Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/123

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George Golightly was a barrister, of the kind known as rising. He was considered extremely safe for a safe case; to employ him for the defence meant professionally and to those who knew, that if one had fallen there was very little to prove it. To employ him for the prosecution meant that one was in possession of strong evidence, perhaps injured, not impossibly respectable. He worked hard and regularly: he made a good income: he dined with his banker—when he had no better engagement: the Lord Chief Justice called him Golightly: the wives of the Queen's Counsels gave him at least a fortnight's notice when they asked him to dinner. In Lady Hemingway's phrase—he held a position. To be rising is in many respects more agreeable than to have risen. In one case it is all looking forward, in the other it is all looking back—and looking back is not the joyfullest work in the world. Lot's wife was an allegory. George, therefore, was happy as mortals go. One morning, however, he awoke and was not happy—on the contrary, feverish, worried, and with no head for business. He had been dreaming of his cousin's wife. He tried to eat—he tried to read: he thanked God—being orthodox—that it was Sunday and he could be stupid without causing comment. He started for a walk and found himself making towards Bloomsbury: he turned back when he was in