we're not beaten; don't think that, George. I shall pay twenty shillings in the pound before I've done—you mark my words, George,—twenty-five to you. . . . I got this situation within twenty-four hours—others offered. It's an important firm—one of the best in London. I looked to that. I might have got four or five shillings a week more—elsewhere. Quarters I could name. But I said to them plainly, wages to go on with, but opportunity's my game—development. We understood each other."
He threw out his chest, and the little round eyes behind his glasses rested valiantly on imaginary employers.
We would go on in silence for a space while he revised and restated that encounter. Then he would break out abruptly with some banal phrase.
"The Battle of Life, George, my boy," he would cry, or "Ups and Downs!"
He ignored or waived the poor little attempts I made to ascertain my own position. "That's all right," he would say; or, "Leave all that to me. I'll look after them." And he would drift away towards the philosophy and moral of the situation. What was I to do?
"Never put all your resources into one chance, George; that's the lesson I draw from this. Have forces in reserve. It was a hundred to one, George, that I was right—a hundred to one. I worked it out afterwards. And here we are spiked on the off-chance. If I'd have only kept back a little, I'd have had it on U.P. next day, like a shot, and come out on the rise. There you are!"
His thoughts took a graver turn.
"It's when you bump up against Chance like this, George, that you feel the need of religion. Your hard