But it was written that as soon as I reached ease and content, the Fates would reshuffle the cards and deal me another hand.
First of all, there came a letter from Smith, telling me how he had got a bad wetting one night and had caught a severe cold. The cough then had returned and he was losing weight and heart. He had come to the conclusion, too, that I had reached, that the moist air of Philadelphia was doing him harm and the doctors now were beginning to urge him to go to Denver, Colorado: all the foremost specialists agreeing that mountain air was the best for his lung-weakness. If I couldn't come to him, I must wire him and he'd stop in Lawrence to see me on his way West, he had much to say—
A couple of days later he was in the Eldridge House and I went to see him. His appearance shocked me: he had grown spectre thin and the great eyes seemed to burn like lamps in his white face. I knew at once that he was doomed and could scarcely control my tears.
We passed the whole day together and when he heard how I spent my days in casual reading and occasional speaking and my Topsy-turvey nights, he urged me to throw up the law and go to Europe to make myself a real scholar and thinker. But I could not give up Sophy and my ultra-pleasant life. So I resisted, told him he overrated me: I'd easily be the best advocate in the State, I said, and make a lot of money and then I'd go back and do Europe and study as well.
He warned me that I must choose between God and Mammon; I retorted lightly that Mammon and my senses gave me much that God denied: "I'll serve both", I cried, but he shook his head. "I'm finished, Frank", he declared at length, "but