"Well, put it that way if you like."
Old Heythorp's little deep eyes twinkled.
"My grandfather lived to be a hundred; my father ninety-six--both of them rips. I'm only eighty, gentlemen; blameless life compared with theirs."
"Indeed," Mr. Brownbee said, "we hope you have many years of this life before you."
"More of this than of another." And a silence fell, till old Heythorp added: "You're getting a thousand a year out of my fees. Mistake to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. I'll make it twelve hundred. If you force me to resign my directorships by bankruptcy, you won't get a rap, you know."
Mr. Brownbee cleared his throat:
"We think, Mr. Heythorp, you should make it at least fifteen hundred. In that case we might perhaps consider--"
"We can hardly accept your assertion that we should get nothing in the event of bankruptcy. We fancy you greatly underrate the possibilities. Fifteen hundred a year is the least you can do for us."