Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/266

This page has been validated.



But I'll help you", she cried suddenly: "Was it that girl told you, you owed money for food? (I nodded and she glowed.) Oh, I'll help, never fear! I never liked that girl: she's brazen and conceited and—Oh! Why did you walk with her?"

"She wanted to see the University", I said, "and I could not well refuse her." "Oh, pay her" she cried, "but don't walk with her. She's a common thing, fancy her mentioning money to you, my dear!"

That same evening I got a note from Lorna, saying her husband wanted to see me.

I met the little man in the sitting-room and he proposed that I should come to his rooms every evening after supper and sit in a chair near the door reading; but with a Colt's revolver handy so that no one could rob him and get away with the plunder.

"I'd feel safer", he ended up, "and my wife tells me you're a sure shot and used to a wild life: what do you say? I'd give you sixty dollars a month and more than half the time you'd be free before midnight."

"It's very kind of you", I exclaimed with hot cheeks, "and very kind of Mrs. Mayhew too: I'll do it and I beg you to believe that no one will bother you and get away with a whole skin", and so it was settled.

Aren't women wonderful! In half a day she had solved my difficulty and I found the hours spent in Mayhew's gambling rooms were more valuable than I had dreamed. The average man reveals himself in gaming more than in love or drink and I was astonished to discover that many of the so-called best citizens had a flutter with Mayhew from time to time. I don't believe they had a fair deal, he won too constantly for that; but it was none of my business so long as the clients accepted the results: and he often showed