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|True Riches||T.S. Arthur|
|Page 1 of 6||
On leaving the house of Jasper, Martin--who, instead of having been in the city only a few hours, arrived two days previously--took his way to the office of Grind, the lawyer. He had seen this individual already several times, and now called on him again by appointment. The two men, on meeting, exchanged looks of intelligence.
"Did you see him?" asked the lawyer, as Martin took a proffered chair.
"I saw him," was replied.
"Can you make any thing out of him?'
"I think so. He fights a little hard; but the odds are against him."
"How much did you ask him to loan you?"
"Martin! That's cutting a little too sharp."
"Not a hit. He'll never miss such a trifle."
"You can't bleed him that deep," said the lawyer.
"Can't I? You'll see; I could get twenty thousand. But I'm disposed to be generous. Ten thousand I must and will have."
And the man laughed in a low, self-satisfied, sinister chuckle.
"He's able enough," remarked Grind.
"So you have told me. And if he is able, he must pay. I helped him to a fortune, and it is but fair that he should help me a little, now that a fortune is in my grasp. I only want the money as a loan."
"Wouldn't five thousand answer your purpose?" asked the lawyer. "That is a large sum. It is not a very easy matter for even a rich man, who is engaged heavily in business, to lay down ten thousand dollars at call."
"Five thousand will not do, Mr. Grind."
"Jasper has lost, to my certain knowledge, twenty thousand dollars in three months."
"At least that sum. Money came in so fast, that he grew a little wild in his speculations, and played his cards with the dashing boldness of a gambler while in a run of luck. I cautioned him, but to no good purpose. One of his latest movements had been to put fifty or sixty thousand dollars in a cotton factory?"
"Poh! What folly."
"A most egregious blunder. But he fancies himself an exceedingly shrewd man."
"He has been remarkably fortunate in his operations."
"So he has. But he is more indebted, I think, to good luck than to a sound judgment. He has gone up to dizzy height so rapidly, that his weak head is already beginning to swim."
"What has become of that pretty little ward of his?" asked Martin, somewhat abruptly.
"Why didn't you put that question to him?" replied Grind. "You would have been more likely to get a satisfactory answer."
"I may do so after I have the ten thousand dollars in my pocket. That was rather a shameful business, though; wasn't it? I never had a very tender conscience, but I must own to having suffered a few twinges for my part in the transaction. He received over a hundred thousand dollars for the land?"
"Yes; and that clear of some heavy fees that you and I claimed for services rendered."
"Humph! I'm not quite paid yet. But, touching the child, Mr. Grind: don't you know any thing about her?"
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