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The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom

Chapter 11
Fathom Makes Various Efforts In The World Of Gallantry.
Thus connected, they began to hunt in couples; and Fathom, in order to profit by
the alliance with a good grace, contrived a small scheme that succeeded to his
wish. Renaldo being one night intoxicated in the course of a merry-making with
his fellow-pupils, from which Fathom had purposely absented himself, was by the
Tyrolese so artfully provoked to play, that he could not resist the temptation, but
engaged at passdice with that fell adversary, who, in less than an hour, stripped
him of a pretty round sum. Next day, when the young gentleman recovered the
use of his reflection, he was sensibly chagrined at the folly and precipitation of
his own conduct, an account of which he communicated in confidence to our
hero, with demonstrations of infinite shame and concern.
Ferdinand, having moralised upon the subject with great sagacity, and sharply
inveighed against the Tyrolese, for the unfair advantage he had taken, retired to
his closet, and wrote the following billet, which was immediately sent to his ally:--
"The obligations I owe, and the attachments I feel, to the Count de Melvil, will not
suffer me to be an idle spectator of the wrongs offered to his son, in the
dishonourable use, I understand, you made last night of his unguarded hours. I
therefore insist upon your making immediate restitution of the booty which you so
unjustly got; otherwise I expect you will meet me upon the ramparts, near the
bastion de la Port Neuve, to-morrow morning at daybreak, in order to justify, with
your sword, the finesse you have practised upon the friend of FERDINAND DE
FATHOM."
The gamester no sooner received this intimation, than, according to the plan
which had been preconcerted betwixt the author and him, he went to the
apartment of Renaldo, and presenting the sum of money which he had defrauded
him of the preceding night, told him, with a stern countenance, that, though it was
a just acquisition, he scorned to avail himself of his good fortune against any
person who entertained the smallest doubt of his honour.
The young Count, surprised at this address, rejected his offer with disdain, and
desired to know the meaning of such an unexpected declaration. Upon which,
the other produced Ferdinand's billet, and threatened, in very high terms, to meet
the stripling according to his invitation, and chastise him severely for his
presumption. The consequence of this explanation is obvious. Renaldo, imputing
the officiousness of Fathom to the zeal of his friendship, interposed in the
quarrel, which was amicably compromised, not a little to the honour of our
adventurer, who thus obtained an opportunity of displaying his courage and
integrity, without the least hazard to his person; while, at the same time, his
confederate recommended himself to the esteem of the young Count, by his
spirited behaviour on this occasion; so that Renaldo being less shy of his
company for the future, the Tyrolese had the fairer opportunities to prosecute his
designs upon the young gentleman's purse.
It would be almost superfluous to say, that these were not neglected. The son of
Count Melvil was not deficient in point of penetration; but his whole study was at
that time engrossed by the care of his education, and he had sometimes
 
 
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