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friends; at least, Mr. Darville's brother was, and they were both respectable and honourable men, he was sure, and thoroughly to be depended upon.
Joshua Dean pricked up his ears at that, and grew more cheerful.
“Then, may be, it's all true,” he said, “and I shall get the money for these bonds after all. 'Better than bank notes,' he said they were. If I could sell them now this minute so as to get the property back I would do so."
“I wish you could,” said Tom, thoughtfully. “I dare say Mr. Darville could do it for you.”
“No, he can't; anyhow, he won't. I have written to him, and he tells me it would be foolish to part with the bonds just now; they will be worth a great deal more money if I keep them a few months longer, he says.”
“I don't know so much about Mr. Louis," said Tom. “His brother Victor is my great friend. I'll write to him if you like, and ask him all about it."
“Will you, though ? Well, if it is not too much trouble.” “No trouble at all,” said Tom. “ And I'll give you the bonds to send up to him."
Oh, no," said Tom, alarmed at the thought of such a responsibility. “At all events, I'll write first, and you shall know what he says.”
Mr. Dean was quite in good spirits at the unexpected opening which appeared to be made for him in his difficulties, and took a pull at the sheet, with a “Yo ho!” to let off his excitement. Bowley was surprised to see him so animated and so like his former self. Towards nightfall the boat ran into the little cove near Abbotscliff. Martin was roused from his retreat where he had been lying, a small, uncomfortable, half-unconscious heap for the last hour or two, and was very glad to find they were going ashore again. He had had enough of the boat for the
present. The boys were carried to the beach upon Bowley's back, and shook hands with their friends warmly at parting.
"I think you were sent to me express for a good end, my lad," said Dean to our hero. “I feel as if you had done me good already; and if anything comes of it with these bonds I shall be a man again-a man mind!”
He turned away, muttering to himself, “Not a beast; no, never any more. A beast! Why, it's a libel upon the beasts to talk so!”
"Oh, the fish! the fish!” cried Martin as the boat was shoving off again. "Can't we have some of the fish?”
“Yes, to be sure,” Dean shouted; “hold on a bit. All of 'em if you like."
The mackerel were quickly strung through the gills and brought ashore.
" Will that do ?” Dean asked, seeing that Martin looked at them rather doubtfully. There were more mackerel than he wanted; but he was anxious to have one or two of the dag-fish. Mr. Grantly or some of the fellows might like to keep them as specimens. The "dorgs ” also were brought ashore therefore, and, laden with their spoils, the two boys toiled up the hill.
“Won't the fellows wonder where we have been ?” said Martin. “What a jolly day we have had! I shall never be anything but a sailor; I have quite made up my mind about that. You and I will sail together all round the world."
Tom had the same feeling; he could not be anything but a sailor, but he had misgivings on the subject, knowing that his parents had other hopes and expectations for him.
“What fun it will be to tell all the fellows about Chaffin!" Martin said, presently.
"You had better not say anything about him.” “Why not?”
Oh, I don't know. I would rather you did not. Promise me you won't."
“Oh, I can't promise. I don't think I could keep it in. I am so glad you gave him that cracker under the chin.”
Tom said nothing, and the subject dropped.
Before they went to bed that night Tom Howard noticed little Martin, surrounded by an excited group, performing a sort of pantomime. He saw him leap up, with his fist doubled, at the face of one of his tall listeners; and he knew that the history of his adventure with the Dook was being told. Before he could retreat he was seized by half-a-dozen of his schoolfellows, patted on the back, and applauded in the most enthusiastic terms for his zeal and courage.
" It was not courage," he said ; "it was passion.
But it was all the same to them: and it was with difficulty that Tom Howard could escape the honour of being chaired round the Common room.
The next day there was broiled mackerel for breakfast, and for many days after that certain “very ancient and fish-like smells were perceptible in the studies of some of the members of the Naturalists' Field Club.
The shame hereof will make me hide my head. - Shakespeare.
ICTOR DARVILLE, arriving at his place of business a day or
two after the events related in the last chapter, found a letter lying on his table among others addressed to himself, with the word "private" in the corner. He was at no loss to guess from the handwriting who had written it, and he opened it with a look of pleasure, which, however, faded away before
a he had read half the contents, and gave place to an expression of great wrath and indignation. It was from Tom Howard, telling him that Dean had sold the shipyard to Mr. Chaffin, and had received payment for it in shares of the Sandy Frith Building Company, which had been recommended to him by Louis Darville as better than bank notes; and asking him to get Louis, who knew all about the company, to change the shares for bank notes as soon as possible, and to send the amount to Mr. Dean.
Victor Darville struck the table with his fist, as soon as he had finished reading this letter.
"So he has been buying shares again,” he said to himself, “regardless of his promise to me to avoid such risks. I hope he has done it with his own money this time, but I scarcely know how that can be. I wish he would come. I could talk to him now. I would have it out with him at once."
Louis entered the room the next minute, and his brother began at once upon the subject uppermost in his mind.
· Look at that letter," he said.
Louis read it in silence, and put it down upon the table without a remark.
“ What is this swin—this company, that this poor fellow has got mixed up with ?”
Although he had not given utterance to the abusive epithet which was upon his lips, the contemptuous emphasis with which he uttered the word "company" was too marked to pass unnoticed.
“What is it?” Louis answered. “You can learn all about it from the secretary.”
“The less any of us know about it the better, I think," said Victor; “except with a view to the recovery of Mr. Dean's property for him."
“The company has nothing to do with that. He sold it to Chaffin, not to the company."
“How came it to be paid for then in stock ?”
“How should I know? Chaffin bought the property and Chaffin paid for it. He had a lot of shares for his contracts, and transferred them, I suppose, instead of paying cash. I had nothing to do with it.”
“ Did you not advise this man Dean to take the certificates instead of cash?” “Advise? Well, no.
Well, no. I told him my opinion of them; that was all.”
“ It comes to the same thing. He would not have taken them but for your recommendation.”
“He will be glad enough by-and-by that he did take them. The shares will go up tremendously as soon as Sandy Frith becomes known. It will be one of our best watering-places.”
" What are the shares worth now?”
“Now? at this moment? Oh, nobody can tell you. There is no open market for them yet; it is not to be expected. Those who have them should be only too glad to keep them, and should buy more.”
“ Have you any ?”
Louis did not answer this question, but went on talking about the probable increase in value of the shares.
“Have you any ?” his brother asked again; but still he did not answer.
“I ask you for the third time, Louis, have you any of these shares?"
“ That is my affair.”
“And I suppose that is my answer. Do you remember making me a promise that you would not embark in such speculations again ?”
“I don't call this a speculation.”