"Certainly I was a part of hers, poor dear!" the boy exclaimed. "And I'm a part of yours."
"A very important part. But I don't see how you know that I've been treated like Zénobie."
"Do you take me for an idiot?" Morgan asked. "Haven't I been conscious of what we've been through together?"
"What we've been through?"
"Our privations—our dark days."
"Oh, our days have been bright enough."
Morgan went on in silence for a moment. Then he said: "My dear fellow, you're a hero!"
"Well, you're another!" Pemberton retorted.
"No, I'm not; but I'm not a baby. I won't stand it any longer. You must get some occupation that pays. I'm ashamed, I'm ashamed!" quavered the boy in a little passionate voice that was very touching to Pemberton.
"We ought to go off and live somewhere together," said the young man.
"I'll go like a shot if you'll take me."
"I'd get some work that would keep us both afloat," Pemberton continued.
"So would I. Why shouldn't I work? I ain't such a crétin!"
"The difficulty is that your parents wouldn't hear of it," said Pemberton. "They would never part with you; they worship the ground you tread on. Don't you see the proof of it? They don't dislike me; they wish me no harm; they're very amiable people; but they're perfectly ready to treat me badly for your sake."
The silence in which Morgan received this graceful sophistry struck Pemberton somehow as expressive. After a moment Morgan repeated: "You are a hero!"