e black dog Care hung heavy on my shoulders. I knew now what I had done. Fool that I was, I had mortgaged not only my own heritage but also the lives of my young brother Charles and my sister Cloe. Our father had died of apoplexy without a will, and a large part of his personal property had come to me with the entailed estate. The provision for the other two had been of the slightest, and now by this one wild night of play I had put it out of my power to take care of them. I had better clap a pistol to my head and be done with it.
Even while the thought was in my mind a hand out of the night fell on my shoulder from behind. I turned with a start, and found myself face to face with the Scotchman Balmerino.
"Whither away, Kenneth?" he asked.
I laughed bitterly. "What does it matter? A broken gambler--a ruined dicer-- What is there left for him?"
The Scotch Lord linked an arm through mine. I had liefer have been alone, but I could scarce tell him so. He had been a friend of my father