The story of a young politician in England, filled with wine, in the silly season makes a bet with three others in a London club that he can woo and win any woman in society they may name. They "take him up," and he starts on his errand. He falls desperately in love with the woman, and just on his wedding-day his bride-to-be hears of the bet and refuses him. He goes fiercely into politics, and his old enemy, drink, conquers him. He dies to all former life and friends, but after many years returns, every inch a man; and of course the rest of the bright story is easy to guess, and makes pleasant reading.
"No," said Sprague presently, "it is not fair. If either of us had a sister we would not like to make her the subject of such a proposition."
"But if you are right, my dear, good friends," went on Leicester, "no harm can be done. I propose to the lady, and I am refused. What then? It is only another illustration of the downfall of Radford Leicester, the atheist, the cynic, the drunkard. But I am willing to risk it. All I say is, name the woman. Let her be the best you can think of; let her be the most exemplary, the most high-minded, the most orthodox, and I maintain that she'll not care a fig about all my failings, if she believes in the brilliance of my career."
"If you hadn't drunk so much whisky you'd not propose such a thing," said Purvis.
"Oh, you are backing out, are you?" sneered Leicester. "It is always the same. Fellows like you utter pious platitudes; you proclaim the glory of women; you hold up your hands with horror at a man who dares tell the truth, and then you