THE next day, Mr. Troy (taking Robert Moody with him as a valuable witness) rang the bell at the mean and dirty lodging-house in which Old Sharon received the clients who stood in need of his advice.
They were led upstairs to a back room on the second floor of the house. Entering the room, they discovered through a thick cloud of tobacco smoke, a small, fat, bald-headed, dirty, old man, in an arm-chair, robed in a tattered flannel dressing-gown, with a short pipe in his mouth, a pug- dog on his lap, and a French novel in his hands.
"Is it business?" asked Old Sharon, speaking in a hoarse, asthmatical voice, and fixing a pair of bright, shameless, black eyes attentively on the two visitors.
"It is business," Mr. Troy answered, looking at the old rogue who had disgraced an honorable profession, as he might have looked at a reptile which had just risen rampant at his feet. " What is your fee for a consultation?"
"You give me a guinea, and I'll give you half an hour." With this reply Old Sharon held out his unwashed hand across the rickety ink- splashed table at which he was sitting.
Mr. Troy would not have touched him with