when you have been down to the place and taken stock of what is there. You see, I’ve had myself to lean on friends to find all the money I wanted; if they pay me—they at Court Royal—it is not all profit. I have to pay interest also for what I took up to help me to get hold of the main mortgages. There,’ he continued, ‘is the difference between us Jews and you Christians. We hang together like a swarm of bees, one holding on by another; and you are like a hive of wasps, stinging each other, and when one gathers honey the other eats it, so that their combs are always empty. Will you go to Court Royal?’
‘I will. Indeed, it is as well that I should have a personal interview with the steward, as the negotiations are carried on through him.’
‘You will travel second class, not first,’ entreated Lazarus. ‘Money spent on the railway in comfort is waste. From Kingsbridge Road there is a coach. You will travel outside. The inside places are secured several days in advance. If you return the next day you need not tip the driver two shillings; eighteenpence will suffice.’
‘Very well; I will go to-morrow.’
In the afternoon of the next day the coach deposited Mr. Crudge at the principal inn of Kingsbridge, ‘The Duke’s Arms.’ After depositing his valise and securing a room, he ordered a fly to take him to the steward, who, he ascertained, lived out of the town, near the park gates. ‘An open carriage,’ said Mr. Crudge; ‘it don’t seem likely to rain, and I like to look about me.’
The drive was not a long one, through a pleasant wooded vale, commanding glimpses of the inlet of sea, now that the tide was flowing, flushed with water. The hills and moors over which the coach had run from the station had been bare, and the contrast of the luxuriant vegetation and stately growth of trees in the hollows was therefore the more striking and agreeable.
The carriage drew up before a neat white house, with a