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reading the English papers when a waiter approached him.
"Is monsieur Sir George Montgomery, Bart.?" asked the man.
"Curse the fool," groaned Bellamy as those sitting near him gaped at the title. "Why do you ask?"
"I have here a letter addressed to Sir George Montgomery, Bart., and knowing that monsieur's name"
"All right," snapped Bellamy; "give it to me."
The note was from the Belgian bank manager, and ran as follows:
Milord,—The condescension of your visit yesterday and the brilliant flavor of your conversation rendered confused an intellect which is usually master of itself. But the genius of the English is too bright for common minds; it dazzles and blinds them, whether in the peaceful paths of commerce or on the glorious field of battle. Ah, milord, I am by birth a Belgian, and the recollection of Waterloo ever calls tears to my eyes. What genius was there in the great Wellington who led us Belgians to victory! But pause, I am now a Frenchman and so to write is treason. Htlast
Your swift mind will leap to my meaning. The Credit Francais has rules, and each client, however nobly born, gives to us a reference; it is of presumption inexcusable, but I am the slave of rules. Will milord graciously favor me with the name of his English bankers?
Accept, milord, &c.
The book of the English peerage called "Debrett" omits milord's honored name. How great a fault is that of M. Debrett! I laugh.
"Oh the deuce!" groaned Bellamy. "He has been looking me up in 'Debrett.' Confound the man. I had hoped he was even as complete an ass as he seemed. It's very difficult to be honest I have swindled no man, for have I not repeatedly invited the owner
of the note to declare himself? Yet it looks very much as if I shall be compelled to forge a banker's reference. Thank Heaven for one thing—I am outside the jurisdiction of the English High, Court"
Sir George Montgomery, Bart, (he wrote), has received the communication of M. Leblanc, and has noted its contents. He would have supposed that £10,000 in English legal tender was a sufficient reference, especially as he was merely depositing the money for a short time with the Credit Frangals. He must ask M. Leblanc to continue to hold the sum deposited to his credit until Sir George Montgomery, Bart, has communicated with his English bankers. The errors in "Debrett's Peerage" have no interest for Sir George Montgomery, Bart.
The rest of that day passed without any reply from the manager, and Bellamy felt in greater comfort. His principal object was to get the note presented to, and cashed by, the Bank 6f England, and he still hoped to get this done without calling in the help of forgery. Once the great question of the negotiability of the £10,000 note was determined, he did not care how soon he got quit of the Credit Francais. All this time Bellamy had looked upon his advertisement as a thing which was completely done with; but he was now to be abruptly reminded of the permanence of print
He had instructed his wife to forward letters to him at the Poste Restante, Boulogne, and on the morning succeeding his correspondence with M. Leblanc he found a packet awaiting him at the Post Office. Among the letters was one having the appearance of a bill. He opened it in some annoyance, and then shivered with surprise and terror. For the outside cover enclosed a second envelope addressed to"J. B." "Heavens!" he wailed. "It's the billionaire at last!"
His first impulse was to destroy the letter unread; but his native honesty— and, it must be admitted, his prudence —compelled him to overcome it. The appropriation of unclaimed property was in quite a different moral category from the stealing of that which was claimed, and was besides alarmingly dangerous. And it had been made fifty times more dangerous by the steps which he had recently taken to realize the note. So he decided to read the letter, and to be guided by its contents. It ran thus:
Sir,—Your advertisement has been before us since April last, but as our client had unfortunately lost his memorandum recording the number of his banknote as well as the note itself, we were unable to establish an earlier claim to it on his behalf. He is now in possession of the number, and we are prepared to prove the following facts. On April 11 last our client, while in Bushey Park, dropped his pocket-book and a banknote for £10,000 was blown from it and could not be recovered. The note is dated April 9 and is numbered A|32,000184. We find that it has not been presented for payment. If the large note which you advertised as being found by you is the one which our client has lost, will you kindly put yourself into communication with us. We may add that our client wishes to compensate you for the efforts you have made to discover his identity, and to express his sense of your integrity in making no effort to dispose of the unclaimed property.
Your obedient servants,
"Gatepaths!" shrieked Bellamy. "And I thought to squeeze a reward out of the note's owner! I shall be lucky If I can save my own skin. One could humbug the Lord Chief Justice more easily than get round Gatepaths."
A second perusal of the letter only increased his concern. "They are soft and purring now that they believe in my integrity, but what will happen
when the note is presented through the Credit Francais? Gatepaths' bloodhounds will be let loose on Sir George Montgomery, Bart., and it will take all James Bellamy's wit to save himself from arrest. The money is hopelessly lost to me, and my character will go the same way. My poor Ethel!"
Wild schemes of escape took fantastic shape in his mind. He pictured himself working a passage to South America in a cattleship, or making his way, pick in hand, to the Transvaal goldfields. His fears were so insistent that it was some time before the voice of reason could get a hearing. "Why not," spoke reason, "why not recover the note from Leblanc before it can be sent to England?"
"Ah!" Bellamy rushed to the office of the Credit K ran..a is and beat upon the manager's door.
"Milord," cried M. Auguste Leblanc, "what happiness! I feared that, after my epistle so discourteous, milord would turn away his countenance from me."
"Quick," cried Bellamy, "I have changed my mind. I want my money back at once. Give me the £10,000 note. Quick!"
"Milord, it is impossible. Let milord pause to consider. Let"
"Oh, stow that," roared the baronet, falling into the angry vernacular of the clerk. "Hand over my money or I will compel you to put up your shutters."
The verbose politeness of the Belgian instantly fell away from him.
"Sir," he drawled, "you forget the 4 per cent. Interest—and the seven days' notice of withdrawal."
"The devil!" cried Bellamy, cursing the beautiful scheme of bluff which had pleased him so much two days earlier; "Never mind the notice or the interest I will excuse you the interest, and give you £20 down if you will waive the notice."
"It is impossible, sir," returned the manager coldly; "the Bank of England note has already been sent to our London office."
"When?" sharply asked Bellamy.
"By this morning's mail."
"Ah!" Then the Englishman turned on the Belgian and put forth the fiery energy of his race. "A form of withdrawal, quick." The form was produced and filled up on the instant. "Give me an acknowledgment of the notice to show to your London manager. That will do."
Before another half-hour had passed, Bellamy had packed up his bag, paid his bill at his hotel, and caught the afternoon boat for Folkestone. "It is a race between me and the Post Office," he muttered grimly, "and the betting is about even. For the Post Office has had three hours' start."
On arriving in London he was relieved to learn that the morning mail from Boulogne would not be delivered in the City until after business hours. He could, therefore, wait until the London office of the Credit Francois opened next day, and then, as he observed, "with only moderate luck I shall be able to save my character."
The London manager had just settled down to his letters when our Bellamy broke in upon him. "Monsieur," cried the visitor, "my business is urgent. Oh, you're an Englishman. That's a comfort." Bellamy's spirits rose.
The bank manager smiled.
"Sir," went on Bellamy, "after a course of French politeness the incivility of an Englishman will be inexpressibly welcome to me."
"I trust I shall not be uncivil," said the manager, laughing.
"It would seem homelike if you were. But I am taking up your time. This is my business. Three days ago Sir George Montgomery deposited £10,000 in one banknote with your Boulogne office. The terms were 4 per cent., and
seven days' notice. My name is Bellamy, and I am Sir George's authorized agent. He writes that he wishes to withdraw at once the very same note which he paid in."
"That will be difficult."
"I believe not. I am instructed that the identical note is among your letters this morning."
After some search the manager found it. "You want this back at once?"
"Yes, at once. Here is the deposit receipt, signed by M. Leblanc. Here is his acknowledgment of Sir George's notice of withdrawal. And here is my authority to receive the money, signed by Sir George Montgomery."
"You will pardon me, Mr. Bellamy, but I have not the honor to know you, and the request is unusual."
"Oh, I am in the business myself," said Bellamy easily; "I am a cashier in the North-Eastern Bank. You can send round and verify my identity if you like. As for the unusual character of the request, that is Sir George's affair, not mine. I am merely carrying out his positive instructions."
"I see. Still, what about the seven days' notice?"
Inwardly reviling the barrier which his own foolish ingenuity had built up, Bellamy slowly replied:
"We will drop the interest if you will drop the notice."
"It will make rather a mess of our books."
"Will £20 make your books look better?"
"Oh, come, Mr. Bellamy, we are not such sharks as that. I am willing to oblige Sir George Montgomery; but the business would be more regular if he allowed the note to be presented, passed through our books, and credited to a current account. Then he could draw a cheque for the £10,000 at once."
Bellamy turned cold. The proposal was so reasonable and businesslike that objection was difficult, yet the presentation of the note would ruin him.
"I can only say," he observed with a fine pretence of indifference, "that my instructions are to recover the note itself. I have not been favored with Sir George's reasons. If you like I will telegraph and put your proposal before him."
"If you will be so good," returned the manager. "In the meantime I will lay the banknote aside. In any event I could not have handed it over to you without a verification of Sir George Montgomery's signature. Shall I wire to Boulogne for this?"
"Please do so. I will call again tomorrow morning." And Bellamy went away sad at heart His character, by which he held his situation and earned bread for his wife and children, was threatened through the formalism of a bank official who did not know, and could not be told, of the terrible stake for which his visitor was struggling. To him it seemed utterly unimportant in what form Sir George Montgomery recovered his money so long as he got it back; while to Bellamy the form was everything. He could not take to Gatepaths anything but the actual note which had been lost.
"Well, Mr. Bellamy," said the manager next day, "have you communicated with Sir George Montgomery?"
"Yes," answered Bellamy, "and he seems as set upon that note as if it was his only child."
"By the way, Mr. Bellamy, who is Sir George Montgomery? I cannot find his name in 'Debrett.'"
"The Credit Francais has a passion for 'Debrett,'" murmured Bellamy. "Ah," said he aloud, smiling, "you should ask Sir George himself. It is a subject upon which none but strangers venture. He is claimant to a dormant baronetcy, and, pending the admission of his claim by the College of Heralds, has invested himself with the
title. There are lots of these claimant baronets about whom the reference books refuse to recognize. They bear the same relation to the admitted articles as 'reputed' pints do to the imperial bottles."
"That explains it; I was puzzled to account for the title. Well, I suppose that he must have his note. His signature is all right, and you are all right— for I have inquired. You will give me a receipt?"
"Willingly," cried Bellamy, and a minute later the fateful document was once more in his pocket. "At last!" cried he, and flew away in a cab to the offices of Gatepaths, solicitors.
He told how he had found the note, omitting all particulars of its subsequent adventures, and joyfully handed it over.
"Did you expect to get anything for this, Mr. Bellamy?" asked old John Gatepath. "Some men in your position might have been tempted to keep it. It has never been stopped."
"But I didn't know that," said Bellamy.
The solicitor laughed. "And if you had, you might have acted differently? Well, well, it is not fair to crossexamine you as to possibilities. As a matter of fact you have behaved most honorably, and my client has given me express directions concerning you."
"Indeed!" said Bellamy, anxiously. "He doesn't know anything about me, does he?"
"No. But he considers that the man who found his banknote, and tried to find him, and who patiently kept £10,000 in perfectly negotiable paper for three months, waiting for the owner to declare himself, deserves an adequate reward."
"Reward," muttered Bellamy, "adequate reward! It Is reward enough to be able to bring it back."
"To a person of your high character, perhaps it is. Yet my client wishes to
supplement the immaterial reward of conscious virtue with something more substantial." The solicitor took a cheque-book from a drawer. "He thinks that £500"
"It is wonderful," muttered Bellamy; "the very sum"
The cheque was written and acknowledged, and when he went into the street Bellamy's hands were shaking. "My nerves are upset," he whispered. "I want a change."
Mr. Bellamy's family were at their
The OornhlU Magazine.
early dinner when he burst in upon them.
"I am back sooner than I Intended," he shouted, "and we all start for Deal this afternoon. Ethel, we will stay at an hotel the whole time, and you shall have a real holiday from housekeeping." "But can we afford it, James?"
"Afford it!" he yelled. "Afford it! Look at that!" And he cast the cheque upon the table.
Fatigue is a phase of life to which few are strangers. That which the word denotes is an experience only too familiar to most persons, but in varied character and degree. It is a feature of perfect health, and yet is a link with disease, since it is produced with undue readiness in morbid states, and in some it constitutes a conspicuous symptom. Not only is it varied in its manifestation, but it has many-sided relations; and some of these involve considerable scientific interest. As a result of activity in the normal state, it is a part of physiology, the study of the living body in health; and as such it has been recently made the subject of much research, which has resulted in discoveries of considerable importance. It Is a difficult subject for investigation, for reasons which will presently be mentioned; and it is curious that the study it has received has been chiefly at the hands of Italians. That nation has shared conspicuously the impulse to scientific re
search that has recently affected all civilized peoples, and has extended even to the state that is now so prominent in the eyes of the world—Japan. Italy has grand traditions to inspire her; and the degree in which she excelled in the study of life three centuries ago may have inspired the noteworthy work in physiology which her sons have lately achieved.
Contagion is not confined to disease; it is manifested also in tendencies of thought and work. The special study that has been given by Italians to the subject of fatigue seems chiefly due to the fact that one of their best known physiologists, Professor Mosso, has made it for many years a favorite subject of investigation. He has published the results of his work in many papers, and has condensed them in a small volume designed for popular consumption, which has been translated into English. But fatigue is largely a feeling, a fact of sensation; and our meagre knowledge of the processes which un• 1 "Fatigue." JBy A. Mosso, Professor of By Professor Sir Michael Foster, K.C.B.,
Physiology In the University of Turin. Trans- "Nineteenth Century," September 1883.
lated by Margaret Drununond, M.A., and W. 3 -Remarks on Replies by Teachers to Ques
B. Drummond M.B., London: Swan Sonnens- tiong respecting Mental Fatigue." By Francis
obeln, 1804. Galton, F.R.S., ''Journal of the Anthropo
2 "Weariness." The Bede Lecture, de-logical Institute," vol. XVIII, 1888. Uvered in the University of Cambridge, 1888.