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he finally consented to Tend wliat Kefp Ke could to overturn the dynasty of Van Flewker. Rely on me. my Gwillim," concluded Pari. I may not want to bring you forward at all; indeed, I fully believe that I shall not; but in case it should be necessary, your evidence must be given. But now, these letters, what is to become of them ? Do you think Whiffle or Kleckser will soon return?" We'd b-b-bet-better have them signed, at any rate," replied Gwillim. Mr. van Flewker has g-g-got to approve them yet." Ah, well, gather them up, and give them all to Me," said Pari. I will tain them in, and we shall soon get that part of the business over." Oh, will you really ? I shall b-b-be so much obliged, M. Parlandet," declared Gwillim, heartily. I d-d-do ab-b-bominate showing the g-g-ggl-gov- ernor letters. If he isnt in a g-g-good temper, there's always sure to be a row. Here they are, M. Parlandet." "Tell me first, my friend," said Pari, as he received the bundle of letters," what time does M. van Flewker usually leave ?" At five, to c-c-catch the train that starts at the half-hosrf." And it is now, what ? Twenty-five minutes past four," said M. Parlandet, looking at his watch. Good I know, then, what to do." He took up the letters, and left the counting- house. Outside the door M. Parlandet did a very singular thing. He stopped, deliberately selected the letters written by himself, and placed them at the bottom of the heap. Then he drew from his breast-pocket a paper, also in his own handwriting, and inserted it among .the last-placed papers. After which, he knocked at Van Flewker's door. Ah, M. Parlandet!" exclaimed the merchant, in a tone of surprise, as the smiling countenance of his manager looked into the room. What brings you down here ? Anything important, eh?" he added, glancing at the bundle of papers in M. Parlandet's hands. chap 30 "My benefactor, no," returned Pari. "Finding myself unoccupied at the West-end, anxious to devote my energies to the service of the most beloved of patrons, I hastened here to assist the young men in the office. Fortunately, as you see," he continued, spreading out the letters rapidly before Van Flewker with one hand, and shutting them together like a pack of cards, with the other, "I was enabled to be of use. These only await the signature of the most illustrious man of the day to carry his name to all the quarters of the globe. chap 30 The merchant shrugged his shoulders. Very disinterested to give yourself so much trouble, M. Parlandetand in such sultry weather, too. Give me the letters." M. Parlandet placed his papers in a pile before his patron. Is it in the power of the most humble of servitors to be of further use ?" he asked, submissively. Shall I peruse a portion of the documents, and sign them in the name of the iirm ?" Obliged," returned the merchant, drily. "I .fer doing that myself." And he began to read his letters. But this proceeding would not answer M. Paf- landet's purpose. It was his object, certainly, to have the papers signed; but to have them read and criticised'would never do. He placed himself at his patron's side, and looked over his shoulder. By gentle, unobtrusive hints and suggestions, he con- trived to engage the merchant in discussion, which diverged to a dozen topics, and ended in the pro- mulgation of a magnificent scheme. Van Flewker's eager mind forgot the letters as he listened to his subordinate's glowing pictures of undreamt-of wealth pictures all the more seductive, as increasing em- barrassments rendered their realisation more desirable now than ever. The glozing tongue of the tempter led the merchaat on, sinking him deeper and deeper in the Paradise of Fools, until a neighbouring clock struck five. Van Flewker started, with an exclama- tion of annoyance. "Already five!" he ejaculated, and the letters not yet signed. I must be off immediately, or I shall lose my train. Call Vhiffle, M. Parlandet, at once." Parl summoned the cashier through the speaking- tube. Mr. VhifHe said the merchant, hastily, I must go. But I have not yet had time to read my letters. I shall sign them now but you must look through them very carefully before they are sent to the post. If anything seems doubtful, keep it back, and let me see it to-morrow. That will do." Whiffles retired. Van Flewker seized a pen, and hastily signed the letters without reading their con- tents; Parl, anxious to assist the most benevolent of benefactors, unfolding and laying them in readiness before him. The paper in his own handwriting, which he had placed near the bottom of the pile, was signed unnoticed among the rest; but upon this the mer- chant, in his hurry, let fall a blot. "Bah!" he exclaimed, testily. "Erase that, M. Parlandet, before the letter goes. I cannot stop another moment, or I shall lose my train. Good evening." He snatched up his hat and was gone. It shall be done, my patron," asseverated Parl. Oh, yes rely upon it that it shall be done. Illus- trious benefactor, it—shall—be—done!" he sang, exultingly, as the merchant's steps ceased echoing along the passage. "Napoleon, my son, I con- gratulate thee!" he continued, slapping himself upon the breast. It was a stroke of genius. It was an heroic exploit. It was a magnificent under- taking. It was a deed that deserved to succeed; and it has succeeded. Yes, we have made one other little step upon the grand road to-day." He replaced in his pocket-book the paper which had been the object of so much enconium, and which was now authenticated by the merchant's signature, gathered up the letters, and issued jauntily into the passage. As he turned the corner past the safe-room, he ran against Kleckser, at that moment coming out. "Aha, dear M. Kleckser," he exclaimed, "pray spare my corns this time. The infallible remedy advertised by the papers does not consist of ledgers. What you think, eh? After you, my son; after you." He waved his hand politely towards the entrance, and followed the German into the counting-house. Vhiffle, my friend, here are the letters, all signed, ready to be dispatch when they have pass your critical eye. And now, my children, as I sup- pose I can be of no further service I shall return to F my hermitage, and pass the evening in the fasting and devotion suitable to the recluse." Over a pottel of vine and a cigar, I subbose," suggested Kleckser. "Over a bottle of wine and a cigar, my dear Kleckser, as you wisely surmise," repeated PI. -im-lv

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