The £1,000,000 Pound Bank-Note 7

"You wicked flatterer! There isn't a word of truth in what you say, but still I'll go with you.

"Maybe it will teach you not to expect other people to look with your eyes."{1}

Were my doubts dissipated (消除)? Was my confidence restored?

You may judge by this fact: privately I raised my salary to twelve hundred the first year on the spot.

But I didn't tell her; I saved it for a surprise.

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All the way home I was in the clouds, Hastings talking, I not hearing a word.

When he and I entered my parlor, he brought me to myself with his fervent appreciations of my manifold comforts and luxuries.

"Let me just stand here a little and look my fill. Dear me! it's a palace -- it's just a palace!

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"And in it everything a body could desire, including cosey coal fire and supper standing ready.

"Henry, it doesn't merely make me realize how rich you are; it makes me realize, to the bone, to the marrow, how poor I am --

"how poor I am, and how miserable, how defeated, routed, annihilated!"

Plague take it! This language gave me the cold shudders (战栗).

It scared me broad awake, and made me comprehend that I was standing on a half-inch crust (外壳), with a crater (火山口) underneath.

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I didn't know I had been dreaming -- that is, I hadn't been allowing myself to know it for a while back; but now -- oh, dear!

Deep in debt, not a cent in the world, a lovely girl's happiness or woe (悲痛) in my hands, and nothing in front of me but a salary which might never -- oh, would never -- materialize!

Oh, oh, oh! I am ruined past hope! Nothing can save me!

"Henry, the mere unconsidered drippings of your daily income would --"

"Oh, my daily income! Here, down with this hot Scotch, and cheer up your soul. Here's with you! Or, no -- you're hungry; sit down and --"

"Not a bite for me; I'm past it. I can't eat, these days; but I'll drink with you till I drop. Come!"

"Barrel for barrel, I'm with you! Ready? Here we go! Now, then, Lloyd, unreel your story while I brew."

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"Unreel it? What, again?"

"Again? What do you mean by that?"

"Why, I mean do you want to hear it over again?"

"Do I want to hear it over again? This is a puzzler. Wait; don't take any more of that liquid. You don't need it."

"Look here, Henry, you alarm me. Didn't I tell you the whole story on the way here?"

"You?"

"Yes, I."

"I'll be hanged if I heard a word of it."

"Henry, this is a serious thing. It troubles me. What did you take up yonder (在那边) at the minister's?"

Then it all flashed on me, and I owned up like a man.

"I took the dearest girl in this world -- prisoner!"

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So then he came with a rush, and we shook, and shook, and shook till our hands ached;

and he didn't blame me for not having heard a word of a story which had lasted while we walked three miles.

He just sat down then, like the patient, good fellow he was, and told it all over again.

Synopsized (写…的梗概), it amounted to this:

He had come to England with what he thought was a grand opportunity; he had an "option" to sell the Gould and Curry Extension for the "locators" of it, and keep all he could get over a million dollars. {2}

He had worked hard, had pulled every wire he knew of, had left no honest expedient untried, had spent nearly all the money he had in the world, had not been able to get a solitary capitalist to listen to him, and his option would run out at the end of the month.

In a word, he was ruined. Then he jumped up and cried out:

"Henry, you can save me! You can save me, and you're the only man in the universe that can. Will you do it? Won't you do it?"

"Tell me how. Speak out, my boy."

"Give me a million and my passage (长途旅程的费用) home for my 'option'! Don't, don't refuse!"

I was in a kind of agony (痛苦). I was right on the point of coming out with the words, "Lloyd, I'm a pauper myself -- absolutely penniless, and in debt!"

But a white-hot idea came flaming through my head, and I gripped my jaws together, and calmed myself down till I was as cold as a capitalist.

Then I said, in a commercial and self-possessed (冷静的) way:

"I will save you, Lloyd --"

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"Then I'm already saved! God be merciful to you forever! If ever I --"

"Let me finish, Lloyd. I will save you, but not in that way; for that would not be fair to you, after your hard work, and the risks you've run.

"I don't need to buy mines; I can keep my capital moving, in a commercial center like London, without that; it's what I'm at, all the time;

"but here is what I'll do. I know all about that mine, of course; I know its immense (巨大的) value, and can swear to it if anybody wishes it. {3}

"You shall sell out inside of the fortnight for three millions cash, using my name freely, and we'll divide, share and share alike."

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Do you know, he would have danced the furniture to kindling-wood in his insane joy, and broken everything on the place, if I hadn't tripped him up and tied him.

Then he lay there, perfectly happy, saying:

"I may use your name! Your name -- think of it! Man, they'll flock (聚集) in droves, these rich Londoners; they'll fight for that stock! I'm a made man, I'm a made man forever, and I'll never forget you as long as I live!"

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In less than twenty-four hours London was abuzz (呈现忙碌状况的)! I hadn't anything to do, day after day, but sit at home, and say to all comers:

"Yes; I told him to refer to me. I know the man, and I know the mine. His character is above reproach, and the mine is worth far more than he asks for it."

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