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True Riches T.S. Arthur

Chapter XV

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There was a slight drawback in the pleasure both felt in meeting at this late hour--the drawback of weariness. Yet their hearts were tranquil and elevated in the consciousness that they were denying self for the good of another--and that one most tenderly beloved. Again the way had become plain before them; and if strength only were given to bear their increased burdens, they would move on with even lighter footsteps than before.

And now, after having lingered thus long with the humble clerk, let us turn to the rich merchant; for Jasper has become a man of extensive possessions. Wealth flowed in upon him with extraordinary rapidity--not in the regular course of trade, overreaching and unscrupulous as he was in dealing, but through what are called fortunate speculations. How he made his first hundred thousand dollars--the basis of his present very large fortune--was not clearly understood, though sundry vague rumours on the subject were afloat, none of them, however, very near the truth, except in the admission that a fraud on somebody had been committed. But let us introduce Mr. Jasper.

On the night that Claire entered upon his duties as clerk in the auction store, and about the same hour that his duties began, Mr. Jasper, who was walking restlessly the floor of his richly furnished parlours, his mind busy with some large money-making scheme, yet fretted by a recent disappointment, found himself suddenly in the presence of, to him, a well-known individual, whose ring at the door he had not observed.

"Martin!" he exclaimed, in no affected surprise. "Is it possible?"

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"Ah, Jasper! How are you? Right glad to get sight of your face again!" said the other familiarly, as he grasped the merchant's passive hand, and squeezed it until the joints cracked.

"When did you arrive in the city?" returned Jasper, as he reached his visitor a chair. He did not speak with much warmth; and yet there was an effort to be at ease and cordial.

"Some two hours ago," said Martin, in whose face was already beginning to gather a few lines in token of the sober thoughts that lay beneath his assumed smiling exterior.

"From which direction did you come?"

"West. I'm from the Upper Mississippi."


"I went to Galena some five or six months ago; and have since been actively engaged in lead-mining. A great business that, Mr. Jasper."

"Ah?" This "ah?" was particularly chilling.

"There are more rapid fortunes made at the lead-mines in the neighbourhood of Galena, at present, than in any part of the United States," said Martin, approaching, by rapid advances, the subject nearest to his thoughts.

"You think so?" returned Jasper, with cold incredulity.

"I know so," was the positive response. "I could point you to a dozen men who have made their tens of thousands annually for the last five or ten years."

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True Riches
T.S. Arthur

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