January 21.—I am very much concerned at Lupin having started
a pony-trap. I said: “Lupin, are you justified in this outrageous
extravagance?” Lupin replied: “Well, one must get
to the City somehow. I’ve only hired it, and can give it
up any time I like.” I repeated my question: “Are
you justified in this extravagance?” He replied: “Look
here, Guv., excuse me saying so, but you’re a bit out of date.
It does not pay nowadays, fiddling about over small things. I
don’t mean anything personal, Guv’nor. My boss says
if I take his tip, and stick to big things, I can make big money!”
I said I thought the very idea of speculation most horrifying.
Lupin said “It is not speculation, it’s a dead cert.”
I advised him, at all events, not to continue the pony and cart; but
he replied: “I made £200 in one day; now suppose I only
make £200 in a month, or put it at £100 a month, which is
ridiculously low—why, that is £1,250 a year. What’s
a few pounds a week for a trap?”
I did not pursue the subject further, beyond saying that I should
feel glad when the autumn came, and Lupin would be of age and responsible
for his own debts. He answered: “My dear Guv., I promise
you faithfully that I will never speculate with what I have not got.
I shall only go on Job Cleanands’ tips, and as he is in the ‘know’
it is pretty safe sailing.” I felt somewhat relieved.
Gowing called in the evening and, to my surprise, informed me that,
as he had made £10 by one of Lupin’s tips, he intended asking
us and the Cummings round next Saturday. Carrie and I said we
should be delighted.