operations there would not be enough air or water on Mars，
"What! would you still consent to receive the allowance I have made you, even if I consented to continue it?"
Had a viper raised its head in M. Wilkie's path he would not have recoiled more quickly. "Never!" he exclaimed. "Ah, no! What do you take me for?"
This repugnance was sincere; there could be no doubt of that, and it seemed to give Madame d'Argeles a ray of hope. "I have misjudged him," she thought. "Poor Wilkie! Evil advice has led him astray; but he is not bad at heart. In that case, my poor child," she said aloud, "you must see that a new life is about to commence for you. What do you intend to do? How will you gain a livelihood? People must have food, and clothes, and a roof to shelter them. These things cost money. And where will you obtain it--you who rebel at the very word work? Ah! if I had only listened to M. Patterson. He was not blind like myself. He was always telling me that I was spoiling you, and ruining your future by giving you so much money. Do you know that you have spent more than fifty thousand francs during the past two years? How have you squandered them? Have you been to the law-school a dozen times? No. But you can be seen at the races, at the opera, in the fashionable restaurants, and at every place of amusement where a young man can squander money. And who are your associates? Dissipated and heartless idlers, grooms, gamblers, and abandoned women."
A sneer from M. Wilkie interrupted her. To think that any one should dare to attack his friends, his tastes, and his pleasures. Such a thing was not to be tolerated. "This is astonishing-- astonishing, upon my word!" said he. "You moralizing! that's really too good! I should like a few minutes to laugh; it is too ridiculous!"
Was he really conscious of the cruelty of his ironical words? The blow was so terrible that Madame d'Argeles staggered beneath it. She was prepared for anything and everything except this insult from her son. Still, she accepted it without rebellion, although it was in a tone of heart-broken anguish that she replied: "Perhaps I have no right to tell you the truth. I hope the future will prove that I am wrong. However, you are without resources, and you have no profession. Pray Heaven that you may never know what it is to be hungry and to have no bread."
For some time already the ingenious young man had shown unmistakable signs of impatience. This gloomy prediction irritated him beyond endurance.
"All this is empty talk," he interrupted. "I don't mean to work, for it's not at all in my line. Still, I don't expect to want for anything! That's plain enough, I hope."
Madame d'Argeles did not wince. "What do you mean to do then?" she asked, coldly. "I don't understand you."
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