Chapter 160098786

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter TitleFORTUNE OF WEALTH AND HONOUR.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160098786
Full Date1884-07-19
Page Number44
Corrections0
Word Count1319
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleA Boy's Fortune. A Story for Children
article text

CHAPTER VI.

FORTUNE OF WEALTH AND HONOUR.

The bell rang. Robert went to open the door, and an elderly gentleman, very well dressed, entered the room. He appeared to be a little out of breath from having come up five flights of etairs.

"Madame D£mare J" he asked, addressing the child.

"It is I, sir,'" replied the poor woman, saluting him with a degree of politeness which contrasted strongly with the miserable

room.

"I hear, madame," continued the stout gentleman, "that during my absence you have sent a little messenger to my house who left your address with my valet ae chambre."

" \ ou arc M. Saint- Aubin asked Madame Ddmare.

" Precisely. Prom what my servants told me I hoped to hear some news here of a pocket-book which I had the misfortune to lose yesterday evening. It ought to contain ten thousand francs in bank notes, some visiting cards, and a letter sent me from Hew York, in which it tells nee"

"I have not read the letter, sir," inter rupted Madame Demare, " the address was enough to show us where you lived, and my grandson went at once to your house."

" Is this the child who found the pocket beok ?" asked M. Saint-Aubin, tenderly.

" Yes," said Robert, " in a passage leading

to the Rue Richer."

"That is the road I took on leaving my attorney, to whose houBe I went this morning without finding him at home; but be will be able to give you proofs that the pocket-book belongs to me."

"The account you have given me, sir, leaves me in no doubt as to that," said the lady.

Thus speaking, Madame D£mare rose and took the pocket- book from the writing-table and gave it him, saying,

" Yon will find there all that we found."

M. Saint-Anbin threw a rapid glance over the contents of the pocket-book, then glanced round him.

"Madame," he said, taking her hand in his and pressing it, " such a trait is rare,"

" I should hope not, sir," she replied.

" Permit me, out of gratitude, to offer to your grandson a small part of what he has

returned to me."

"A thousand franc-note !" cried Madame

D&nare. " It is too much, sir, too much,"

"No, no; I insist upon it."

" Oh, good mother," said Robert, with joy, " this is more than enough to pay M. Monn

with."

" Who is M. Morin ?" asked the new friend of the poor family.

" He is my landlord, sir," replied Madame Demare. "I think that it is quite useless to try to conceal from you that we are poor,"

" Bnt I am rich," cried M. Saint-Aubin. "lama bachelor, without relatives, without even friends in France; I shall be only too happy to interest myself in the boy's future. Let us see, Madame; speak to me frankly; you have not always been in the position in,which I now find you?"

" No, sir, Robert's father |was very rich, but he lost everything, and he died totally

ruined."

" And his son was left] without any re

sources ?"

"Yes; in consequence of which I have

been obliged to take him from school, although he made astonishing-progress."

" Then he knows something already ?"

"I have known for a long time how to read, write, and cipher," said Robert, "and I was first in Latin and history."

"Madame D<5mare," replied M. Saint Aubin, " it is absolutely necessary that this child should finish his education, for you

must understand that his whole future de pends upon it."

"I would give my very heart's blood to , procure him such an advantage," replied the poor mother.

"Nothing is easier; I will get him a bur sary in a college."

"In a college!" cried Robert, jumping with joy; " where they will teach me Latin, geo graphy, and mathematics ?"

Yes."

"Ah, sir !" said Madame JDemare, " what gratitude."

"You will see, sir," interruDted Robert, transported with joy. " You will see if I profit by your goodueES to us. What happi ness but what am I saying?" he exclaimed, reddening, seized by a thought which calmed him at once, " 1 cannot leave my grand mother ; she is iu want of the little I earn."

'She shall be provided for in another way," Eaid M. Saint-Aubin. "Be at rest, my boy. All that is necessary, Madame, is that you should give me his certificate of birth.

I will give it to you, sir," she replied; " all our family papers are in this writing table."

She was not long in finding what M. Saint Aubin wanted; but he had only glanced at the certificate of which he read the first liue, when he cried out—

" What do I see ? Is it possible that that child is the sou of Charles Bikard, shipowner,

a merchant of Havre ?"

He was my son-in-law, sir," said Madame D&nare.

" And he was my frieud and schoolfellow, my benefactor."

In 8i)eaking thus the good man had taken Robert in his arms and pressed him to his

heart.

"Can it he so?" cried the poor'woman, whose joy was at its height.

" Yes, madame, I owe everything to him. I was born without fortune; it was Bdrard, that excellent man, who lent me fifteen thousand francs, which I sent in merchan dise to the United States, where I made my fortune. Bdrard and I often wrote to one another; and when, ten years age, I came back to Franca in the hope of sharing with him all that I possessed, I heard at the same time of his ruin and his death. All my efiorts to find out "where he left his son were in vain. For 6ix months I put an advertise ment in the papers."

I have not read nnypapers for a long time," said Madame Ddmarc.

I have found him at last," continued M. Saint-Aubin, whose face expressed the greatest joy; " I have found him, the son of my dear Bcrard ! Madame D&nare, Robert is rich, ^ery rich; the half of my fortune belongs to him, and if he shows himself worthy of his father he shall inherit the reEt."

"Oh! sir, may God reward you for your goodness," said MadameBiSmare, whose tears flowed from gratitude; " I cannot find words to express what I feel."

" I Bhall cow see you happy, dear mother! I shall now see you happy I" cried Robert, throwing himself into her arms.

" All, continued M.Saint-Aubin, " I do not wish yon to remain in this lodging a quarter of an hour longer. We will pay the landlord, and as the moving will not take long, my x>eople shall come and fetch your furniture. My carriage iB down below, you will come and live in my house at once: there you will soon learn to forget the sad years you have sxient here; you will both live near a friend, and in abundance."

" When I am bigger, M. Saint-Aubin,"said Robert, timidly, " I shall no doubt be nappy to live near yon; but at present, if I dare

tuii "

say what I think, I would rather enter the

college of which you sx>oke at once."

"Why so?"

" Because I would rather be well enough educated to manage my own affairs, in case I lose the fortune which you give me, like the other was lost."

"He is right, the child is ri^lit," replied

M. Saint-Aubin, "and we will follow his

advice, Madame Demare, for a man only

ficssesses two Bolid properties iu this world,

lis education and his work."

Robert was sent to college, and made such

Erogress iu his studies that while still young,

e united to his great wealth the renown of

being a distinguished Judge.