The Way We Live Now
After The Ball
'It's weary work,' said Sir Felix as he got into the brougham with his mother and sister.
'What must it have been to me then, who had nothing to do?' said his mother.
'It's the having something to do that makes me call it weary work. By-the-bye, now I
think of it, I'll run down to the club before I go home.' So saying he put his head out of
the brougham, and stopped the driver.
'It is two o'clock, Felix,' said his mother.
'I'm afraid it is, but you see I'm hungry. You had supper, perhaps; I had none.'
'Are you going down to the club for supper at this time in the morning?'
'I must go to bed hungry if I don't. Good night.' Then he jumped out of the brougham,
called a cab, and had himself driven to the Beargarden. He declared to himself that the
men there would think it mean of him if he did not give them their revenge. He had
renewed his play on the preceding night, and had again won. Dolly Longestaffe owed
him now a considerable sum of money, and Lord Grasslough was also in his debt. He was
sure that Grasslough would go to the club after the ball, and he was determined that they
should not think that he had submitted to be carried home by his mother and sister. So he
argued with himself; but in truth the devil of gambling was hot within his bosom; and
though he feared that in losing he might lose real money, and that if he won it would be
long before he was paid, yet he could not keep himself from the card-table.
Neither mother or daughter said a word till they reached home and had got upstairs. Then
the elder spoke of the trouble that was nearest to her heart at the moment. 'Do you think
'He has got no money, mamma.'
'I fear that might not hinder him. And he has money with him, though, for him and such
friends as he has, it is not much. If he gambles everything is lost.'
'I suppose they all do play more or less.'
'I have not known that he played. I am wearied too, out of all heart, by his want of
consideration to me. It is not that he will not obey me. A mother perhaps should not
expect obedience from a grown- up son. But my word is nothing to him. He has no
respect for me. He would as soon do what is wrong before me as before the merest
'He has been so long his own master, mamma.'