just at this hour of his triumph. He had experienced the same sensation, in a less degree, when he rose in the morning and looked out of his window upon murky sky and falling rain. He would almost have given a thousand pounds for clear, triumphant sunshine.
And yet, in spite of this, he was not quite as brusque as usual when he made his answer.
"I've heard of you," he said. "You've had ill luck."
Stephen Murdoch shifted his hat from hand to hand.
"I don't know," he replied, slowly. "I've not called it that yet. The end has been slow, but I think it's sure. It will come some——"
Haworth made a rough gesture.
"By George!" he exclaimed. "Haven't you given the thing up yet?"
Murdoch fell back a pace, and stared at him in a stunned way.
"Given it up!" he repeated. "Yet?"
"Look here!" said Haworth. "You'd better do it, if you haven't. Take my advice, and have done with it. You're not a young chap, and if a thing's a failure after thirty years' work——" He stopped, because he saw the man trembling nervously. "Oh, I didn't mean to take the pluck out of you," he said bluntly, a moment later. "You must have had plenty of it to begin with, egad, or you'd never have stood it this long."
"I don't know that it was pluck,"—still quivering.
"I've lived on it so long that it would not give me up. I think that's it."
Haworth dashed off a couple of lines on a slip of paper, and tossed it to him."Take that to Greyson," he said, "and you'll get your