Chapter 160098650

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter TitleA HARSH LANDLORD.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160098650
Full Date1884-07-12
Page Number44
Corrections0
Word Count717
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleA Boy's Fortune. A Story for Children
article text

CHAPTER IV.

A HARSH LANDLORD.

After shutting the pocket-book up in her writing-table as eoon as the little boy left, Madame D6mare could not help thinking that perhaps the person who had lost the pocket-nook was very rich, and that ten thousand francs more or less would be ail the same to him; whereas, in their sad

condition, ten thousand francs would be happiness!

Alas 1" she said to herself, taking up her work again, " such is the world. It is happi ness enough to live in misery without having any thing to reproach oneself with."

At this moment she heard the bell ring, a thing which seldom happened. Without thinking that it was M. Saint-Aubin, she hurried none the less to open it, and became very pale when she saw that it was M. Morin, the landlord of the house.

" I beg your pardon, Madame Dimare," he said, " for having come so early in the day; but I have many payments to make to-day, and I have come to ask you to settle your

little account."

"Our little account, M. Morin," replied the poor woman with a more embarrassed air, I think that now I am indebted ?"

"For two terms. VTou have already asked for time for the first, and I hope that this

one"——

"This one I find I am equally unable to pay."

"And I, Madame D£mare, I find I am un able to wait any longer. I have spent a great deal on the house this year, and now I must repair the roof. I pay heavy taxes; how would you have me ao all this if my lodgers never pay f"

"I nope that so slight a sum will not em barrass you, M. Morin," replied Madame Dfimare in a supplicating tone.

"There is not such a thing as a small one when it helps to make a big one," replied the landlord, testily. All philosophers say that little streams make large rivers,'; no one is ignorant of that."

" I am in despair."

"Your despair will not give me the sixty francs which you owe me. People who have no income should get cheaper lodgings, Madame."

" That is what I have looked for in vain; yon know that I did not hesitate to come up to the fifth floor when I buw that my last resources were coming to an end."

" How are your last resources coming to an end ? That is what I cannot understand, foi you told me that you used to live in ease."

" It is true that I once lived in ease, for the husband of my daughter was very rich, but his too generous heart and his misfortunes ruined him. My son-in-law saved nothing

but his honour. At his death he left his child in misery. Could I send my grandson to the poorhouso? 1 have sold everything I possessed to keep him; all my fnrniture even, with the exception of that writing-table, to which I am very much attached because my daughter gave it to me."

"The writing-table is pretty enough," said M. Morin.

"Then," continued Madame D&nare, "I have Bold, one by one, every jewel that I possessed, and, thanks to these resources and my work, my dear child has not died of hunger. He has rewarded me well. Do you know whut he has done, Monsieur?"

"No."

" When he knew the horror of our position one morning, with an energy above his years, instead of going to the school to which I send him every day, he took a situation where he earns his living by running of errands. Heaven has blessed his efforts, and since that moment the bread which we eat is the result of lxis labours."

" That is very well," answered M. Morin, " that is very good of the little man; bat the result of all this is you have no money, you have no resource: and as I am not rich enough to give you a lodging for nothing, the only offer that I can make is that in eight days you must pay me my sixty francs, or I shall take the writing-table and you must find rooms elsewhere. That is my last word." And he left.