Having brought himself to this admission, Reardon felt more at ease. To what purpose should he keep up transparent pretences? It was manifestly his duty to earn as much money as he could, in whatever way. Let the man of letters be forgotten; he was seeking for remunerative employment, just as if he had never written a line.
Amy did not return the ten pounds, and did not write again. So, presumably, she would accept the moiety of his earnings; he was glad of it. After paying half-a-crown for rent, there would be left ten shillings. Something like three pounds that still remained to him he would not reckon; this must be for casualties.
Half-a-sovereign was enough for his needs; in the old times he had counted it a competency which put his mind quite at rest.
The day came, and he entered upon his duties in City Road. It needed but an hour or two, and all the intervening time was cancelled; he was back once more in the days of no reputation, a harmless clerk, a decent wage-earner.
It was more than a fortnight after Reardon's removal to Islington when Jasper Milvain heard for the first time of what had happened. He was coming down from the office of the Will-o'-the-Wisp one afternoon, after a talk with the editor concerning a paragraph in his last week's causerie which had been complained of as libellous, and which would probably lead to the 'case' so much desired by everyone connected with the paper, when someone descending from a higher storey of the building overtook him and laid a hand on his shoulder. He turned and saw Whelpdale.
'What brings you on these premises?' he asked, as they shook hands.
'A man I know has just been made sub-editor of Chat, upstairs. He has half promised to let me do a column of answers to correspondents.'
'Cosmetics? Fashions? Cookery?'