The understanding he arrived at with his mother had this one good effect—it recalled him to his better self. He gave up his horses and avoided the “set” he had come to know during his temporary lapse. He went back to his business doubly determined to give it his earnest thought and energies, and the dollars kept rolling in. He became a recognized power in the world of finance and people began to say of him that “he beats the old man.”
But in the quiet of his own room, he would sit of an evening alone engaged in what he smilingly said to himself were “Hellenic studies.” Helène’s photograph—the same he had received from Count Rondell’s hand on that memorable interview on the steamer—was never moved from his study table. The sweet face looked out at him with all the power of its insistent beauty. Why had he not carried her off at Vienna and married her there and then? What a fool he had been!