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True Riches T.S. Arthur

Chapter XVIII

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During the five or six following years, a number of events occurred bearing more or less seriously upon some of the actors in our story. With Edward Claire and his family, life had flowed on in an even current; and, but for the fact that his health never fairly recovered from the shock it received in consequence of his having taxed his physical system beyond its capability of endurance, the sunshine would never have been a moment from his threshold.

The important addition made to his income through the new arrangement volunteered by Fanny's guardian, gave to his external condition a more favourable aspect. He was no longer troubled about the ways and means of providing for his needful expenses. A much better situation, so far as a higher salary was concerned, had, during this time offered; but, as it required an amount of confinement and labour which he could not give, without endangering his health, he wisely declined the offer.

Far less smoothly had the current of Leonard Jasper's life flowed on. Twice during this period had he received visits from his old acquaintance, Martin, and each time he was made poorer by five thousand dollars. It was all in vain that he struggled and resisted. The man had no compassion in him. He cared not who suffered loss, so he was the gainer.

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There were other miners at work sapping the foundations of Jasper's fortune, besides this less concealed operator. Parker, the young man who succeeded to the place of Claire, and who was afterward raised to the condition of partner, with a limited interest, was far from being satisfied with his dividend in the business. The great bulk of Jasper's means were used in outside speculations; and as the result of these became successively known to Parker, his thoughts began to run in a new channel. "If I only had money to go into this," and, "If I only had money to go into that," were words frequently on his tongue. He regarded himself as exceedingly shrewd; and confidently believed that, if he had capital to work with, he could soon amass an independent fortune.

"Money makes money," was his favourite motto.

Unscrupulous as his partner, it is not surprising that Parker, ere long, felt himself perfectly authorized to use the credit of the house in private schemes of profit. To do this safely, it was necessary to have a friend outside of the firm. Such a friend he did not find it very hard to obtain; and as nearly the whole burden of the business fell upon his shoulders, it was not at all difficult to hide every thing from Jasper.

Confident as Parker was in his great shrewdness, his speculations outside of the business did not turn out very favourably. His first essay was in the purchase of stocks, on which he lost, in a week, two thousand dollars.

Like the gamester who loses, he only played deeper, in the hope of recovering his losses; and as it often happens with the gamester, in similar circumstances, the deeper he played, the more he lost.

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True Riches
T.S. Arthur

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