"Paul Pardriff went up to Leith to-day," said Mr. Bascom.
"Go to see him," replied the Honourable Hilary. "I've been thinking for some time that the advertising in the Ripton Record deserves an additional annual."
Mr. Bascom, having been despatched on this business, and having voluntarily assumed control of the Empire Bureau of Publication, the chief counsel transacted other necessary legal business with State Senator Billings and other gentlemen who were waiting. At three o'clock word was sent in that Mr. Austen Vane was outside, and wished to speak with his father as soon as the latter was at leisure. Whereupon the Honourable Hilary shooed out the minor clients, leaned back in his chair, and commanded that his son be admitted.
"Judge," said Austen, as he closed the door behind him, "I don't want to bother you."
The Honourable Hilary regarded his son for a moment fixedly out of his little eyes.
Austen looked down at his father. The Honourable Hilary's expression was not one which would have aroused, in the ordinary man who beheld him, a feeling of sympathy or compassion: it was the impenetrable look with which he had faced his opponents for many years. But Austen felt compassion.
"Perhaps I'd better come in another time--when you are less busy," he suggested.
"Who said I was busy?" inquired the Honourable Hilary.