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My uncle was a lawyer, and a money-
lender. His name was Beecham. He is dead
and gone, but I must confess he was a hard-
hearted old man. He had scraped together
a good deal of money, and was considered one
of the richest men in our town. My father
hated him, and he hated my father; in fact,
he liked none of my family except my brother
Lionel. Why he liked him I never knew.
Lionel was a wild young fellow, and would
take such liberties in my uncle's house, that I
expected every day that he would offend him.
But it went on for some time. He paid for
Lionel's education at the Grammar School;
and when he left there, he took him into his
house, and articled him to himself. I was
left to shift; nobody helped me. I might
choose between slaving in my father's yard
as a boatbuilder, or wearing out my elbows
at a merchant's desk. I preferred the latter;
and there I toiled, early and late for four years.

My father's was a low, white house, with
green wooden screens, or persiennes, outside
every window, and covered with a vine in
front and at the back. The garden behind
ran alongside a creek, where vessels came up
from sea and moored. My bedroom, when I
was at home, was at the back, on the upper
floor, but a man might reach the window-sill
with a stick. One night, as I was going to
bed, rather later than usual, I heard a
tapping at my window, and a moment after,
some one call me by name. I thought I
recognised my brother's voice, and I was
surprised for I had not seen him for nearly a

"Is that you, Lionel?" I said.

"Creep down and open the door quietly
that's a good fellow, John," said he.

"Oh! oh!" thought I: "he wants
something of me." I went down stairs in my
stockings, shading the light with my hand, as
I passed the door of my father's room.   Lionel
came in, and followed me quietly upstairs. I
could read in his face that something unusual
had happened, for it took a great deal to
make him thoughtful.

"It has come to a rupture at last," he said,
as soon as I had closed the door.

"With Uncle Beecham and yourself?" I

Lionel nodded. "I am not sorry for it,"
said he, "in some respects. We were not
made to live together. Better would it be
that I should starve, than become the kind
of man that he would make me."

"Gently, Lionel!" said I—"gently! Your
head is hot to-night." I knew Lionel's
headstrong way, however; and that to dissuade
him was only to confirm him in his determination.

"It is of no use, John," said he, walking
to and fro in the room. "A year's thinking
wouldn't alter the matter. My mind is made

"Very good," said I; "but never say I
advised you to any rash step."

"John," said he, stopping suddenly. "I
know we have not been such good friends as
brothers should be."

"Whose fault is that?" said I.

"It is no use to talk about that to-night,"
he replied, "perhaps I was overhasty, and
though I thought the fault was all on your
side; however, here is my hand. If I have
hurt you, at any time, I ask your forgiveness."
He put his handkerchief to his eyes; but I
saw no sign of any tears there.

"I forgive you," said I. "I bear no malice
against any one. I knew you would be sorry
for it one day."

"And now, John," said my brother, "I have
a favour to ask of you."

I knew he was coming to this. "You are
pinched for money," said I.

His face flushed crimson. I rather think
his conscience touched him.

"I would sooner come to borrow of you,"
said he, "a thousand times, than keep a penny
that had belonged to Uncle Beecham. I want
ten pounds, just to set me going; and I know
you can lend me this, if you choose."

I had a great mind to fling in his teeth the
very words he used the last time we parted;
and I don't know that I should have been
wrong, if I had. He had never before thought
of coming to me, crying and offering to shake
hands, and it was rather remarkable that he
should just then want to borrow money. But
I was never revengeful.

"Ten pounds," said I, considering whether
I could spare so much. "What do you want
to do with them?"

"It is a secret," he said, "but I don't mind