up, the world was barbarous.  Do you suppose people kept themselves clean before they were reminded at every corner of the benefits of soap?  Do you suppose they were healthy before every wall and hoarding told them what medicine to take for their ailments?  Not they indeed!  Why, a man like you—­an enlightened man, I see it in your face (he was as ugly as Ben’s bull-dog), ought to be proud of helping on the age.”  And I made him downright ashamed of himself.  He asked me to have a bit of dinner, and we came to terms over the cheese.’

In this strain did Luckworth Crewe continue to talk across the gloomy solitudes of Soho.  And Nancy would on no account have had him cease.  She was fascinated by his rough vigour and by his visions of golden prosperity.  It seemed to her that they reached very quickly the restaurant he had in view.  With keen enjoyment of the novelty, she followed him between tables where people were eating, drinking, smoking, and took a place beside him on a cushioned seat at the end of the room.

‘I know you’re tired,’ he said.  ’There’s nearly half-an-hour before you need move.’

Nancy hesitated in her choice of a refreshment.  She wished to have something unusual, something that fitted an occasion so remarkable, yet, as Crewe would of course pay, she did not like to propose anything expensive.

‘Now let me choose for you,’ her companion requested.  ’After all that rough work, you want something more than a drop of lemonade.  I’m going to order a nice little bottle of champagne out of the ice, and a pretty little sandwich made of whatever you like.’


It had been in her thoughts, a sparkling audacity.  Good; champagne let it be.  And she leaned back in defiant satisfaction.

‘I didn’t expect much from Jubilee Day,’ observed the man of business, ’but that only shows how things turn out—­always better or worse than you think for.  I’m not likely to forget it; it’s the best day I’ve had in my life yet, and I leave you to guess who I owe that to.’

‘I think this is good wine,’ remarked Nancy, as if she had not heard him.

’Not bad.  You wouldn’t suppose a fellow of my sort would know anything about it.  But I do.  I’ve drunk plenty of good champagne, and I shall drink better.’

Project Gutenberg
In the Year of Jubilee from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.