They were in the tide of Fleet Street, pushed apart by foot passengers and separated by traffic. With some of the imperiousness of the officer of those days, Christopher barged across through motor-buses and paper lorries. With the imperiousness of the head of a department, Mark said:
'Here, policeman, stop these damn things and let me get over.' But
Christopher was over much the sooner and waited for his brother in the
gateway of the Middle Temple. His mind was completely swallowed up in
the endeavour to imagine the embraces of Valentine Wannop. He said to
himself that he had burnt his boats.
Mark, coming alongside him, said:
'You'd better know what our father wanted.'
'Be quick then. I must get on.' He had to rush through his War
Office interview to get to Valentine Wannop. They would have only a few
hours in which to recount the loves of two lifetimes. He saw her golden
head and her enraptured face. He wondered how her face would look,
enraptured. He had seen on it humour, dismay, tenderness, in the
eyes--and fierce anger and contempt for his, Christopher's, political
opinions. His militarism!
Nevertheless they halted by the Temple fountain. That respect was
due to their dead father. Mark had been explaining. Christopher had
caught some of his words and divined the links. Mr Tietjens had left no
will, confident that his desires as to the disposal of his immense
fortune would be carried out meticulously by his eldest son. He would
have left a will, but there was the vague case of Christopher to be
considered. Whilst Christopher had been a youngest son you arranged
that he had a good lump sum and went, with it, to the devil how he
liked. He was no longer a youngest son: by the will of God.
'Our father's idea,' Mark said by the fountain, 'was that no settled
sum could keep you straight. His idea was that if you were a bloody
pimp living on women...You don't mind?'
'I don't mind your putting it straightforwardly,' Christopher said.
He considered the base of the fountain that was half full of leaves.
This civilization had contrived a state of things in which leaves
rotted by August. Well, it was doomed!
'If you were a pimp living on women,' Mark repeated, 'it was no good
making a will. You might need uncounted thousands to keep you straight.
You were to have 'em. You were to be as debauched as you wanted, but on
clean money. I was to see how much in all probability that would be and
arrange the other legacies to scale...
--Ford Madox Ford, Some Do Not, Book I of the tetralogy Parade's End (or "The Tietjens Novels").