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- The Grand Babylon Hotel - 45/45 -

'If she is content to do so,' Racksole went on, 'well and good! I consent.'

'In her name and my own, I thank you,' said Aribert gravely.

'And,' the millionaire continued, 'so that she may not have to reform too fiercely, I shall settle on her absolutely, with reversion to your children, if you have any, a lump sum of fifty million dollars, that is to say, ten million pounds, in sound, selected railway stock. I reckon that is about half my fortune. Nella and I have always shared equally.'

Aribert made no reply. The two men shook hands in silence, and then it happened that Nella entered the room.

That night, after dinner, Racksole and his friend Felix Babylon were walking together on the terrace of the Grand Babylon Hotel.

Felix had begun the conversation.

'I suppose, Racksole,' he had said, 'you aren't getting tired of the Grand Babylon?'

'Why do you ask?'

'Because I am getting tired of doing without it. A thousand times since I sold it to you I have wished I could undo the bargain. I can't bear idleness. Will you sell?'

'I might,' said Racksole, 'I might be induced to sell.'

'What will you take, my friend?' asked Felix

'What I gave,' was the quick answer.

'Eh!' Felix exclaimed. 'I sell you my hotel with Jules, with Rocco, with Miss Spencer. You go and lose all those three inestimable servants, and then offer me the hotel without them at the same price! It is monstrous.' The little man laughed heartily at his own wit. 'Nevertheless,' he added, 'we will not quarrel about the price. I accept your terms.'

And so was brought to a close the complex chain of events which had begun when Theodore Racksole ordered a steak and a bottle of Bass at the table d'hôte of the Grand Babylon Hotel.

The Grand Babylon Hotel - 45/45

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