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it almost frightened him. The beginning of that eagle glance was full of inquiring hope, and the end of resigned despair. The child had thought that Eustace might be a client come to tread the paths which no client ever trod. Hence the hope and the despair

written in his eyes.

Eustace had nothing of the solicitor's clerk about him. Clearly he was not a client.

Mr. Short was in "that door to the right." Eustace knocked, and entered into a bare little chamber about the size of a large housemaid's closet, furnished with a table, three chairs (one a basket easy), and a book-case, containing a couple of dozen of law books, and some odd volumes of reports, and a broad window-sill, in the exact centre of which lay the solitary and venerated brief.

Mr. James Short was a short, stout young man, with black eyes, a hooked nose, and a prematurely bald head. Indeed, this baldness of the head was the only distinguishing mark between James and John, and, therefore, a thing to be thankful for, though, of course, useless to the perplexed acquaintance who met them in the street when their hats were on. At the moment of Eustace's entry Mr. Short had been engaged in studying that intensely legal print, the Sporting Times, which, however, from some unexplained bashfulness, he had hastily thrown under the table, filling its space with a law book snatched at hazard from the shelf.

"All right, old fellow," said Eustace, whose quick

eyes had caught the flutter of the vanishing paper; "don't be alarmed; it's only me."

"Ah!" said Mr. James Short, when he had shaken hands with him, "you see I thought that it might have been a client-a client is always possible, however improbable, and one has to be ready to meet the possibility."

"Quite so, old fellow," said Eustace; "but do you know, as it happens, I am a client-and a big one, too; it is a matter of two millions of money-my uncle's fortune. There was another will, and I want to take your advice."

Mr. Short fairly bounded out of his chair in exultation, and then, struck by another thought, sank back into it again.

"My dear Meeson," he said, "I am sorry I cannot hear you!"

"Eh!" said Eustace; "what do you mean?"

"I mean that you are not accompanied by a solicitor; and it is not the etiquette of the profession to which I belong to see a client unaccompanied by a solicitor."

"Oh, hang the etiquette of the profession!"

"My dear Meeson, if you came to me as a friend I should be happy to give you any legal information in my power, and I flatter myself that I know something of matters connected with probate. But you yourself have said that you come as a client, and in that case the personal relationship sinks into the background and is superseded by the official relationship. Under these

circumstances it is evident that the etiquette of the profession intervenes, which overmastering force compels me to point out to you how improper and contrary to precedent it would be for me to listen to you without the presence of a duly qualified solicitor."

"O Lord!" gasped Eustace, "I had no idea you were so particular; I thought that perhaps you would be glad of the job."

"Certainly certainly! In the present state of my practice," as he glanced at the solitary brief, "I should be the last to wish to turn away work. Let me suggest that you should go and consult my brother John, in the Poultry. I believe business is rather slack with him just now, so I think it probable that you will find him disengaged. Indeed, I dare say that I may go so far as to make an appointment for him here-let us say in an hour's time! Stop! I will consult my clerk!


The infant appeared.

"I believe that I have no appointment for this morning?"

"No, sir," said Robert, with a twinkle in his eye. "One moment, sir; I will consult the book," and he vanished, to return presently with the information that Mr. Short's time was not under any contributions that day.

"Very good," said Mr. Short; "then make an entry of an appointment with Mr. John Short and Mr. Meeson at two precisely."

"Yes, sir," said Robert, departing to the unaccustomed task.

As soon as Eustace had departed from Tweedledum to Tweedledee, or, in other words, from James, barrister, to John, solicitor, Robert was again summoned and bade go to a certain Mr. Thomson on the next floor. Mr. Thomson had an excellent library, which had come to him by will. On the strength of this bequest he had become a barrister-at-law, and the object of Robert's visit was to request the loan of the eigth volume of the statutes revised, containing the Wills Act of 1 Vic., cap. 26, "Brown on Probate," "Dixon on Probate," and "Powles on Brown," to the study of which valuable books Mr. James Short devoted himself earnestly whilst awaiting his client's return.


Meanwhile, Eustace had made his way in a twopenny 'bus to one of those busy courts in the City where Mr. John Short practised as a solicitor. Short's office was, Eustace discovered by referring to a notice board, on the seventh floor of one of the tallest houses he had ever seen. However, up he went with a stout heart, and, after some five minutes of a struggle, that reminded him forcibly of climbing the ladders of a Cornish mine, he arrived at a little door right at the very top of the house, on which was painted "Mr. John Short, Solicitor." Eustace knocked, and the door was opened by a small boy, so like the small boy he had seen at Mr. James Short's chambers in the Temple, that he fairly started. Afterwards the mystery was ex

plained. Like their masters, the two small boys were brothers.

Mr. John Short was within, and Eustace was ushered into his presence. To all appearances he was consulting a voluminous mass of correspondence written on large sheets of brief paper; but when he looked at it closely, it seemed to Eustace that the edges of the paper were very yellow, and that the ink was much faded. This, however, was not to be wondered at, seeing that Mr. John Short had taken them over with the other fixtures of the office.

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