Suddenly, he gains a hold over his Uncle in the form of a scandal the Duke would not like to see printed. The Duke offers the post of secretary. Bicky says he'll take nothing less* than £500 per year, paid quarterly. The Duke prevaricates.
'Five hundred a year!' said Bicky, rolling it round his tongue. 'Why, that would be nothing to what I could make if I started a chicken farm. It stands to reason. Suppose you have a dozen hens. Each of the hens has a dozen chickens. After a bit the chickens grow up and have a dozen chickens each themselves, and then they all start laying eggs! There's a fortune in it. You can get anything you like for eggs in America. Fellows keep them on ice for years and years, and don't sell them till they fetch about a dollar a whirl. You don't think I'm going to chuck a future like this for anything under five hundred o' goblins a year - what?'