At the end of the dinner party, I returned to the hotel with Hastings. He
talked about his problems, but I didn't listen to him. I was thinking about
Portia the whole time.
When we arrived at the hotel, Hastings said, "Let me just stand here and
look at this marvellous hotel. It's a palace! What expensive furniture! You
have everything you want. You are rich, Henry. And I am poor."
His words scared me. I too, was poor. I didn't have a cent in the world,
and I had debts to pay. I needed to win the gentleman's bet. This was my last
hope. Hastings didn't know the truth.
"Henry, just a tiny part of your income can save me. I'm desperate!"
"My dear Hastings, sit down here and drink this hot whiskey. Now tell me
your whole story, every word of it."
"Do you want to hear my story again?"
"But, you never told me your story."
"Of course I told you my story, as we walked to the hotel. Don't you
"I didn't hear one word of it."
"Henry, are you ill? Is something wrong with you? What did you drink at
the dinner party?"
"Oh, Hastings, I'm in love! I can only think about my sweet Portia. This is
why I didn't hear your story before."
Hastings got up from his chair, shook my hand and laughed.
''I'm very happy for you, Henry, very happy," he said smiling.
"I'll tell you the whole story again." So he sat down and patiently started to
tell me his story.
To make a long story short, the owners of the Gould and Curry Gold
Mine sent Lloyd to England, to sell the shares of the mine for one million
dollars. Any money he received over one million dollars was his to keep.
Hastings's dream was to sell the shares for more than one million dollars,
and become rich.
He had only one month to sell the shares. He had done everything to sell
them, but nobody wanted to buy them. Then he jumped up and cried, "Henry,
you can help me! Will you do it?"
"Tell me how."
"Give me a million dollars and I'll sell you all the shares. You will be the
new owner of the gold mine. Don't, don't refuse."
I did not know what to say. I wanted to tell Hastings the truth. But then, an
intelligent idea came to me. I thought about it for a moment and then calmly
said, "I will save you, Lloyd."
"Then I am already saved! How can I thank you —"
"Let me finish, Lloyd. I will save you, but not in that way. I have a better
way. I know everything about that mine. I know its great value. You will sell
the shares by using my name. You can send anyone to me, since people in
London know me. I will guarantee the gold mine. In a week or two, you
will sell the shares for three million dollars, by using my name. And we'll
share the money you earn. Half to you and half to me."
Lloyd was very happy and excited. He danced around the room and
"I can use your name! Your name —think of it. The rich Londoners will
run to buy these shares. I'm saved! And I'll never forget you, Henry!"