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Cashel Byron's Profession

Chapter 8
One morning a handsome young man, elegantly dressed, presented himself at Downing
Street, and asked to see Mr. Lucian Webber. He declined to send in a card, and desired
to be announced simply as "Bashville." Lucian ordered him to be admitted at once, and,
when he entered, nodded amiably to him and invited him to sit down.
"I thank you, sir," said Bashville, seating himself. It struck Lucian then, from a certain
strung-up resolution in his visitor's manner, that he had come on some business of his
own, and not, as he had taken for granted, with a message from his mistress.
"I have come, sir, on my own responsibility this morning. I hope yon will excuse the
liberty."
"Certainly. If I can do anything for you, Bashville, don't be afraid to ask. But be as brief
as you can. I am so busy that every second I give you will probably be subtracted from
my night's rest. Will ten minutes be enough?"
"More than enough, sir, thank you. I only wish to ask one question. I own that I am
stepping out of my place to ask it; but I'll risk all that. Does Miss Carew know what the
Mr. Cashel Byron is that she receives every Friday with her other friends?"
"No doubt she does," said Lucian, at once becoming cold in his manner, and looking
severely at Bashville. "What business is that of yours?"
"Do YOU know what he is, sir?" said Bashville, returning Lucian's gaze steadily.
Lucian changed countenance, and replaced a pen that had slipped from a rack on his
desk. "He is not an acquaintance of mine," he said. "I only know him as a friend of Lord
Worthington's."
"Sir," said Bashville, with sudden vehemence, "he is no more to Lord Worthington than
the racehorse his lordship bets on. I might as well set up to be a friend of his lordship
because I, after a manner of speaking, know him. Byron is in the ring, sir. A common
prize-fighter!"
Lucian, recalling what had passed at Mrs. Hoskyn's, and Lord Worthington's sporting
habits, believed the assertion at once. But he made a faint effort to resist conviction.
"Are you sure of this, Bashville?" he said. "Do you know that your statement is a very
serious one?"
"There is no doubt at all about it, sir. Go to any sporting public-house in London and ask
who is the best-known fighting man of the day, and they'll tell you, Cashel Byron. I know
 
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