February 18.—Carrie has several times recently called attention
to the thinness of my hair at the top of my head, and recommended me
to get it seen to. I was this morning trying to look at it by
the aid of a small hand-glass, when somehow my elbow caught against
the edge of the chest of drawers and knocked the glass out of my hand
and smashed it. Carrie was in an awful way about it, as she is
rather absurdly superstitious. To make matters worse, my large
photograph in the drawing-room fell during the night, and the glass
Carrie said: “Mark my words, Charles, some misfortune is about
I said: “Nonsense, dear.”
In the evening Lupin arrived home early, and seemed a little agitated.
I said: “What’s up, my boy?” He hesitated a
good deal, and then said: “You know those Parachikka Chlorates
I advised you to invest £20 in? I replied: “Yes, they
are all right, I trust?” He replied: “Well, no!
To the surprise of everybody, they have utterly collapsed.”
My breath was so completely taken away, I could say nothing.
Carrie looked at me, and said: “What did I tell you?”
Lupin, after a while, said: “However, you are specially fortunate.
I received an early tip, and sold out yours immediately, and was fortunate
to get £2 for them. So you get something after all.”
I gave a sigh of relief. I said: “I was not so sanguine
as to suppose, as you predicted, that I should get six or eight times
the amount of my investment; still a profit of £2 is a good percentage
for such a short time.” Lupin said, quite irritably: “You
don’t understand. I sold your £20 shares for £2;
you therefore lose £18 on the transaction, whereby Cummings and
Gowing will lose the whole of theirs.”