"We can hardly accept your assertion that we should get nothing in the event of bankruptcy. We fancy you greatly underrate the possibilities. Fifteen hundred a year is the least you can do for us."
Another silence followed, then Ventnor, the solicitor, said irascibly:
Brownbee added almost nervously:
"Are we to understand that twelve hundred a year is your--your last word?"
Old Heythorp nodded. "Come again this day month, and I'll see what I can do for you;" and he shut his eyes.
Round Mr. Brownbee six of the gentlemen gathered, speaking in low voices; Mr. Ventnor nursed a leg and glowered at old Heythorp, who sat with his eyes closed. Mr. Brownbee went over and conferred with Mr. Ventnor, then clearing his throat, he said:
"Well, sir, we have considered your proposal; we agree to accept it for the moment. We will come again, as you suggest, in a month's time.
We hope that you will by then have seen your way to something more substantial, with a view to avoiding what we should all regret, but which I fear will otherwise become inevitable."