"Let me finish. I know I have your sympathy, my boy, and your best wishes, but all the sympathy and the good wishes in the world cannot alter the fiat which I fear has gone forth. Hear me, Frank. This has become a good practice now: it is a thousand pities that you should reject it and let it fall to a stranger."

"But, if I get a better practice than this in London, Uncle Hugh?" he argued. "I mean, a more lucrative one."

"But that is uncertain."

"Not very uncertain," said sanguine Frank.

"At any rate, you will have to pay for it. Pay in proportion to its merits."

"Of course. But I can do that. Uncle Francis is going to make up my legacy to three thousand pounds, you know."

"I know that he says so."

"But—you can't doubt his word!" cried Frank, his

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