FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Abstracts, books, theses

Pages:     | 1 | 2 || 4 | 5 |   ...   | 23 |

«Published: 1897 Categorie(s): Fiction, Mystery & Detective Source: About Allen: Charles Grant Blairfindie Allen ...»

-- [ Page 3 ] --

If you wish to see how friendly and charming humanity is, just try being a well-known millionaire for a week, and you'll learn a thing or two. Wherever Sir Charles goes he is surrounded by charming and disinterested people, all eager to make his distinguished acquaintance, and all familiar with several excellent investments, or several deserving objects of Christian charity. It is my business in life, as his brother-in-law and secretary, to decline with thanks the excellent investments, and to throw judicious cold water on the objects of charity. Even I myself, as the great man's almoner, am very much sought after. People casually allude before me to artless stories of "poor curates in Cumberland, you know, Mr. Wentworth," or widows in Cornwall, penniless poets with epics in their desks, and young painters who need but the breath of a patron to open to them the doors of an admiring Academy. I smile and look wise, while I administer cold water in minute doses; but I never report one of these cases to Sir Charles, except in the rare or almost unheard-of event where I think there is really something in them.

Ever since our little adventure with the Seer at Nice, Sir Charles, who is constitutionally cautious, had been even more careful than usual about possible sharpers. And, as chance would have it, there sat just opposite us at table d'hôte at the Schweitzerhof—'tis a fad of Amelia's to dine at table d'hôte; she says she can't bear to be boxed up all day in private rooms with "too much family"—a sinister-looking man with dark hair and eyes, conspicuous by his bushy overhanging eyebrows. My attention was first called to the eyebrows in question by a nice little parson who sat at our side, and who observed that they were made up of certain large and bristly hairs, which (he told us) had been traced by Darwin to our monkey ancestors. Very pleasant little fellow, this fresh-faced young parson, on his honeymoon tour with a nice wee wife, a bonnie Scotch lassie with a charming accent.

I looked at the eyebrows close. Then a sudden thought struck me. "Do you believe they're his own?" I asked of the curate; "or are they only stuck on—a make-up disguise?

They really almost look like it."

"Y don't suppose—" Charles began, and checked ou himself suddenly.

"Y I do," I answered; "the Seer!" Then I recollected my es, blunder, and looked down sheepishly. For, to say the truth, Vandrift had straightly enjoined on me long before to say nothing of our painful little episode at Nice to Amelia; he was afraid if she once heard of it, he would hear of it for ever after.

"What Seer?" the little parson inquired, with parsonical curiosity.

I noticed the man with the overhanging eyebrows give a queer sort of start. Charles's glance was fixed upon me. I hardly knew what to answer.

"Oh, a man who was at Nice with us last year," I stammered out, trying hard to look unconcerned. "A fellow they talked about, that's all." And I turned the subject.

But the curate, like a donkey, wouldn't let me turn it.

"Had he eyebrows like that?" he inquired, in an undertone. I was really angry. If this was Colonel Clay, the curate was obviously giving him the cue, and making it much more difficult for us to catch him, now we might possibly have lighted on the chance of doing so.

"No, he hadn't," I answered testily; "it was a passing expression. But this is not the man. I was mistaken, no doubt." And I nudged him gently.

The little curate was too innocent for anything. "Oh, I see," he replied, nodding hard and looking wise. Then he turned to his wife and made an obvious face, which the man with the eyebrows couldn't fail to notice.

Fortunately, a political discussion going on a few places farther down the table spread up to us and diverted attention for a moment. The magical name of Gladstone saved us. Sir Charles flared up. I was truly pleased, for I could see Amelia was boiling over with curiosity by this time.

After dinner, in the billiard-room, however, the man with the big eyebrows sidled up and began to talk to me. If he was Colonel Clay, it was evident he bore us no grudge at all for the five thousand pounds he had done us out of.

On the contrary, he seemed quite prepared to do us out of five thousand more when opportunity offered; for he introduced himself at once as Dr. Hector Macpherson, the exclusive grantee of extensive concessions from the Brazilian Government on the Upper Amazons. He dived into conversation with me at once as to the splendid mineral resources of his Brazilian estate—the silver, the platinum, the actual rubies, the possible diamonds. I listened and smiled; I knew what was coming. All he needed to develop this magnificent concession was a little more capital. It was sad to see thousands of pounds' worth of platinum and car-loads of rubies just crumbling in the soil or carried away by the river, for want of a few hundreds to work them with properly. If he knew of anybody, now, with money to invest, he could recommend him—nay, offer him —a unique opportunity of earning, say, 40 per cent on his capital, on unimpeachable security.

"I wouldn't do it for every man," Dr. Hector Macpherson remarked, drawing himself up; "but if I took a fancy to a fellow who had command of ready cash, I might choose to put him in the way of feathering his nest with unexampled rapidity."

"Exceedingly disinterested of you," I answered drily, fixing my eyes on his eyebrows.

The little curate, meanwhile, was playing billiards with Sir Charles. His glance followed mine as it rested for a moment on the monkey-like hairs.

"False, obviously false," he remarked with his lips; and I'm bound to confess I never saw any man speak so well by movement alone; you could follow every word though not a sound escaped him.

During the rest of that evening Dr. Hector Macpherson stuck to me as close as a mustard-plaster. And he was almost as irritating. I got heartily sick of the Upper Amazons. I have positively waded in my time through ruby mines (in prospectuses, I mean) till the mere sight of a ruby absolutely sickens me. When Charles, in an unwonted fit of generosity, once gave his sister Isabel (whom I had the honour to marry) a ruby necklet (inferior stones), I made Isabel change it for sapphires and amethysts, on the judicious plea that they suited her complexion better. (I scored one, incidentally, for having considered Isabel's complexion.) By the time I went to bed I was prepared to sink the Upper Amazons in the sea, and to stab, shoot, poison, or otherwise seriously damage the man with the concession and the false eyebrows.

For the next three days, at intervals, he returned to the charge. He bored me to death with his platinum and his rubies. He didn't want a capitalist who would personally exploit the thing; he would prefer to do it all on his own account, giving the capitalist preference debentures of his bogus company, and a lien on the concession. I listened and smiled; I listened and yawned; I listened and was rude;

I ceased to listen at all; but still he droned on with it. I fell asleep on the steamer one day, and woke up in ten minutes to hear him droning yet, "And the yield of platinum per ton was certified to be—" I forget how many pounds, or ounces, or pennyweights. These details of assays have ceased to interest me: like the man who "didn't believe in ghosts," I have seen too many of them.

The fresh-faced little curate and his wife, however, were quite different people. He was a cricketing Oxford man; she was a breezy Scotch lass, with a wholesome breath of the Highlands about her. I called her "White Heather." Their name was Brabazon. Millionaires are so accustomed to being beset by harpies of every description, that when they come across a young couple who are simple and natural, they delight in the purely human relation. We picnicked and went excursions a great deal with the honeymooners. They were so frank in their young love, and so proof against chaff, that we all really liked them. But whenever I called the pretty girl "White Heather," she looked so shocked, and cried: "Oh, Mr. Wentworth!" Still, we were the best of friends. The curate offered to row us in a boat on the lake one day, while the Scotch lassie assured us she could take an oar almost as well as he did. However, we did not accept their offer, as row-boats exert an unfavourable influence upon Amelia's digestive organs.

"Nice young fellow, that man Brabazon," Sir Charles said to me one day, as we lounged together along the quay;

"never talks about advowsons or next presentations.

Doesn't seem to me to care two pins about promotion.

Says he's quite content in his country curacy; enough to live upon, and needs no more; and his wife has a little, a very little, money. I asked him about his poor to-day, on purpose to test him: these parsons are always trying to screw something out of one for their poor; men in my position know the truth of the saying that we have that class of the population always with us. Would you believe it, he says he hasn't any poor at all in his parish! They're all well-to-do farmers or else able-bodied labourers, and his one terror is that somebody will come and try to pauperise them. 'If a philanthropist were to give me fifty pounds to-day for use at Empingham,' he said, 'I assure you, Sir Charles, I shouldn't know what to do with it. I think I should buy new dresses for Jessie, who wants them about as much as anybody else in the village—that is to say, not at all.' There's a parson for you, Sey, my boy. Only wish we had one of his sort at Seldon."

"He certainly doesn't want to get anything out of you," I answered.

That evening at dinner a queer little episode happened.

The man with the eyebrows began talking to me across the table in his usual fashion, full of his wearisome concession on the Upper Amazons. I was trying to squash him as politely as possible, when I caught Amelia's eye. Her look amused me. She was engaged in making signals to Charles at her side to observe the little curate's curious sleeve-links. I glanced at them, and saw at once they were a singular possession for so unobtrusive a person. They consisted each of a short gold bar for one arm of the link, fastened by a tiny chain of the same material to what seemed to my tolerably experienced eye—a first-rate diamond. Pretty big diamonds, too, and of remarkable shape, brilliancy, and cutting. In a moment I knew what Amelia meant. She owned a diamond rivière, said to be of Indian origin, but short by two stones for the circumference of her tolerably ample neck. Now, she had long been wanting two diamonds like these to match her set; but owing to the unusual shape and antiquated cutting of her own gems, she had never been able to complete the necklet, at least without removing an extravagant amount from a much larger stone of the first water.

The Scotch lassie's eyes caught Amelia's at the same time, and she broke into a pretty smile of good-humoured amusement. "Taken in another person, Dick, dear!" she exclaimed, in her breezy way, turning to her husband. "Lady Vandrift is observing your diamond sleeve-links."

"They're very fine gems," Amelia observed incautiously.

(A most unwise admission if she desired to buy them.) But the pleasant little curate was too transparently simple a soul to take advantage of her slip of judgment.

"They are good stones," he replied; "very good stones— considering. They're not diamonds at all, to tell you the truth.

They're best old-fashioned Oriental paste. My greatgrandfather bought them, after the siege of Seringapatam, for a few rupees, from a Sepoy who had looted them from Tippoo Sultan's palace. He thought, like you, he had got a good thing. But it turned out, when they came to be examined by experts, they were only paste—very wonderful paste; it is supposed they had even imposed upon Tippoo himself, so fine is the imitation. But they are worth—well, say, fifty shillings at the utmost."

While he spoke Charles looked at Amelia, and Amelia looked at Charles. Their eyes spoke volumes. The rivière was also supposed to have come from Tippoo's collection.

Both drew at once an identical conclusion. These were two of the same stones, very likely torn apart and disengaged from the rest in the mêlée at the capture of the Indian palace.

"Can you take them off?" Sir Charles asked blandly. He spoke in the tone that indicates business.

"Certainly," the little curate answered, smiling. "I'm accustomed to taking them off. They're always noticed.

They've been kept in the family ever since the siege, as a sort of valueless heirloom, for the sake of the picturesqueness of the story, you know; and nobody ever sees them without asking, as you do, to examine them closely. They deceive even experts at first. But they're paste, all the same; unmitigated Oriental paste, for all that."

He took them both off, and handed them to Charles. No man in England is a finer judge of gems than my brother-inlaw. I watched him narrowly. He examined them close, first with the naked eye, then with the little pocket-lens which he always carries. "Admirable imitation," he muttered, passing them on to Amelia. "I'm not surprised they should impose upon inexperienced observers."

But from the tone in which he said it, I could see at once he had satisfied himself they were real gems of unusual value. I know Charles's way of doing business so well. His glance to Amelia meant, "These are the very stones you have so long been in search of."

The Scotch lassie laughed a merry laugh. "He sees through them now, Dick," she cried. "I felt sure Sir Charles would be a judge of diamonds."

Amelia turned them over. I know Amelia, too; and I knew from the way Amelia looked at them that she meant to have them. And when Amelia means to have anything, people who stand in the way may just as well spare themselves the trouble of opposing her.

They were beautiful diamonds. We found out afterwards the little curate's account was quite correct: these stones had come from the same necklet as Amelia's rivière, made for a favourite wife of Tippoo's, who had presumably as expansive personal charms as our beloved sister-in-law's. More perfect diamonds have seldom been seen. They have excited the universal admiration of thieves and connoisseurs. Amelia told me afterwards that, according to legend, a Sepoy stole the necklet at the sack of the palace, and then fought with another for it. It was believed that two stones got spilt in the scuffle, and were picked up and sold by a third person—a looker-on—who had no idea of the value of his booty. Amelia had been hunting for them for several years to complete her necklet.

"They are excellent paste," Sir Charles observed, handing them back. "It takes a first-rate judge to detect them from the reality. Lady Vandrift has a necklet much the same in character, but composed of genuine stones; and as these are so much like them, and would complete her set, to all outer appearance, I wouldn't mind giving you, say, 10 pounds for the pair of them."

Mrs. Brabazon looked delighted. "Oh, sell them to him, Dick," she cried, "and buy me a brooch with the money! A pair of common links would do for you just as well. Ten pounds for two paste stones! It's quite a lot of money."

She said it so sweetly, with her pretty Scotch accent, that I couldn't imagine how Dick had the heart to refuse her. But he did, all the same.

"No, Jess, darling," he answered. "They're worthless, I know; but they have for me a certain sentimental value, as I've often told you. My dear mother wore them, while she lived, as ear-rings; and as soon as she died I had them set as links in order that I might always keep them about me.

Besides, they have historical and family interest. Even a worthless heirloom, after all, is an heirloom."

Dr. Hector Macpherson looked across and intervened.

"There is a part of my concession," he said, "where we have reason to believe a perfect new Kimberley will soon be discovered. If at any time you would care, Sir Charles, to look at my diamonds—when I get them—it would afford me the greatest pleasure in life to submit them to your consideration."

Pages:     | 1 | 2 || 4 | 5 |   ...   | 23 |

Similar works:

«i-call working paper No. 2015/01 Tethered technologies, cloud strategies and the future of the first sale/exhaustion defence in copyright law Christoph B. Graber* MAY 2015 ABSTRACT With tethered technologies permitting the monitoring of consumer’s use of copyrighted works and private copyright enforcement, copyrighted digital works are increasingly distributed solely through access-based schemes. This paper reviews the actual and potential implications of this development in light of consumer...»

«Testimony of Lucy A. Dalglish, Executive Director Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on behalf of the Sunshine in Government Initiative before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee On “Addressing Concerns about the Integrity of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Jobs Reporting” June 6, 2012 Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Cummings, and members of the Committee, Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I am Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters...»

«SANDIA REPORT SAND2008-2338 Unlimited Release Printed May 2008 Common Tester Platform Concept Michael J. Hurst Prepared by Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California 94550 Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. Issued by Sandia National Laboratories, operated for the United States...»

«No. 172 April 27, 2016 811 IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF OREGON LARISA’S HOME CARE, LLC, an Oregon limited liability company, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Karen NICHOLS-SHIELDS, the duly appointed Personal Representative of the Estate of Isabell Prichard, Deceased, Defendant-Appellant. Washington County Circuit Court C124865CV; A154950 Janelle F. Wipper, Judge. Argued and submitted December 9, 2014. Hafez Daraee argued the cause and filed the briefs for appellant. Ross A. Day argued the...»

«*The Project Gutenberg Etext of Chamber Music, by James Joyce* #2 in our series by James Joyce Copyright laws are changing all over the world, be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before posting these files!! Please take a look at the important information in this header. We encourage you to keep this file on your own disk, keeping an electronic path open for the next readers. Do not remove this. *It must legally be the first thing seen when opening the book.* In fact, our legal...»

«RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION Pursuant to Sixth Circuit I.O.P. 32.1(b) File Name: 13a0016p.06 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT _ X LAWRENCE R. GLAZER, Plaintiff-Appellant, No. 10-3416 v., CHASE HOME FINANCE LLC; CINDY A. SMITH; REIMER, ARNOVITZ, CHERNEK & JEFFREY CO., L.P.A.; RONALD CHERNEK; Defendants-Appellees. N and DARRYL E. GORMLEY, Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland. No. 09-01262—Christopher A. Boyko,...»

«NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION No. 112,817 IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF KANSAS STATE OF KANSAS, Appellee, v. LAWRENCE MITCHELL, Appellant. MEMORANDUM OPINION Appeal from Wyandotte District Court; WESLEY K. GRIFFIN, judge. Opinion filed November 20, 2015. Affirmed. Ryan J. Eddinger, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, for appellant. Jennifer S. Tatum, assistant district attorney, Jerome A. Gorman, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for appellee. Before MALONE,...»

«IOWA WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEALS 68-0157 (9-06) 3091078 EI QUINN P SYMONDS APPEAL NO. 14A-UI-13200-NT Claimant ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE DECISION SCHUKEI CHEVROLET INC Employer OC: 10/19/14 Claimant: Respondent (2) Section 96.5-2-a – Discharge Section 96.3-7 – Benefit Overpayment STATEMENT OF THE CASE: The employer filed a timely appeal from a representative’s decision dated December 10, 2014, reference 01, which held claimant eligible to receive unemployment...»

«Macey Final Do Not Delete 4/10/2009 1:19 PM Helping Law Catch Up to Markets: Applying BrokerDealer Law to Subprime Mortgages Jonathan Macey,* Geoffrey Miller,** Maureen O‘Hara,*** Gabriel D. Rosenberg**** I. INTRODUCTION II. FROM CONSUMPTION TO INVESTMENT: THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY A. The Evolution of Mortgages B. Subprime Mortgages III. SEC OVERSIGHT OF SUBPRIME MORTGAGE BROKERS A. Mortgages as Securities B. Mortgage Transactions “In Connection With” Purchases and Sales...»

«ILPA Briefing for House of Commons Consideration of the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Order 2016 2 February 2016 The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) is a registered charity and a professional membership association. The majority of members are barristers, solicitors and advocates practising in all areas of immigration, asylum and nationality law. Academics, non-governmental organisations and individuals with an interest in the law are also members. Founded in 1984, ILPA...»

«IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF KANSAS No. 99,394 STATE OF KANSAS, Appellee, v. CORINTHIAN ISIAH BRICKER, Appellant. SYLLABUS BY THE COURT 1. To correct manifest injustice, after sentencing the district court may set aside a judgment of conviction and permit the defendant to withdraw a plea. 2. A district court's decision to deny a postsentence motion to withdraw a plea is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. The moving party bears the burden to prove the court abused its...»

«Serving the Dealers of the Vehicle Sales Industry ge See Pa BHPH Updates IN THIS April Expedited Title Reminder 2015 Thoughts From Monty King ISSUE Points to Ponder – Good Questions! Published by the Oregon Vehicle Dealer and Oregon Power Sports Associations. PO Box 4290, Salem, OR 97302 503-399-9199, Fax: 503-763-1233 Articles are not legal advice. If you want legal advice, contact an attorney. Calendar of Events and Education All classes start promptly at 8:30 AM and end at 4:30 PM....»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2017 www.sa.i-pdf.info - Abstracts, books, theses

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.