SEVEN
ARGUMENT UNDER THE GASLIGHT

It took some days for Jack to settle what he wanted to do (from that night at Nottingham, he never doubted that George would find the money): and it took a little longer to persuade George of it.

Those were still the days of the small-scale wireless business. An acquaintance of ours had just started one; Jack had his imagination caught. He expounded what he could make of it -- and I thought how much he liked the touch of anything modern. He would have been a contemporary man in any age. But he was inventive, he was shrewd, he had a flair for advertisement; he persuaded us all except George.

George did not like it. He would have preferred to try to article Jack to Eden and Martineau. He asked Morcom and me for our opinions. We gave practically the same answer. Making Jack a solicitor would mean a crippling expense for George; and we could not see Jack settling down to a profession if he started unwillingly. His own choice was far more likely to come off.

At last George gave way. Then, though Jack, as I say, never doubted that the money would be found, George faced a last obstacle; he had to tell his father and mother that he was lessening his immediate help to them.

For many men, it would have been easy. He could have equivocated; after all, the insurance provided for their future, and he had been making an extravagantly large contribution. But he never thought of evading the truth. He dreaded telling it, for he knew how it would be taken; their family relations were passionately close. But tell it he did, up to the hilt, three days after our visit to Nottingham.

-49-

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