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|The Dawn of A To-morrow||Frances Hodgson Burnett|
|Page 4 of 6||
" 'T ain't fair to arst that wye," Glad put in with shrewd logic.
"Miss Montaubyn she allers knows it WILL come--an' it does."
"Something--not myself--turned my feet toward this place," said Dart. "I was thrust from one thing to another. I was forced to see and hear things close at hand. It has been as if I was under a spell. The woman in the room below--the woman lying dead!" He stopped a second, and then went on: "There is too much that is crying out aloud. A man such as I am--it has FORCED itself upon me --cannot leave such things and give himself to the dust. I cannot explain clearly because I am not thinking as I am accustomed to think. A change has come upon me. I shall not use the pistol--as I meant to use it."
Glad made a friendly clutch at the sleeve of his shabby coat.
"Right O!" she cried. "That 's it! You buck up sime as I told yer. Y' ain't stony broke an' there's 'allers to-morrer."
Antony Dart's expression was weirdly retrospective.
"I did not think so this morning," he answered.
"But there is," said the girl. "Ain't there now, curick? There 's a lot o' work in yer yet; yer could do all sorts o' things if y' ain't too proud. I 'll 'elp yer. So 'll the curick. Y' ain't found out yet what a little folks can live on till luck turns. Me, I'm goin' to try Miss Montaubyn's wye. Le's both try. Le 's believe things is comin'. Le 's get 'er to talk to us some more."
The curate was thinking the thing over deeply.
"Yer see," Glad enlarged cheerfully, "yer look almost like a gentleman. P'raps yer can write a good 'and an' spell all right. Can yer?"
"I think, perhaps," the curate began reflectively, "particularly if you can write well, I might be able to get you some work."
"I do not want work," Dart answered slowly. "At least I do not want the kind you would be likely to offer me."
The curate felt a shock, as if cold water had been dashed over him. Somehow it had not once occurred to him that the man could be one of the educated degenerate vicious for whom no power to help lay in any hands--yet he was not the common vagrant--and he was plainly on the point of producing an excuse for refusing work.
The other man, seeing his start and his amazed, troubled flush, put out a hand and touched his arm apologetically.
"I beg your pardon," he said. "One of the things I was going to tell you--I had not finished--was that I AM what is called a gentleman. I am also what the world knows as a rich man. I am Sir Oliver Holt."
Each member of the party gazed at him aghast. It was an enormous name to claim. Even the two female creatures knew what it stood for. It was the name which represented the greatest wealth and power in the world of finance and schemes of business. It stood for financial influence which could change the face of national fortunes and bring about crises. It was known throughout the world. Yesterday the newspaper rumor that its owner had mysteriously left England had caused men on 'Change to discuss possibilities together with lowered voices.
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|The Dawn of A To-morrow
Frances Hodgson Burnett
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