The Way We Live Now HTML version
Dolly Longestaffe Goes Into The City
It has been told how the gambling at the Beargarden went on one Sunday night. On the
following Monday Sir Felix did not go to the club. He had watched Miles Grendall at
play, and was sure that on more than one or two occasions the man had cheated. Sir Felix
did not quite know what in such circumstances it would be best for him to do. Reprobate
as he was himself, this work of villainy was new to him and seemed to be very terrible.
What steps ought he to take? He was quite sure of his facts, and yet he feared that
Nidderdale and Grasslough and Longestaffe would not believe him. He would have told
Montague, but Montague had, he thought, hardly enough authority at the dub to be of any
use to him. On the Tuesday again he did not go to the club. He felt severely the loss of
the excitement to which he had been accustomed, but the thing was too important to him
to be slurred over. He did not dare to sit down and play with the man who had cheated
him without saying anything about it. On the Wednesday afternoon life was becoming
unbearable to him and he sauntered into the building at about five in the afternoon. There,
as a matter of course, he found Dolly Longestaffe drinking sherry and bitters. 'Where the
blessed angels have you been?' said Dolly. Dolly was at that moment alert with the sense
of a duty performed. He had just called on his sister and written a sharp letter to his
father, and felt himself to be almost a man of business.
'I've had fish of my own to fry,' said Felix, who had passed the last two days in
unendurable idleness. Then he referred again to the money which Dolly owed him, not
making any complaint, not indeed asking for immediate payment, but explaining with an
air of importance that if a commercial arrangement could be made, it might, at this
moment, be very serviceable to him. 'I'm particularly anxious to take up those shares,'
'Of course you ought to have your money.'
'I don't say that at all, old fellow. I know very well that you're all right. You're not like
that fellow, Miles Grendall.'
'Well; no. Poor Miles has got nothing to bless himself with. I suppose I could get it, and
so I ought to pay.'
'That's no excuse for Grendall,' said Sir Felix, shaking his head.
'A chap can't pay if he hasn't got it, Carbury. A chap ought to pay of course. I've had a
letter from our lawyer within the last half hour here it is.' And Dolly pulled a letter out of
his pocket which he had opened and read indeed the last hour, but which had been duly
delivered at his lodgings early in the morning. 'My governor wants to sell Pickering, and
Melmotte wants to buy the place. My governor can't sell without me, and I've asked for
half the plunder. I know what's what. My interest in the property is greater than his. It
isn't much of a place, and they are talking of L50,000, over and above the debt upon it.