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Arthur. This young fellow fancies repining and complaining just as if that his good birth makes him the it wasn't my own supplication that equal of any one; and, secondly, was listened to.” Alice, in her sense of independence, Perhaps Tony was not in a huis exactly the girl to do a folly, and mour to discuss a nice question of imagine it to be heroic; so Mait- ethical meaning, for he abruptly land himself said to me, and it was said, “ Sir Arthur Lyle read your perfectly miraculous how well he note over, and said he'd call one of read her whole nature. And in these days and see you.
suppose deed it was he who suggested to he meant with the answer.” me to charge Tony Butler with There was no answer, Tony ; being engaged to the minister's the matter was just this—I wanted daughter, and told me—and, as I a trifle of an advance from the bank, saw, with truth-how thoroughly it just to give you a little would test his suspicions about him. you'd have to go away; and Tom I thought he was going to faint- M'Elwain, the new manager, not he really swayed back and forwards knowing me perhaps, referred the when I said that it was one of the matter to Sir Arthur, which was girls from whom I had the story.” not what I wished or intended, and
“If I could only believe this, he so I wrote and said so. Perhaps I should never cross the threshold said so a little too curtly, as if I again. Such insolence is, however, was too proud, or the like, to accept incredible.”
a favour at Sir Arthur's hands ; for “That's a man's way of regard- he wrote me a very beautiful letter ing it; and however you sneer at —it went home to my heart—about our credulity, it enables us to see his knowing your father long ago, scores of things that your obstinacy when they were both lads, and had is blind to. I am sincerely glad he the wide world before them; and is going away."
alluding very touchingly tó the So am I-now; and I trust, in Lord's bounties to himself - blessmy heart, we have seen the last of ing him with a full garner.” him.”
"I hope you accepted nothing “How tired you look, my poor from him," broke in Tony, roughly. Tony !” said his mother, as he en- “No, Tony; for it happened that tered the cottage and threw himself James Hewson, the apothecary, had heavily and wearily into a chair. a hundred pounds that he wanted
“I am tired, mother-very tired to lay out on a safe mortgage, and and jaded.”
so I took it, at six per cent, and I wondered what kept you so gave
him over the deeds of the little long, Tony; for I had time to pack place here.” your trunk, and to put away all “For a hundred pounds! Why, your things; and when it was done it's worth twelve hundred at least, and finished, to sit down and sorrow mother!” over your going away. Oh, Tony “What a boy it is !” said she, dear, aren't we ungrateful crea- laughing. “I merely gave him his tures, when we rise up in rebellion right to claim the one hundred that against the very mercies that are he advanced, Tony dear; and my vouchsafed us, and say, Why was note to Sir Arthur was to ask him to my prayer granted me? I am sure have the bond, or whatever it is callit was many and many a night, as ed, rightly drawn up and witnessed, I knelt down, I begged the Lord and at the same time to thank him would send you some calling or heartily for his own kind readiness other, that you might find means to serve me." of an honest living, and a line of I hate a mortgage, mother. I life that wouldn't disgrace the stock don't feel as if the place was our you came from; and now that He own any longer." has graciously heard me, here I am “ Your father's own words, eight
VOL. XCVI.-- NO. DLXXXV.
een years ago, when he drew all the to do, is to pay off that debt, money he had out of the agent's mother. Who knows but I may hands, and paid off the debt on this be able, before the year is over! little spot here. 'Nelly,' said he, But I'm glad you didn't take it 'I can look out of the window now, from Sir Arthur.” and not be afraid of seeing a man “ You're as proud as your father, coming up the road to ask for his Tony,” said she, with her eyes full interest.”
of tears ; “take care that you're as “ It's the very first thing I'll try good as he was, too."
CHAPTER XXXVI.-A CORNER IN DOWNING STREET.
When Tony Butler found himself “All right; we want you," said inside of the swinging glass-door at the other, still writing; "wait an inDowning Street, and in presence of stant.” So saying, he wrote on for the august Mr Willis, the porter, it several minutes at a rapid pace, seemed as if all the interval since muttering the words as his pen he had last stood in the same place traced them ; at last he finished, had been a dream. The head-porter and, descending from his high seat, looked up from his Times,' and passed across the room, opened a with a severity that showed he had door which led into another room, neither forgotten nor forgiven, said, and called out, “ Messengers' room— first pair- “ The messenger come, sir!” corridor-third door on the left." “Who is he?" shouted a very There was an unmistakable dignity harsh voice. in the manner of the speaker which “First for Madrid, sir," said the served to show Tony not merely youth, examining a slip of paper he that his former offence remained had just taken from his pocket. unpardoned, but that his entrance “His name ?" shouted out the into public life had not awed or im- other again. pressed in any way the stern official. “Poynder, sir.”
Tony passed on, mounted the “I beg your pardon," suggested stairs, and sauntered along a very Tony, mildly." I'm Butler, not ill-kept corridor, not fully certain Poynder.” whether it was the third, fourth, or “Who's talking out there—what's fifth door he was in search of, or that uproar ?" screamed the voice, on what hand. After about half very angrily. an hour passed in the hope of see- “ He says he's not for Madrid, ing one to direct him, he made sir. It's a mistake, cried the youth. bold to knock gently at a door. To “No; you misunderstand me,” his repeated summons no answer whispered Tony. “I only said I was was returned, and he tried another, not Poynder." when a shrill voice cried Come “ He says he's in Poynder's place, in.” He entered and saw a slight, sir.” sickly-looking youth, very elabo- “I'll stop this system of substirately dressed, seated at a table tutes !” cried the voice.“ Send him writing. The room was a large in here." one, very dirty, ill-furnished, and Go in there," said the youth, disorderly.
with a gesture of his thumb, and his “Well, what is it?” asked the face at the same time wore an exyoung gentleman, without lifting pression which said as plain as any his head or his eyes from the desk. words could have spoken,
“ Could you tell me," said Tony, you'll see how you like it." courteously, “where I ought to go? As Tony entered, he found himI'm Butler, an extra messenger, self standing face to face to the and I have been summoned to at- awful official, Mr Brand, the same tend and report here this morning." who had reported to the Minister
his intended assault on Willis the days of mighty patronage are gone porter. “Aw! what's all this about?” by; the public require to be served said Mr Brand, pompously. “You by competent officials. We are not are Mr-Mr
in the era of Castlereaghs and Van“Mr Butler," said Tony, quietly, sittarts. If you can satisfy the but with an air of determination. Commissioners, you may come back
“And instead of reporting your- here ; if you cannot, you may go self, you come here to say that you back to-to whatever life you were have exchanged with Poynder.” leading before, and were probably
“I never heard of Poynder till most fit for. As for you, Mr Blount, three minutes ago.”
I told you before that on the first “You want, however, to take his occasion of your attempting to exjourney, sir. You call yourself first ercise here that talent for intrigue for Madrid ?”
on which you pride yourself, and “I do nothing of the kind. I of which Mr Vance told me you have come here because I got a were a proficient, I should report telegram two days ago. I know you. I now say, sir—and bear in nothing of Poynder, and just as mind I say so openly, and to yourlittle about Madrid.”
self, and in
friend “Oh-aw! you're Butler! I re- here—I shall do so this day.” member all about you now ; there “May I explain, sir ? .” is such a swarm of extras appointed, “You may not, sir-withdraw !" that it's impossible to remember The wave of the hand that accomnames or faces. You're the young panied_this order evidently ingentleman who—who; yes, yes, I cluded Tony, but he held his ground remember it all ; but have you undismayed, while the other fell passed the civil-service examiners ?" back, overwhelmed with shame and
“No; I was preparing for the confusion. examination when I received that Not deigning to be aware of message, and came off at once." Tony's continued presence in the “Well
, you'll present yourself at room, Mr Brand again addressed Burlington House. Mr Blount will himself to his writing materials, make out the order for you ; you when a green-cloth door at the can go up the latter end of this back of the room opened, and Mr week, and we shall want you im- Vance entered, and, advancing to mediately.”
where the other sat, leaned over his “But I am not ready. I was chair and whispered some words reading for this examination when in his ear. “You'll find I'm right,” your telegram came, and I set off muttered he as he finished. at the instant.”
“And where's the Office to go Blount, Mr Blount !” screamed to ?” burst out the other, in a tone out the other, angrily; and as the of ill-repressed passion—“will you affrighted youth presented himself, just tell me that ? Where's the all pale and trembling, he went on, Office to go—if this continues ?” “What's the meaning of this, sirs " That's neither your affair nor You first attempt to pass this per- mine," whispered Vance. “These son off for Poynder; and when that sort of things were done before we scheme fails, you endeavour to slip were born, and they will be done him into the service without warrant after we're in our graves !" or qualification. He tells me him- “And is he to walk in here, and self he knows nothing."
say, 'I'm first for service; I don't “ Very little, certainly, but I don't care whether you like it or not'?" . remember telling you so," said “He's listening to you all this Tony.
while—are you aware of that ? ” “ And do you imagine, sir, that a whispered Vance; on which the bravado about your ignorance is the other grew very red in the face, took sure road to advancement? I can off his spectacles, wiped and replaced tell you, young gentleman, that the them, and then, addressing Tony,
my then ?"
said, “Go away, sir-leave the a certain degree of compassion as Office.”
he said, “Well, well, do your best “Mr Brand means that you do your best-none can do more. need not wait," said Vance, ap- “It's two o'clock. I'll go out proaching Tony. “All you have and have a cigar with you, if you to do is to leave your town address don't mind,” said Blount to Tony. here, in the outer office, and come "We're quite close to the Park here up once or twice a-day.
and a little fresh air will do me good.” And as to this examination," “Come along," said Tony, who, said Tony, stoutly, “it's better I out of compassion, had already a should say once for all
sort of half-liking for the much-suf“It's better you should just say fering young fellow. nothing at all," said the other, good- “I wish Skeffy was here,” said humouredly, as he slipped his arm Tony, as they went down-stairs. inside of Tony's and led him away. “Do you know Skeff Damer,
You see," whispered he, friend Mr Brand is hasty."
“Know him! I believe he's about “I should think he is hasty!” the fellow I like best in the world." growled out Tony.
“ So do I,” cried the other, warm“But he is a warm-hearted—a ly ; "he hasn't his equal livingtruly warm-hearted man
he's the best-hearted and he's the “Warm enough he seems.” cleverest fellow I ever met.”
“When you know him bet- And now they both set to, as ter
really only young friends ever do, “I don't want to know him to extol a loved one with that heartibetter !” burst in Tony. “I got ness that neither knows limit nor into a scrape already with just such measure. What a good fellow he another : he was collector for the - how much of this, without port of Derry, and I threw him out the least of that-how unspoiled of the window, and all the blame too in the midst of the flattery he was laid upon me!”
met with ! “If you just saw him as “Well, that certainly was hard," I did a few days back," said Tony, said Vance, with a droll twinkle of calling up in memory Skeffy's hearty his eye-“I call that very hard." enjoyment of their humble cottage
So do I, after the language he life. used to me, saying all the while, “If you but knew how they I'm no duellist I'm not for a saw- think of him in the Office," said pit, with coffee and pistols for two, Blount, whose voice actually tremand all that vulgar slang about bled as he touched on the holy murder and suchlike."
of holies. And was he much hurt?”
“ Confound the Office!" cried No; not much. It was only Tony. “Yes; don't look shocked. his collar-bone and one rib, I think I hate that dreary old house, and I -I forget now-for I had to go over detest the grim old fellows inside to Skye, and stay there a good of it.” part of the summer.”
“ They're severe, certainly,” mutMr Blount, take down this gen- tered the other, in a deprecatory tleman's address, and show him tone. where he is to wait; and don't
6. Severe isn't the name for it. here he lowered his voice, so that They insult—they outrage-that's the remainder of his speech was in- what they do. I take it that you audible to Tony.
and the other young fellows here “Not if I can help it, sir,” re- are gentlemen, and I ask, Why do plied Blount ; “ but if you knew you bear it—why do you put up how hard it is !”
with it? Perhaps you like it, howThere was something almost piteous in the youth's face as he spoke; “No; we don't like it,” said he, and indeed Vance seemed moved to with an honest simplicity.
"Then, I ask again, why do you “Oh, I can do that much at stand it?"
least,” said he, modestly, “though "I believe we stand it just be- I'm not a clever fellow like Skeffy; cause we can't help it."
but I must go back, or I shall 'catch “ Can't help it !”
it. Look in the day after to-mor“What could we do ? What row.” would you do ?” asked Blount. “ And let us dine together;
that “I'd go straight at the first man is, you will dine with me, said that insulted me, and say, Retract Tony. The other acceded freely, that, or I'll pitch you over the ban- and they parted. isters.'
That magnetism by which young “That's all very fine with you fellows are drawn instantaneously fellows who have great connections towards each other, and feel someand powerful relatives ready to thing that if not friendship is closestand by you and pull you out of ly akin to it, never repeats itself in any scrape, and then, if the worst after life. We grow more cautious comes, have means enough to live about our contracts as we grow oldwithout work.
That will do very I wonder do we make better well for you and Skeffy. Skeffy bargains? will have six thousand a-year one If Tony was then somewhat disof these days. No one can keep couraged by his reception at the him out of Digby Damer's estate; Office, he had the pleasure of thinkand you, for aught I know, may ing he was compensated in that have more.”
new-found friend who was so fond “I haven't sixpence, nor the ex- of Skeffy, and who could talk away pectation of sixpence, in the world. as enthusiastically about him as If I am plucked at this examination himself. “ Now for M‘Gruder and I may go and enlist, or turn navvy, Canon Row, wherever that may be,” or go and sweep away the dead said he, as he sauntered along; “I'll leaves like that fellow yonder." certainly go and see him, if only
“ Then take my advice, and don't to shake hands with a fellow that go up."
showed such “good blood.'”. There “Go up, where ?”
was no one quality which Tony “Don't go up to be examined; could prize higher than this. The just wait here in town; don't show man who could take a thrashing in too often at the Office, but come good part, and forgive him who gave up of a morning about twelve, I'm it, must be a fine fellow, he thought; generally down here by that time. and I'm not disposed to say he was There will be a great press for mes- wrong. sengers soon, for they have made a The address was 27 Canon Street, regulation about one going only so City; and it was a long way off, and far, and another taking up his bag the day somewhat spent when he and handing it on to a third; and reached it. the consequence is, there are three “Mr M'Gruder ?” asked Tony, of now stuck fast at Marseilles, and a blear-eyed man, at a small faded two at Belgrade, and all the Con- desk in a narrow office. stantinople despatches have gone “Inside !” said he, with a jerk of round by the Cape. Of course, as his thumb; and Tony pushed his I say, they'll have to alter this, and way into a small room, so crammed then we shall suddenly want every with reams of paper that there was fellow we can lay hands on; so all barely space to squeeze a passage you have to do is just to be ready, to a little writing-table next the and I'll take care to start you at the window. first chance."
“Well, sir, your pleasure,” said “ You're a good fellow,” cried MʻGruder, as Tony came forward. Tony, grasping his hand; "if you “ You forget me, I see ; my naine only knew what a bad swimmer it is Butler.” was you picked out of the water." “Eh! what! I ought not to for