Tom Towers, Dr.Anticant, and Mr.Sentiment
Ah, Bold! how are you? You havent breakfasted?
Oh yes, hours ago. And how are you?
When one Esquimaux meets another, do the two, as an invariable rule, ask after each others health? is it inherent in all human nature to make this obliging inquiry? Did any reader of this tale ever meet any friend or acquaintance without asking some such question, and did any one ever listen to the reply? Sometimes a studiously courteous questioner will show so much thought in the matter as to answer it himself, by declaring that had he looked at you he neednt have asked; meaning thereby to signify that you are an absolute personification of health: but such persons are only those who premeditate small effects.
I suppose youre busy? inquired Bold.
Why, yes, rather; or I should say rather not: I have a leisure hour in the day, this is it.
I want to ask you if you can oblige me in a certain matter.
Towers understood in a moment, from the tone of his friends voice, that the certain matter referred to the newspaper. He smiled, and nodded his head, but made no promise.
You know this lawsuit that Ive been engaged in, said Bold.
Tom Towers intimated that he was aware of the action which was pending about the hospital.
Well, Ive abandoned it.
Tom Towers merely raised his eyebrows, thrust his hands into his trousers pockets, and waited for his friend to proceed.
Yes, Ive given it up. I neednt trouble you with all the history; but the fact is that the conduct of Mr. HardingMr. Harding is the
Oh yes, the master of the place; the man who takes all the money and does nothing, said Tom Towers, interrupting him.
Well, I dont know about that; but his conduct in the matter has been so excellent, so little selfish, so open, that I cannot proceed in the matter to his detriment. Bolds heart misgave him as to Eleanor as he said this; and yet he felt that what he said was not untrue. I think nothing should now be done till the wardenship be vacant.
And be again filled, said Towers, as it certainly would, before any one heard of the vacancy; and the same objection would again exist. Its an old story that of the vested rights of the incumbent; but suppose the incumbent has only a vested wrong, and that the poor of the town have a vested right, if they only knew how to get at it: is not that something the case here?
Bold couldnt deny it, but thought it was one of those cases which required a good deal of management before any real good could be done. It was a pity that he had not considered this before he crept into the lions mouth, in the shape of an attorneys office.
It will cost you a good deal, I fear, said Towers.
A few hundreds, said Boldperhaps three hundred; I cant help that, and am prepared for it.
Thats philosophical; its quite refreshing to hear a man talking of his hundreds in so purely indifferent a manner. But Im sorry you are giving the matter up; it injures a man to commence a thing of this kind,
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