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"Possibly," answered John pettishly; "but how about the remuneration of the plaintiff's legal advisers? Can't you"-addressing Eustace "manage to get the money from some one?"

"Well," said Eustace, "there's Lady Holmhurst. Perhaps if I offered to share the spoil with her, if there was any


"Dear me, no," said John; "that would be 'maintenance.'"

Certainly not," chimed in James, holding up his hands in dismay. "Most clearly it would be 'champerty'; and did it come to the knowledge of the Court, nobody can say what might not happen."

"Indeed," answered Eustace, with a sigh, "I don't quite know what you mean, but I seem to have said something very wrong. The odds on a handicap are child's play to understand beside this law," he added sadly.

"It is obvious, James," said John, "that, putting aside other matters, this would prove, independent of pecuniary reward, a most interesting case for you to conduct."

"That is so, John," replied James; "but, as you must be well aware, the etiquette of my profession will not allow me to conduct a case for nothing. Upon that point, above all others, etiquette rules us with a rod of iron. The stomach of the Bar, collective and individual, is revolted and scandalised at the idea of one of its members doing anything for nothing."

"Yes," put in Eustace, "I have always understood that they were regular nailers."

"Quite so, my dear James; quite so," said John, with a sweet smile. "A fee must be marked upon

the brief of learned counsel, and that fee must be paid to him, together with many other smaller fees; for learned counsel is like the cigarette-boxes and newfashioned weighing-machines at the stations: he does not work unless you drop something down him. But there is nothing to prevent learned counsel from returning that fee, and all the little fees. Indeed, James, you will see that this practice is common among the most eminent of your profession, when, for instance, they require an advertisement, or wish to pay a delicate compliment to a constituency. What do they do then? They wait till they find £500 marked upon a brief, and then resign their fee. Why should you not do the same in this case, in your own interest? Of course, if we win the cause, the other side or the estate will pay the costs; and if we lose, you will at least have had the advantage, the priceless advantage, of a unique advertisement."

"Very well, John; let it be so," said James, with magnanimity. "Your cheques for fees will be duly returned; but it must be understood that they are to be presented."

"Not at the bank," said John hastily. "I have recently had to oblige a client," he added by way of explanation to Eustace, "and my balance is rather low."

"No," said James; "I quite understand. I was going to say 'are to be presented to my clerk.'"

And with this solemn farce, the conference came to an end.




HAT very afternoon Eustace returned to Lady
Holmhurst's house in Hanover Square, to tell

his dear Augusta that she must attend on the following morning to be filed in the Registry at Somerset House. As may be imagined, though willing to go any reasonable length to oblige her new-found lover, Augusta not unnaturally resisted this course violently, and was supported in her resistance by her friend Lady Holmhurst, who, however, presently left the room, leaving them to settle it as they liked.

"I do think it is a little hard," said Augusta, with a stamp of her foot, "that, after all I have gone through, I should be taken off to have my unfortunate neck stared at by a Doctor some one or other, and then be shut up with a lot of musty old wills in a Registry."

"Well, my dearest girl," said Eustace, "either it must be done or else the whole thing must be given up. Mr. John Short declares that it is absolutely necessary

that the document should be placed in the custody of the officer of the Court."

"But how am I going to live in a cupboard, or in an iron safe with a lot of wills?" asked Augusta, feeling very cross indeed.

"I don't know, I am sure," said Eustace; "Mr. John Short says that that is a matter which the learned Doctor will have to settle. His own opinion is that the learned Doctor confound him!-will order that you should accompany him about wherever he goes till the trial comes off; for, you see, in that way you would never be out of the custody of an officer of the Court. But," went on Eustace gloomily, "all I can tell him is, if he makes that order, and takes you about with him, he will have to take me too."

"Why?" said Augusta.

"Why? Because I don't trust him that's why. Old? Oh yes; I dare say he is old. And, besides, just think this learned gentleman has practised for twenty years in the Divorce Court? Now, I ask you, what can you expect from a gentleman, however learned, who has practised for twenty years in the Divorce Court? I know him," went on Eustace vindictively—“I know him. He will fall in love with you himself. Why, he would be an old duffer if he didn't."

"Really," said Augusta, bursting out laughing, "you are too ridiculous, Eustace."

"I don't know about being ridiculous, Augusta; but if you think I am going to let you be marched about by that learned Doctor without my being there to look after you, you are mistaken. Why, of course he would fall in love with you, or some of his clerks would; nobody could be near you for a couple of days without doing so."

"Do you think so?" said Augusta, looking at him very sweetly.

"Yes, I do," he answered; and thus the conversation came to an end, and was not resumed till dinner-time.

On the following morning at eleven o'clock, Eustace, who had managed to get a few days' leave from his employers, arrived with Mr. John Short to take Augusta and Lady Holmhurst-who was going to chaperon her -to Somerset House, whither, notwithstanding her objections of the previous day, she had at last consented to go.

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Mr. Short was introduced, and much impressed both the ladies by the extraordinary air of learning and command which was stamped upon his countenance. He wanted to inspect the will at once; but Augusta struck at this, saying that it would be quite enough to have her neck stared at once that day. With a sigh and a shake of the head at her unreasonableness, Mr. John Short submitted; and then the carriage came round, and they were all driven off to Somerset House. Presently they were there, and after threading innumerable chilly passages, reached a dismal room with an almanack, a dirty deal table, and a few chairs in it, wherein were congregated several solicitors' clerks, waiting their turn to appear before the Registrar. Here they waited for half-an-hour or more, to Augusta's considerable discomfort, for she soon found that she was an object of curiosity and closest attention to the solicitors' clerks, who never took their eyes off her. Presently she discovered the reason, for having remarkably quick ears, she overheard one of the clerks, a callow little man with yellow hair and an enormous diamond pin, whose appearance somehow reminded her of a new-born chicken,

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