Page:The Story of the Treasure Seekers.djvu/93
THE POET AND THE EDITOR
I can't think how he could have asked! Oswald is said to be a very manly-looking boy for his age. However, I thought it would look duffing to be offended, so I said—
"This is my brother Noël. He is the poet."
Noël had turned quite pale. He is disgustingly like a girl in some ways. The Editor told us to sit down, and he took the poems from Noël, and began to read them. Noël got paler and paler; I really thought he was going to faint, like he did when I held his hand under the cold-water tap, after I had accidentally cut him with my chisel. When the Editor had read the first poem—it was the one about the beetle—he got up and stood with his back to us. It was not manners; but Noël thinks he did it "to conceal his emotion," as they do in books.
He read all the poems, and then he said—
"I like your poetry very much, young man. I'll give you—let me see; how much shall I give you for it?"
"As much as ever you can," said Noel. "You see I want a good deal of money to restore the fallen fortunes of the house of Bastable."
The gentleman put on some eye-glasses and looked hard at us. Then he sat down.