lesson8 The Model Millionaire
The Model Millionaire（2）
1.That night Hughie went to a club about eleven o'clock,and found Trevor sitting by himself in the smoking room drinking.
2.“Well,Alan,did you finish the picture all right？”he said,as he lit his cigarette.
3.“Finished and framed,my boy！”answered Trevor;“ and,by the way,that old model you saw has become very fond of you .I had to tell him all about you——who you are,where you live,what your income is,what hopes you have——”
4.“My dear Alan，”cried Hughie,“I shall probably find him waiting for me when I go home.But,of cause,you are only joking.Poor old fellow！ Iwish I could do something for him.I think it is terrible that any one should be so miserable.I have got heaps of old clothes at home——do you think he would care for any of them？ Why,his rags were falling to bits.
5.“But he looks splendid in them.”said Trevor.“I should never want to paint him in a frock coat for anything.What you call rags I call romance.What seems poverty to you is charm to me.However,I'll tell him of your offer.”
6.“Alan，”said Hughie seriously,“you painters are a heartless lot.”
7.“An artist's heart is his head，”replied Trevor;“ and besides,our business is to show the world as we see it not to make it better.And now tell me how Laura is.The old model was quite interested in her.”
8.“You don't mean to say you talked to him about her？' said Hughie.
9.“Certainly I did.He knows all about the cruel father,the lovely Luara,and the ten thousand pounds.”
10.“ You told the old beggar all about my private affairs？ cried Hughie,looking very red and angry.
11.“My dear boy，”said Trevor,smiling，“that old beggar,as you call him,is one of the richest men in Europe.He could buy all London tomorrow.He has a house in every capital,has his dinner off gold plate,and can prevent Russia going to war when he wishes.”
12.“What on earth do you mean？”cried Hughie.
13.“What I say，”said Trevor.“the old man you saw today in the studio was Baron Hausberg.He is a great friend of mine,buys all my pictures and that sort of thing,and gave me a commision a month ago to paint him as a beggar.What do you expect？ It's a whim of a millionaire.You know these rich men.And I must say he looked fine in his rags,or perhaps I should say in my rags;they are an old suit I got in Spain.”
14.“Baron Hausberg！”cried Hughie.“Good heaven！ I gave him a pound！”and he sank into an arm-chair the picture of dismay.
15.“Gave him a pound！”shouted Trevor and he burst into a roar of laughter.“My dear boy,you'll never see it again.His business is with other men's money.”
16.“I think you ought to have told me,Alan，”said Hughie in a bad temper,“ and not have let me make such a fool of myself.”
17.“Well,to begin with,Hughie，”said Trevor,“It never entered my mind that you went about giving money away in that careless manner.I can understand your kissing a prety model,but your giving money to an ugly one——，no！ Besides,when you came in I didn't know whether Hausberg would like his name mentioned.You know he wasn't in full dress！”
18.“How stupid he must think me！”said Hughie.
19.“Not at all.He was in the highest spirits after you left;kept laughing to himself and rbbing his ld wrinkled hands together.I couldn't understand why he was so interested to know all about you;but I see it all now.He'll invest your pound for you,Hughie，pay you the innterest every six months,and have a wonderful story to tell after dinner.”
20.“I'am an unlucky devil，”said Hughie.“The best thing I can do is to go to bed;and,my dear Alan,you mustn't tell anyone.I shouldn't dare to show my face if people knew.”
21.“Nonsense,It shows your kindness of spirit,Hughie.And don't run away.Have another cigarette,and you can talk about Laura as much as you like.”
22.However,Hughie wouldn't stay,but walked home,feeling very unhappy,and leaving Alan Trevor helpless with laughter.
23.The next morning,as he was at breakfast,the servant brought him a card on which was written,“Monsieur Gustave Naudin,for M.le Baron Hausberg.”“I suppose he has come for an apology，”said Hughie to himself;and he told the servant to bring the visitor in.
24.An old gentleman with gold glasses and grey hair came into the room and said,in a slight French accent,“Have I the honour of speaking to Monsieur Erskine？
26.“I have come from Baron Hausberg，”he continued.“The Baron—”he continued.“The Baron—”
27.“I beg,sir,that you will offer him my sincerest apologies，”stammered Hughie.
28.“The Baron，”said the old gentleman with a smile,“has commisioned me to bring you this letter”;and he held out a sealed envelope.
29.On the outside was written,“A wedding present to Hugh Erskine and Laura Merton,from an old beggar，”and inside was a cheque for ten thousand pounds.
30.When they were married Alan Trevor was the best man,and the Baron made a speech at the wedding breakfast.
31.“Millionaire models，”remarked Alan,“are rare enough;but model millionaires are rare still！”