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ON the following day Hugh Lockwood
had two surprises. The first was of a very
disagreeable nature. The second, though it
at first appeared to him to be a very simple
matter, was of great importance in its results.

When he reached the office of Digby and
West, at Westminster, he found a letter
there addressed to himself. The sight of
the Danecester postmark, made his pulse
beat a thought quicker as he opened it.

It was from Herbert Snowe, and to the
following effect:

Mr. Snowe, senior, regretted that he
should not be able at present to advance
the sum of money Mr. Lockwood had
desired to borrow of the bank. The present
time was a period of anxiety and
uncertainty in the money market. Mr. Snowe
did not feel himself justified in entering
into any transaction of the kind contemplated,
without better security than could
be offered by Mr. Lockwood's friends.
Mr. Snowe had every confidence in Mr.
Lockwood's being able to find the money
elsewhere. Meanwhile he begged to assure
him of his kindest esteem.

Hugh crushed the letter in his hand,
and went straight to his own desk, where
he began to write at a fierce rate. After a
few minutes he put down his pen, and took
up the letter again and read it through
with compressed lips; the under projecting
over the upper, in a way that gave him a
strong resemblance to his mother.

There were a few words at the end of
the letter, expressive of Herbert Snowe's
personal regret that the matter had not
been arranged.

"I think, Lockwood, that if you can
wait a while, we may yet be able to do the
loan for you," wrote young Snowe. " My
father is a cautious man, and I believe the
fact to be as he asserts, that the present
moment is not one in which prudent men
can afford to run any money risks."

"Risks!" exclaimed Hugh,contemptuously.
"Risks, to a house like Snowe's!
I believe the old man could put his hand
in his pocket and pull out the poor little
sum I want, and scarcely miss it!"

Then he thought that it was of no use to
scold or sulk, and resolved to bear his
disappointment manfully. But it was a
disappointment, and he worked on with an
increasing sense of depression.

It often happens that the first shock of
misfortune is far from being the hardest
part of it. We take up our burden with
untired muscles, and find it lighter than
our fears had anticipated. But with every
mile of our journey, the weight grows more
and more oppressive.

Before the time came for him to leave his
office, a note was brought to him by a
messenger. And this was the second
surprise. The note was as follows:

Bedford-square, Wednesday.

MY DEAR HUGH, I have got back from
foreign parts, where I have been very busy
all the winter. I should be glad to see
you, either this afternoon or to-morrow, at
my office here, as I have something
advantageous to communicate to you. I shall
be ready for you at any time between five
and six.

Yours always,


"Something advantageous! It will be