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Title: The Mystery of Edwin Drood Author: Charles Dickens
Release Date: December 25, 2010 [eBook #564] [This file was first posted on April 15, 1996] Language: English Character set encoding: UTF-8 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD*** Transcribed from the Chapman and Hall, 1914 edition by David Price, email firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD [Picture: Rochester castle]
CHAPTER IÐTHE DAWN An ancient English Cathedral Tower? How can the ancient English Cathedral tower be here! The well-known massive gray square tower of its old Cathedral? How can that be here! There is no spike of rusty iron in the air, between the eye and it, from any point of the real prospect. What is the spike that intervenes, and who has set it up? Maybe it is set up by the Sultan's orders for the impaling of a horde of Turkish robbers, one by one. It is so, for cymbals clash, and the Sultan goes by to his palace in long procession. Ten thousand scimitars flash in the sunlight, and thrice ten thousand dancing-girls strew flowers. Then, follow white elephants caparisoned in countless gorgeous colours, and infinite in number and attendants. Still the Cathedral Tower rises in
the background, where it cannot be, and still no writhing figure is on the grim spike. Stay! Is the spike so low a thing as the rusty spike on the top of a post of an old bedstead that has tumbled all awry? Some vague period of drowsy laughter must be devoted to the consideration of this possibility. Shaking from head to foot, the man whose scattered consciousness has thus fantastically pieced itself together, at length rises, supports his trembling frame upon his arms, and looks around. He is in the meanest and closest of small rooms. Through the ragged window-curtain, the light of early day steals in from a miserable court. He lies, dressed, across a large unseemly bed, upon a bedstead that has indeed given way under the weight upon it. Lying, also dressed and also across the bed, not longwise, are a Chinaman, a Lascar, and a haggard woman. The two first are in a sleep or stupor; the last is blowing at a kind of pipe, to kindle it. And as she blows, and shading it with her lean hand, concentrates its red spark of light, it serves in the dim morning as a lamp to show him what he sees of her. `Another?' says this woman, in a querulous, rattling whisper. `Have another?' He looks about him, with his hand to his forehead. `Ye've smoked as many as five since ye come in at midnight,' the woman goes on, as she chronically complains. `Poor me, poor me, my head is so bad. Them two come in after ye. Ah, poor me, the business is slack, is slack! Few Chinamen about the Docks, and fewer Lascars, and no ships coming in, these say! Here's another ready for ye, deary. Ye'll remember like a good soul, won't ye, that the market price is dreffle high just now? More nor three shillings and sixpence for a thimbleful! And ye'll remember that nobody but me (and Jack Chinaman t'other side the court; but he can't do it as well as me) has the true secret of mixing it? Ye'll pay up accordingly, deary, won't ye?' She blows at the pipe as she speaks, and, occasionally bubbling at it, inhales much of its contents. `O me, O me, my lungs is weak, my lungs is bad! It's nearly ready for ye, deary. Ah, poor me, poor me, my poor hand shakes like to drop off! I see ye coming-to, and I ses to my poor self, ªI'll have another ready for him, and he'll bear in mind the market price of opium, and pay according.º O my poor head! I makes my pipes of old penny ink-bottles, ye see, dearyÐthis is oneÐand I fits-in a mouthpiece, this way, and I takes my mixter out of this thimble with this little horn spoon; and so I fills, deary. Ah, my poor nerves! I got Heavens-hard drunk for sixteen year afore I took to this; but this don't hurt me, not to speak of. And it takes away the hunger as well as wittles, deary.' She hands him the nearly-emptied pipe, and sinks back, turning over on her face. He rises unsteadily from the bed, lays the pipe upon the hearth-stone, draws back the ragged curtain, and looks with repugnance at his three companions. He notices that the woman has opium-smoked herself into a strange likeness of the Chinaman. His form of cheek, eye, and temple, and his colour, are repeated in her. Said Chinaman convulsively wrestles with one of his many Gods or Devils, perhaps, and snarls horribly. The Lascar laughs and dribbles at the mouth. The hostess is still.
[Picture: In the Court] `What visions can _she_ have?' the waking man muses, as he turns her face towards him, and stands looking down at it. `Visions of many butchers' shops, and public-houses, and much credit? Of an increase of hideous customers, and this horrible bedstead set upright again, and this horrible court swept clean? What can she rise to, under any quantity of opium, higher than that!ÐEh?' He bends down his ear, to listen to her mutterings. `Unintelligible!' As he watches the spasmodic shoots and darts that break out of her face and limbs, like fitful lightning out of a dark sky, some contagion in them seizes upon him: insomuch that he has to withdraw himself to a lean arm-chair by the hearthÐplaced there, perhaps, for such emergenciesÐand to sit in it, holding tight, until he has got the better of this unclean spirit of imitation. Then he comes back, pounces on the Chinaman, and seizing him with both hands by the throat, turns him violently on the bed. The Chinaman clutches the aggressive hands, resists, gasps, and protests. `What do you say?' A watchful pause. `Unintelligible!' Slowly loosening his grasp as he listens to the incoherent jargon with an attentive frown, he turns to the Lascar and fairly drags him forth upon the floor. As he falls, the Lascar starts into a half-risen attitude, glares with his eyes, lashes about him fiercely with his arms, and draws a phantom knife. It then becomes apparent that the woman has taken possession of this knife, for safety's sake; for, she too starting up, and restraining and expostulating with him, the knife is visible in her dress, not in his, when they drowsily drop back, side by side. There has been chattering and clattering enough between them, but to no purpose. When any distinct word has been flung into the air, it has had no sense or sequence. Wherefore `unintelligible!' is again the comment of the watcher, made with some reassured nodding of his head, and a gloomy smile. He then lays certain silver money on the table, finds his hat, gropes his way down the broken stairs, gives a good morning to some rat-ridden doorkeeper, in bed in a black hutch beneath the stairs, and passes out. * * * * * That same afternoon, the massive gray square tower of an old Cathedral rises before the sight of a jaded traveller. The bells are going for daily vesper service, and he must needs attend it, one would say, from his haste to reach the open Cathedral door. The choir are getting on their sullied white robes, in a hurry, when he arrives among them, gets on his own robe, and falls into the procession filing in to service. Then, the Sacristan locks the iron-barred gates that divide the sanctuary from the chancel, and all of the procession having scuttled into their places, hide their faces; and then the intoned words, `WHEN THE WICKED MANÐ' rise among groins of arches and beams of roof, awakening muttered
uneven flag-stones. two of these latter retrace their steps. but two men coming out resist them. Jasper was that. two rooks will suddenly detach themselves from the rest. Tope. There has been rain this afternoon. CHAPTER IIÐA DEAN. The low sun is fiery and yet cold behind the monastery ruin.' `He has stayed late. or the humbler clergy. and through the giant elm-trees as they shed a gust of tears. service being over in the old Cathedral with the square tower. Jasper been takenÐfor. `And when and how has Mr. as who should say: `You may offer bad grammar to the laity. may perhaps have noticed that when he wings his way homeward towards nightfall. the rook. that this artful couple should pretend to have renounced connection with it. Chief Verger and Showman.' Tope deferentially murmurs. not to the Dean. Their fallen leaves lie strewn thickly about. it is better to say takenÐtakenÐ' repeats the Dean. and the Virginia creeper on the Cathedral wall has showered half its deep-red leaves down on the pavement. `when and how has Mr. and a wintry shudder goes among the little pools on the cracked. Crisparkle interposes with . sir.º Tope.' `Yes. Dean. as Mr. will retrace their flight for some distance. Dean.thunder. and cast them forth again with their feet. Similarly. Tope?' `Why. Jasper been TakenÐ' `Taken. sir. and will there poise and linger. conveying to mere men the fancy that it is of some occult importance to the body politic. Crisparkle has remarked. one of the two locks the door with a goodly key. and the choir scuffling out again. in a sedate and clerical company. I have stayed for him. and walk together in the echoing Close.' `Say ªtaken. this done. Some of these leaves. Not only is the day waning.' Mr. and accustomed to be high with excursion parties.' Mr. Tope?' `Yes. Mr. Jasper was that breathedÐ' `I wouldn't say ªThat breathed. `Mr. and divers venerable persons of rook-like aspect dispersing. declines with a silent loftiness to perceive that any suggestion has been tendered to him. `ÐPoorly. seek sanctuary within the low arched Cathedral door. Mr. He has been took a little poorly. AND A CHAPTER ALSO Whosoever has observed that sedate and clerical bird.' the younger rook interposes in a low tone with this touch of correction. in a timid rush.º TopeÐto the Dean. and the other flits away with a folio music-book. but the year. your Reverence. Mr.
' replied the Verger.' Mr. Certainly.' `Breathed to that extent. we should guide them. by hearing my dinner-bell. and directs his comely gaiters towards the ruddy dining-room of the snug old red-brick house where he is at present. that it distressed him mightily to get his notes out: which was perhaps the cause of his having a kind of fit on him after a little.' With a pleasant air of patronage. `but expected.' They all three look towards an old stone gatehouse crossing the Close. with a sprightly air of breaking up the little conference. There's his own solitary shadow betwixt his two windowsÐthe one looking this way. for it's chilly after the wet. Tope. Jasper's nephew with him?' the Dean asks. and he was very shivery. the Dean as nearly cocks his quaint hat as a Dean in good spirits may. classical. in this transitory world. has he?' asked the Dean.' `Mr. with his eyes on the Reverend Mr. with the air of saying: `As I _have_ made a success. Jasper's breathing was so remarkably short'Ðthus discreetly does Mr. Mr. guide them. like a ripple of the solemn sound that hums through tomb and tower. Crisparkle. `No. however laudable. His memory grew DAZED. Crisparkle. Perhaps. in the pile close at hand. Dean and Miss Dean. musical. By all means.' `Well. you will. . as defying him to improve upon it: `and a dimness and giddiness crept over him as strange as ever I saw: though he didn't seem to mind it particularly. broken niche and defaced statue. And I'm glad to see he's having his fire kindled up. a ripple of wind goes through these at their distance.' Mr. with an arched thoroughfare passing beneath it. I find I am not disagreeably reminded of my dinner. Jasper has gone home quite himself. Wished to know how he was. I'll make it again. do so. Tope repeats the word and its emphasis. well. `Your Reverence. and the Cathedral had both a damp feel and a damp touch this afternoon.' the Dean (not unflattered by this indirect homage) condescendingly remarks. do so. look in on Jasper?' `Certainly.' says the Dean. fair and rosy. As the deep Cathedral-bell strikes the hour. `would be preferable. `Is Mr. a fire shines out upon the fast-darkening scene. Tope work his way round the sunken rockÐ`when he came in. and the one looking down into the High StreetÐdrawing his own curtains now. before going home. and perpetually pitching himself head-foremost into all the deep running water in the surrounding country. `I hope Mr. shoots this word out. should never master us. involving in shadow the pendent masses of ivy and creeper covering the building's front. Jasper's heart may not be too much set upon his nephew. a little time and a little water brought him out of his DAZE. early riser. Mr. Crisparkle. sir. he has gone home quite himself. Minor Canon. Minor Canon. Mr. `Not EnglishÐto the Dean. However. And tell him that you had the kindness to desire to know how he was?' `Ay. Crisparkle. Dean. himself.the same touch as before. Our affections. Through its latticed window. `in residence' with Mrs. Mr. Wished to know how he was.' `And Mr.
good-natured. comically conscious of itself. it was nothing. Jasper is a dark man of some six-and-twenty. contented. is: `Certainly. starts from his chair. It's his trade to make the most of everything appertaining to the Cathedral. have you seen (have you seen.' `I expect the dear fellow every moment. He looks older than he is. his face and figure are good. but it is clear that the painter has made it humorouslyÐone might almost say. betakes himself to the gatehouse. have you seen) my-y-y Flo-o-ora-a pass this way!º' Melodiously good Minor Canon the Reverend Septimus Crisparkle thus delivers himself. Good-night. Jasper. te-e-ell me.' `More good than a dozen doctors. I suspect. and catches a young fellow in his arms. revengefullyÐlike the original. his manner is a little sombre. at the stair-foot.cheerful. and boy-like. or doctors' stuff.' Mr. almost babyish. kind. exclaiming: `My dear Edwin!' . Mr. His voice is deep and good. and her beauty remarkable for a quite childish. Mr. touch of saucy discontent. Tope has made too much of it. His room is a little sombre. on his way home to his early tea. shep-herds. and may have had its influence in forming his manner. God bless you! ªTell me. lustrous. her flowing brown hair tied with a blue riband. Jasper. Jasper listens.' `O. Crisparkle. as dark men often do. or the folio music-books on the stand. with a slight smile.) `We shall miss you. you know. it seldom touches the grand piano in the recess. For I love him dearly. but since promoted by a patron (grateful for a well-taught son) to his present Christian beat. lately `Coach' upon the chief Pagan high roads. It is mostly in shadow.' `Do I? O. or the unfinished picture of a blooming schoolgirl hanging over the chimneypiece. (There is not the least artistic merit in this picture. well-arranged black hair and whiskers. Minor Canon and good man. with thick. I don't feel so. with my respects and thanks to the Dean. `Sorry to hear from Tope that you have not been well. nothing!' `You look a little worn.' `Ah! He will do you more good than a doctor.' `I may tell the DeanÐI call expressly from the DeanÐthat you are all right again?' The reply. What is better. or the book-shelves on the wall. tell me-e-e. which is a mere daub. as he withdraws his amiable face from the doorway and conveys it down-stairs. but no doubt you are best at home. Jasper. at the ªAlternate Musical Wednesdaysº to-night. have you seen.' `I'm glad to hear that you expect young Drood. I don't think so. Sounds of recognition and greeting pass between the Reverend Septimus and somebody else. in musical rhythm. social. Even when the sun shines brilliantly. and I don't love doctors.
Come. `Pussy's. Jasper stands still. exacting. `Now I am right. `Lovelier than ever!' `Never you mind me. `Look here. on this occasion or on any other. and so forth. divesting himself of his outward coat. _I_ know! Pussy's!' Fixed as the look the young fellow meets. young man. as you call her. that it's my opinion you think you've only to call your Pussys by the dozen. a look of intentness and intensityÐa look of hungry. `What a jolly old Jack it is!' cries the young fellow. that's where it is. For what we are going to receive His holy name be praised!' . `Your uncle's too much wrapt up in you. Jack. Mr. there is yet in it some strange power of suddenly including the sketch over the chimneypiece. Jack.' `My dear Jack. it is never. Don't moddley-coddley.' Mrs. Tope blushingly retorts. Jasper answers.`My dear Jack! So glad to see you!' `Get off your greatcoat. You're much too handsome. Once for all. I am as dry as a bone. on the Jasper face whenever the Jasper face is addressed in this direction.' `I'd Pussy you. Jasper opens a door at the upper end of the room.' `You can't. I know. and looks on intently at the young fellow. And whenever it is so addressed.' `You forget. there's a good fellow. not mine. if I was Pussy. watchful. Lord! here's Mrs. is.' retorts the Verger's wife. Mrs. and so Marseillaise-wise they go in to dinner. and discloses a small inner room pleasantly lighted and prepared. Tope. hat. Jack! We must drink Many happy returns to her. Do pull your boots off. `I can take care of myself. and yet devoted affectionÐis always. it is always concentrated. to make 'em come. `Not mine. after being saluted. pausing to consider. Jack?' Mr. whose birthday is it?' `Not yours. tell me. uncle. that Uncle and Nephew are words prohibited here by common consent and express agreement. Jasper interposes.' With the check upon him of being unsympathetically restrained in a genial outburst of enthusiasm. and sit down here in your own corner. Tope!' cries the boy. gloves. taking his place at the table with a genial smile. I like anything better than being moddley-coddleyed.' Mr. bright boy. take your dutiful and sharp-set nephew in to dinner. and now I'll take my corner. Master Edwin. He makes so much of you. `And. now and ever afterwards. Your feet are not wet? Pull your boots off.' Mr. you know? No. dividedly addressed. Jasper cordially and gaily lays a hand on _his_ shoulder. Ned. Any dinner.' As the boy (for he is little more) lays a hand on Jasper's shoulder. with a clap of his hands. `and so do you. Give me a kiss because it's Pussy's birthday. wherein a comely dame is in the act of setting dishes on table.
and many of 'em! Happy returns. hooray. But if she won't?' Crack!Ðon Mr. `that I have that feeling instinctively.' Crack. Jack?' Mr.' `Uncles as a rule. I wish it was the case with us!' `Why?' `Because if it was. in large families. and be as wise as Begone.' the young fellow then flows on: `do you really and truly feel as if the mention of our relationship divided us at all? _I_ don't.' Laying an affectionate and laughing touch on the boy's extended hand. hip. and all that.' This sally ushers in the dinner. Jasper drinks the toast in silence.' `As a rule! Ah. Jack.' `Why not?' `Asks why not. `Hip. `How's she looking. as if it were at once his giddy head and his light heart.' is the reply. I'd take the lead with you. and then shutting one eye. may-be! But what is a difference in age of half-a-dozen years or so? And some uncles.`Done like the Dean! Witness. Jack. Jasper's part. understood. Ned. `I say! Tell me. and taking a corrected prospect of it over a level bridge of nut-crackers in the air: `Not badly hit off from memory. hip. and one to finish with. dull Care! that turned an old man to clay. Little to the present purpose. Two pairs of nut-crackers? Pass me one. hooray!ÐAnd now. and Begone. and take the other. are so much older than their nephews. But I ought to have caught that expression pretty well. dull Care! that turned a young man gray. and nine times nine. glancing up at the sketch with complacency. Jack. if she will.' says the young fellow. let's have a little talk about Pussy. is said. Jack! But _I_ know. Hooray. Jasper's concentrated face again includes the portrait as he returns: `Very like your sketch indeed.' `I _am_ a little proud of it.' . At length the cloth is drawn. or to any purpose. and a dish of walnuts and a decanter of rich-coloured sherry are placed upon the table. Jack! Don't drink. `How's Pussy getting on Jack?' `With her music? Fairly. Jack. Lord bless you! Inattentive. By George. on Pussy's birthday.' `What a dreadfully conscientious fellow you are. Jack. for I have seen it often enough.ÐHalloa. Edwin Drood! Please to carve. are even younger than their nephews. isn't she?' `She can learn anything. while it is in course of being disposed of.' `_If_ she will! Egad. I mean. Mr. and no Happy returns proposed! Pussy. that's it. for I can't.
Ðisn't it. Ned?' `No.' the former resumes. Jasper's part. Jack?' `How can you have hurt my feelings?' `Good Heaven. Crack. Crack!Ðon Mr. see Pussy. If I don't find it on her face. After a while he says faintly: . Slowly. is a plum with the natural bloom on. or that you are forced upon her. _You_ can take it easily. `Tut. you look frightfully ill! There's a strange film come over your eyes. in a tone of gentle deprecation. dear boy. `Have you lost your tongue. after allÐ' Mr. some silent dipping among `I see it whenever I go to leave it there. `Isn't it unsatisfactory to be cut off from choice in such a matter? There. Jack! I tell you! If I could choose. Why theÐDevil. `In point of fact. tut? Yes. you know. I do.' Mr. nor has anybody an uncomfortable suspicion that she is forced upon you.Crack!Ðon Edwin Drood's part. like a surveyor's plan. Booh!' With a twirl portrait. Jack. Jack. Silence on both sides.' Mr.' `That's what I complain of. and lined and dotted out for you. as if at once to disarm apprehension and gain time to get better. on Mr. Jasper's part. I was going to say. My dead and gone father and Pussy's dead and gone father must needs marry us together by anticipation. Jasper.' `Can I anyhow have hurt your feelings. Jack?' `Have you found yours. if it had been respectful to their memoryÐcouldn't they leave us alone?' `Tut. Sharply on the part of Edwin Drood.ÐYou know I of the nut-crackers at the Crack! crack! crack. it hasn't been over-carefully wiped off for _you_Ð' `Don't stop. _You_ have no uncomfortable suspicion that you are forced upon anybody. for _you_. _You_ can choose for yourself. tut. stretches out his right hand.' `But you have not got to choose. dear fellow. Go on. after his fragments of walnut with an air of pique. I would choose Pussy from all the pretty girls in the world. Life. Jasper lifts his dark eyebrows inquiringly. Jasper remonstrates. it's all very well for _you_. with a forced smile. but really. Miss Scornful Pert. _Your_ life is not laid down to scale.
no change of place. in a tone of voice less troubled than the purport of his wordsÐindeed with something of raillery or banter in itÐthus addresses him: `There is said to be a hidden skeleton in every house. Jack. and holding such an independent position in this queer old place. I hate it. For instance: I should have put in the foreground your being so much respected as Lay Precentor.' `I really was going to say something of the kind. No whirl and uproar around me. and. you.' `Upon my life.' With a scared face the younger man complies by casting his eyes downward at the ashes on the hearth. your choosing your society. no distracting commerce or calculation. his nephew gently and assiduously tends him while he quite recovers. Jack. even Pussy. becomes as he was before. No wretched monk who droned his life away in that gloomy place. and then.) `I hate it. and pass. before me.`I have been taking opium for a painÐan agonyÐthat sometimes overcomes me. speaking of yourself. who don't like being taught. The echoes of my own voice among the arches seem to mock me with my daily drudging round. How does our service sound to you?' `Beautiful! Quite celestial!' `It often sounds to me quite devilish. firm grip upon his elbow-chair. the elder sits for a few moments rigid. with thick drops standing on his forehead. when I come to consider that even in Pussy's houseÐif she had oneÐand in mineÐif I had oneÐ' `You were going to say (but that I interrupted you in spite of myself) what a quiet life mine is. but you see. `I know you thought so. or whatever you call it. but rather strengthening it with a fierce. They will go all the sooner. your gift of teaching (why. and looking at him with an anxious face.' `Hate it. bending forward in his chair to lay a sympathetic hand on Jasper's knee. The effects of the medicine steal over me like a blight or a cloud. of this Cathedral. On his so subsiding in his chair. They all think so. I am so weary of it. I saw what you were tending to. astonished. and your connexion. Not relaxing his own gaze on the fire. and a sharp catch of his breath. your enjoying the reputation of having done such wonders with the choir. says there never was such a Master as you are!). but you thought there was none in mine.' . can have been more tired of it than I am.' Edwin Drood returns. However. they will be gone directly. dear Ned. no risk. He could take for relief (and did take) to carving demons out of the stalls and seats and desks. Jack?' (Much bewildered. I did think so. he lays a tender hand upon his nephew's shoulder. When Jasper is restored. You see them in the act of passing. What shall I do? Must I take to carving them out of my heart?' `I thought you had so exactly found your niche in life. almost necessarily leave out much that I should have put in.' `Yes. myself devoted to the art I pursue. or Lay Clerk. The cramped monotony of my existence grinds me away by the grain. Look away from me. Jack. my business my pleasure.
`I couldn't fail to notice. she only said that she had become your pupil. It's too late to find another now. The elder sees it in him.' `How did she phrase it?' `O. Because we are fast friends. and of moving a step back.' `I have reposed it in you. and that you were made for your vocation. that even a poor monotonous chorister and grinder of musicÐin his nicheÐmay be troubled with some stray sort of ambition. as he shakes his head with a grave cheerfulness. my dear Ned. he says. and as the uncle holds the nephew's hands. and that my headpiece is none of the best. becauseÐ' `I feel it. aspiration.' `It shall be sacredly preserved. I hope I have something impressible within me. Jack.' Jasper resumes. dear Jack.' `And you will remember?' `My dear Jack. and perhaps I shall not grow worse as I grow older. sensibly touched: `I am afraid I am but a shallow. as a warning to me. dissatisfaction. Jack. surface kind of fellow. I suppose they do. don't you. that it cost you a great effort. Jack. as I love and trust you. then. meditating aloud. which feelsÐdeeply feelsÐthe disinterestedness of your painfully laying your inner self bare. the uncle thus proceeds: `You know now. You remember when. I assure you.' says Edwin. `Pussy thinks so. I only ask you. Jasper's steadiness of face and figure becomes so marvellous that his breathing seems to have stopped. Edwin pauses for an instant to consider the application of these last words.' The younger man glances at the portrait.`Well.' As each stands looking into the other's eyes. This is a confidence between us. Of course I knew that you were extremely fond of me. Three months ago. restlessness. but I really was not . am I likely to forget what you have said with so much feeling?' `Take it as a warning. But I needn't say I am young. The instant over. `Anyhow. and that you were very much moved. and very unlike your usual self.' In the act of having his hands released.' Mr. At all events. Jack.' `When did she tell you that?' `The last time I was here. what shall we call it?' `Yes. and because you love and trust me. Both hands. `I must subdue myself to my vocation: which is much the same thing outwardly.
I have no doubt that that unhealthy state of mind which you have so powerfully described is attended with some real suffering. Then he says with a quiet smile: `You won't be warned. Rather poetical.prepared for your. when it's done and can't be helped. Jack?' Mr. Jack. please don't. as I may say. You won't mind my slipping out of it for half a moment to the Nuns' House. and with an expression of musing benevolence on his face. sacrificing yourself to me in that way. so merrily pass the day. murmurs: `ªNothing half so sweet in life. or the poetry is gone. In some few months less than another year. Jack. I don't like your putting yourself in that position. don't put the sentiment away. It's against regulations for me to call at night. my wife shall dance. has attentively watched every animated look and gesture attending the delivery of these words. and I will sing. And although we have our little tiffs now.º Ned!' `Here's the parcel in my greatcoat-pocket. and is hard to bear. but not to leave a packet. I don't think I am in the way of it. `No. as many pairs of gloves as she is years old to-day. He remains in that attitude after they. Jasper.' Mr. Little Miss Impudence. But let me reassure you. Besides that I don't really consider myself in danger. still in the same attitude.' Mr. Jack!' Mr. and leaving a parcel there? Only gloves for Pussy. and Pussy with me. as to the chances of its overcoming me. I am ready. I shall carry Pussy off from school as Mrs. Jasper. `I'll burn your comic likeness. not by you. Of Pussy's being beautiful there cannot be a doubt. and paint your music-master another. to go back to the old song I was freely quoting at dinner (and who knows old songs better than you?). you know. Jack. for I am very much in earnest. and waves his right arm.Ðand when you are good besides. with his hand to his chin. then?' `No. Edwin Drood. then?' `No. Jasper. CHAPTER IIIÐTHE NUNS' HOUSE .' `Shall we go and walk in the churchyard?' `By all means. are spoken. owing to its end being all settled beforehand.' `You can't be warned. I shall then go engineering into the East. as if in a kind of fascination attendant on his strong interest in the youthful spirit that he loves so well. Jack. still I have no doubt of our getting on capitally then. In short. laughs. Jack. arising out of a certain unavoidable flatness that attends our love-making. and they go out together. Jasper dissolves his attitude. lifts his shoulders. They must be presented to-night.' once more apostrophising the portrait. becoming a breathing man again without the smallest stage of transition between the two extreme states.
but offers vainly an unredeemed stock for sale. with its hoarse Cathedral-bell. when he ducks from its stage into the infernal regions. Even its single pawnbroker takes in no pledges. a fictitious name must be bestowed upon the old Cathedral town. among scarlet-beans or oyster-shells. tarnished sugar-tongs with ineffectual legs. quicken their limp a little. A drowsy city. receiving the foul fiend. have got incongruously or obstructively built into many of its houses and gardens. In the midst of Cloisterham stands the Nuns' House: a venerable brick edifice. and no meet dwelling-place for any one with hankerings after the noisy world. and grinds their bones to make his bread. according to the season of the year. and a name more or less in the course of many centuries can be of little moment to its dusty chronicles. Cloisterham. All things in it are of the past. while the sun-browned tramps. It was once possibly known to the Druids by another name.' The house-front is so old and worn. and odd volumes of dismal books. chapter-house. This is a feat not difficult of achievement. in colour and general confirmation very like a Quakeress's bonnet. deriving an earthy flavour throughout from its Cathedral crypt. Miss Twinkleton. Archbishops. its hoarser and less distinct rooks in the stalls far beneath. An ancient city. and to the Normans by another. even its drooping and despondent little theatre has its poor strip of garden. and a paved Quaker settlement. silent city. saint's chapel. and that there are no more to come. that the Cloisterham children grow small salad in the dust of abbots and abbesses. its hoarse rooks hovering about the Cathedral tower. Cloisterham. who pass along and stare. that they may the sooner get beyond the confines of its oppressive respectability. that the general result has reminded imaginative strangers of a battered old beau with a large modern . and so abounding in vestiges of monastic graves. of which the costlier articles are dim and pale old watches apparently in a slow perspiration. and the brass plate is so shining and staring. with an inconsistency more strange than rare. which this narrative will itself unfold as it advances. A monotonous. up in a shady corner. that of a summer-day the sunblinds of its shops scarce dare to flap in the south wind. Fragments of old wall. seeing that the streets of Cloisterham city are little more than one narrow street by which you get into it and get out of it: the rest being mostly disappointing yards with pumps in them and no thoroughfareÐexception made of the Cathedral-close. The most abundant and the most agreeable evidences of progressing life in Cloisterham are the evidences of vegetable life in many gardens. On the trim gate enclosing its old courtyard is a resplendent brass plate flashing forth the legend: `Seminary for Young Ladies. and make dirt-pies of nuns and friars. whose present appellation is doubtless derived from the legend of its conventual uses. and certainly to the Romans by another. and such-like. whose inhabitants seem to suppose. the attention which the Ogre in the story-book desired to render to his unbidden visitor. Bishops. while every ploughman in its outlying fields renders to once puissant Lord Treasurers. nor has he for a long time. and to the Saxons by another. In a word. yet older than any traceable antiquity. a city of another and a bygone time is Cloisterham. Let it stand in these pages as Cloisterham. that all its changes lie behind it.For sufficient reasons. So silent are the streets of Cloisterham (though prone to echo on the smallest provocation). A queer moral to derive from antiquity. convent and monastery. much as kindred jumbled notions have become incorporated into many of its citizens' minds.
and become a sprightlier Miss Twinkleton than the young ladies have ever seen. at the same hour. of course called Rosebud. I must be drunk again before I can remember where). wonderfully pretty. The pet pupil of the Nuns' House is Miss Rosa Bud. but constitute no item in Miss Twinkleton's half-yearly accounts. and that her guardian is bound down to bestow her on that husband when he comes of age. whether they were ever walled up alive in odd angles and jutting gables of the building for having some ineradicable leaven of busy mother Nature in them which has kept the fermenting world alive ever since. Perhaps this is the reason why it is an article of faith with the servants. a chronic sigh. and references to a certain season at Tunbridge Wells (airily called by Miss Twinkleton in this state of her existence `The Wells'). Tisher: a deferential widow with a weak back. on account of its being known to them that a husband has been chosen for her by will and bequest. An awkward interest (awkward because romantic) attaches to Miss Bud in the minds of the young ladies.eye-glass stuck in his blind eye. in some cases of drunkenness. wonderfully whimsical. comprehending the tenderer scandal of Cloisterham. Miss Twinkleton's companion in both states of existence. whether they sat in its long low windows telling their beads for their mortification. and to brood on the unhappy lot of that doomed little victim. of which she has no knowledge whatever by day. and a suppressed voice. if I hide my watch when I am drunk. wonderfully childish. is one Mrs. the moment the young ladies have retired to rest. notably the season wherein a certain finished gentleman (compassionately called by Miss Twinkleton. my dear!' The Nuns' House is never in husband calls to see little the young ladies that he is if Miss Twinkleton disputed such a state of flutter as when this allotted Rosebud. Porters') revealed a homage of the heart. Porters has undermined the endeavourÐthan to evoke from the young ladies an unanimous bedchamber cry of `O. and in others of animal magnetism. As. but each of which pursues its separate course as though it were continuous instead of broken (thus. habitually bent their contemplative heads to avoid collision with the beams in the low ceilings of the many chambers of their House. They are neither of Miss Twinkleton's inclusive regulars. Every night. is as ignorant as a granite pillar. in her seminarial state of existence. who looks after the young ladies' wardrobes. handed down from race to race. whereof Miss Twinkleton. these may be matters of interest to its haunting ghosts (if any). (It is unanimously understood by lawfully entitled to this privilege. and leads them to infer that she has seen better days. instead of making necklaces of them for their adornment. she would be instantly taken up and . nor of her extras. But with no better effectÐpossibly some unfelt touch of foolish Mr. The lady who undertakes the poetical department of the establishment at so much (or so little) a quarter has no pieces in her list of recitals bearing on such unprofitable questions. Every night. in her scholastic state of existence. Whether the nuns of yore. being of a submissive rather than a stiff-necked generation. Miss Twinkleton. there are two states of consciousness which never clash. what a pretending old thing Miss Twinkleton is. does Miss Twinkleton resume the topics of the previous night. that the departed Tisher was a hairdresser. brighten up her eyes a little. has combated the romantic aspect of this destiny by affecting to shake her head over it behind Miss Bud's dimpled shoulders. so Miss Twinkleton has two distinct and separate phases of being. and equally adaptable to either. and that it. `Foolish Mr. does Miss Twinkleton smarten up her curls a little. in this stage of her existence.
' This is the announcement of the parlour-maid in chief. with its face concealed by a little silk apron thrown over its head. who has never seen the young gentleman Miss Rosa is engaged to. please.' This second remonstrance brings a dark. every young lady who can. Pussy.' `What is absurd. Eddy.' Miss Bud goes down. Miss Twinkleton. and says.transported. with nothing more directly scholastic in it than a terrestrial and a celestial globe. Edwin Drood to see Miss Rosa. look out of window. as the apparition exclaims: `O good gracious! you have had half your hair cut off!' . but it swiftly becomes invisible again. Pussy.' practises out of time. glides into the parlour. Mr. left open for the purpose. turns to the sacrifice. `Mr. looks out of window. `You may go down.) When his ring at the gate-bell is expected. with an exemplary air of melancholy on her. like mice in the wainscot. as a charming little apparition. Edwin Drood is waiting in Miss Twinkleton's own parlour: a dainty room. These expressive machines imply (to parents and guardians) that even when Miss Twinkleton retires into the bosom of privacy. `Don't. `You give me an affectionate reception. Eddy!' `Don't what. and the French class becomes so demoralised that the mark goes round as briskly as the bottle at a convivial party in the last century. under any pretence. but I can't just yet. stopping and shrinking. stumbles guiltily down the kitchen stairs. I must say. and who is making his acquaintance between the hinges of the open door. It _is_ so absurd. or takes place. Rosa?' `Don't come any nearer. inasmuch as I see nothing of you. `O! _it is_ so ridiculous!' says the apparition. scouring the earth and soaring through the skies in search of knowledge for her pupils. It _is_ so absurd to be an engaged orphan and it _is_ so absurd to have the girls and the servants scuttling about after one. How are you?' (very shortly. the bell is rung with the usual fluttering results. bright. On the afternoon of the day next after the dinner of two at the gatehouse.' `Well. Rosa?' `The whole thing is. duty may at any moment compel her to become a sort of Wandering Jewess. I will in a minute. pouting eye out from a corner of the apron. followed by all eyes. while every young lady who is `practising. The last new maid. and it _is_ so absurd to be called upon!' The apparition appears to have a thumb in the corner of its mouth while making this complaint.) `I am unable to reply that I am much the better for seeing you. my dear.
' `Once for all. with a fierce glance at the looking-glass. There! I'm sure that's nice. laughing with great enjoyment. I think.' `I hope she did it pretty well.ÐMiss Twinkleton.' says Edwin rather doubtfully. to appear every three minutes. Rosa.' `Are you at all glad to see me. `Hah! And what was the feast?' `Tarts.' It is the custom of that excellent lady when these visits occur. Tisher. I'm dreadfully glad. Drood? Very glad indeed to have the pleasure.' `A feast and a ball. Thank you!' `I got the gloves last evening.' `Well. oranges.`I should have done better to have had my head cut off. On the present occasion Miss Twinkleton. you know. Eddy. `That was the first thing done. `Shall I go?' `No.' `De-lightfully!' cries Rosa. that's something. either in her own person or in that of Mrs. No. says in passing: `How do you do.' the affianced replies. Pussy. It _was_ so droll!' `Did anybody make game to beÐ' `To be you? O dear yes!' cries Rosa.' says Edwin. and lay an offering on the shrine of Propriety by affecting to look for some desiderated article. I can't kiss you. as its wearer replies: `You're very welcome. Shake hands. Pussy?' `Delightfully! Everybody gave me a present. Pussy?' `O. half grumbling. Tweezers. But some of the girls made game to be their brothers. Mr.' . They are beauties. sir. and without the least pretence of reserve. Eddy. And we had a feast. because I've got an acidulated drop in my mouth. Eddy. will you uncover that ridiculous little head of yours and give me a welcome?' The apron is pulled off the childish head. eh? These occasions seem to go off tolerably well without me. and shrimps. Pray excuse me.ÐGo and sit down. jellies. The girls would all be asking questions why you went. `O. yes. `The smallest encouragement thankfully received. and I like them very much. And we had a ball at night. of course. and giving an impatient stamp. it was excellent!ÐI wouldn't dance with you. And how did you pass your birthday. gracefully gliding in and out. in a quite spontaneous manner.' `Any partners at the ball?' `We danced with one another. you needn't go just yet. rumpling the hair in question.
or the poor girls will be so dreadfully disappointed!' For the moment there is more of compassion. But she quickly adds. in rustling through the room like the legendary ghost of a dowager in silken skirts: `I hope I see Mr. is it. Hush! Pretend to look out of windowÐMrs.' `I am sorry for the poor old place. you only showed it. both for her and for himself. if I may judge from his complexion. next moment shakes her head. I feel as if it would miss me. Tisher!' Through a fortuitous concourse of accidents. Rosa dear?' Rosa dear does not seem at all clear on this point.' `Do you think that will prevent our falling out. let us go for a walk! And I tell you what we'll do. looks down with a sigh. He checks the look. `That is to say. Pussy. Drood well. that we are both resigned?' She nods her head again. but there _was_ a paper-knifeÐO. yes!' Rosa clasps her hands. seeing displeasure in his face: `Dear Eddy. and shakes her head. in her affianced husband's face. you know. `The moment we get into the street.Edwin scarcely seems to see the force of this. Rosa?' `I know it will.' returns Rosa. `You seem to be sorry. you must put me outside. until her face. than there is of love. begs to know if he may take the liberty to ask why? `Because I was so tired of you. when I am gone so far away. Eddy. you have passed your last birthday in this old house. and after a short silence. and pleadingly too. sighs. `One other thing you must do. and asks: `Shall I take you out for a walk. Pussy.' `Perhaps we had better stop short. Eddy. `O. `It strikes me that she must be a devilish impudent girl. the matronly Tisher heaves in sight. and then we shan't quarrel. `And so. O. I trust I disturb no one. though I needn't ask. Rosa?' `Say so! Do you ever say so? No. you were just as tired of me.' says Rosebud.' `Ah. and keep close to the house yourselfÐsqueeze and graze yourself against it. thank you. brightens. yes.' . Somehow. and married from here. Rosa. which has been comically reflective. in a sudden ecstasy with her counterfeit betrothed. says. and looks down again. Eddy. quaintly bursts out with: `You know we must be married. and I'll pretend that I am not engaged to anybody. she did it so well!' cries Rosa. You shall pretend that you are engaged to somebody else. Rosa?' She looks up at him with a swift bright look. so young.' says Edwin Drood. to oblige me. I am sure!' and disappears with her prize.' `Did I say so.
' pouting. you needn't know anything about them. . let us hope. You haven't got polished leather boots on. Rosa. Hark! Miss Twinkleton. and not know _that_?' `Why. to cleanse them from the Dust of Delight that comes off the Lumps. and occasionally putting her little pink fingers to her rosy lips. But O! I forgot what we are to pretend.`By all means. begins to partake of it with great zest: previously taking off and rolling up a pair of little pink gloves. don't you understand anything? Call yourself an Engineer. where Rosa makes her purchase. effective for the peace of Mrs. looking down at his boots with a sudden distaste for them. and. be a good-tempered Eddy. with one shoulder raised.' `Is she nice?' `Charming. like rose-leaves. and graciously accords it. how should I know it.' So he is gloomily borne off to the Lumps-of-Delight shop. taking all precautions against the discovery of the so vitally defective boots of Mr. I'll ask for leave. `Nothing escapes their notice.' `Tall?' `Immensely tall!' Rosa being short. sir. Rosa?' `Because I am very fond of them. Edwin Drood: precautions.' `It's a fine day. No. Some of them would begin reflecting on me by saying (for _they_ are free) that they never will on any account engage themselves to lovers without polished leather boots. never mind. and pretend. after offering some to him (which he rather indignantly declines). sir. And then I know what would happen. And so you are engaged?' `And so I am engaged.' remarks Edwin. `Which way shall we take. inquiring of nobody in a blandly conversational tone as she advances: `Eh? Indeed! Are you quite sure you saw my mother-of-pearl button-holder on the work-table in my room?' is at once solicited for walking leave. if you wish it. `Perhaps that might escape the notice of the girls. even if they did see me.' That discreet lady being indeed heard without. Might I ask why?' `O! because I don't want the girls to see you. `Now.' `To theÐ?' `A Turkish sweetmeat. sir. And soon the young couple go out of the Nuns' House. Edwin Drood that is to be. Rosa?' Rosa replies: `I want to go to the Lumps-of-Delight shop. My gracious me. but would you like me to carry an umbrella up?' `Don't be foolish.
' is the quick reply.' says Rosa. I should think. and people?' `Certainly not. does she. with a little laugh of wonder. becoming heated. `A red nose? O! I don't like red noses. Eddy?' `Yes. to her feeling that interest?' `Object? my dear Eddy! But really.' he returns with angry emphasis.) `Long pale nose. with a red knob in the middle.' contradiction rising in him. Eddy?' `No. in which the whimsically wicked face has not been unobservant of him.`Must be gawky. and Fellahs. shrugging her shoulders. no doubt.' `She would scorn to powder it. not at all. `Would she? What a stupid thing she must be! Is she stupid in everything?' `No. `I beg your pardon.' `Big nose.' says Edwin. I know the sort of nose. `You _don't_ know the sort of nose. really not understanding what Things are meant.' Determined not to assent.' with some warmth. `though I cannot answer for her views about Things. She takes a sensible interest in triumphs of engineering skill: especially when they are to change the whole condition of an undeveloped country. However.' Edwin inquires.' `Lor!' says Rosa. `What is termed a fine woman.' Very firmly. and tranquilly enjoying the Lumps. and Turks. Rosa. doesn't she hate boilers and things?' `I can answer for her not being so idiotic as to hate Boilers. Rosa says: `And this most sensible of creatures likes the idea of being carried off to Egypt.' After a pause. Eddy?' . (Rosa's being a little one.' `But don't she hate Arabs.' `Not a pale nose. in nothing. to be sure she can always powder it. with a majestic turn of his eyes downward upon the fairy figure: `do you object. `At least she _must_ hate the Pyramids? Come. `Not a little one.' is the quiet commentary again. with a satisfied nod. a splendid woman. Rosa. `because it's nothing of the kind. `Do you object. certainly.' is Rosa's quiet commentary.
Rosa. I suppose he's dead. side by side. you know very well what I mean. half-choked with bats and dust. and hope it hurt him.' Rosa pouts. Don't be ungenerous. in a little burst of comical contradictory spleen. you are responsible. and each sometimes stops and slowly imprints a deeper footstep in the fallen leaves. I put it to you.' `_You'll_ go wrong. and Ibises. `Now. that you ever can come right when you're always wrong? And as to Belzoni.' Rosa tosses her head. why haven't you mentioned it to me? I can't find out your plans by instinct. and then you wouldn't ask.' `Well then. who cares about them? And then there was Belzoni. and much enjoying the Lumps. `According to custom. I never can come right in these discussions. considering. and says she don't want to get on. she would. `Well!' says Edwin.' often nodding her head. she would.ÐI'm sure I hope he isÐand how can his legs or his chokes concern you?' `It is nearly time for your return. I hope?' she interrupts. Rosa?' `Ah! you should hear Miss Twinkleton.' `Considering what?' `If I say what. arching her delicate eyebrows. sir. or somebody. after a lengthy silence. as to hate the Pyramids. and Cheopses. I meanÐgoose. `That's a pretty sentiment. We can't get on. you mean. Rosa. my dear. dragged out by the legs. If you are. Eddy. she would. she WOULD powder it!' cries Rosa. Rosa. you'll go wrong again.`Why should she be such a littleÐtall. sir. Who disparaged my profession.' says Edwin. mind!' . Rosa. sighing and becoming resigned.' `Now.' The two youthful figures. why did you begin with your detestable red-nosed giantesses? And she would. Tiresome old burying-grounds! Isises. and so I tell you plainly. and wish he had been quite choked. have we?' `A happy walk? A detestably unhappy walk. `You never said you were. my destinationÐ' `You are not going to be buried in the Pyramids. All the girls say: Serve him right. wander discontentedly about the old Close. and Pharaohses.' `Ungenerous! I like that!' `Then I _don't_ like that. `Somehow or other. We have not had a very happy walk. `How is it possible. Rosa. but not now arm-in-arm. `bore about them. If I go up-stairs the moment I get in and cry till I can't take my dancing lesson.
under the elm-trees. and thenÐshe becoming more composed. what a resounding chord! But don't let us stop to listen to it. Edwin Drood stands watching her as she childishly cries and sobs. `They will all be coming out directly. let us get away. quickly laying her light hand upon his wrist. and he thinks how unlike this music is to that discordance. I know you have one yourself too often. but I must say it before we partÐthere is not any other youngÐ' `O no. `Eddy. We should both of us have done better. sometimes. to have an old heartache. let us get away!' Her hurry is over as soon as they have passed out of the Close. Pussy dear.' `Ah!' cries Rosa. I am not clever out of my own lineÐnow I come to think of it. gravely and deliberately enough. though for an instant disposed to resent it as seeming to involve the enforced infliction of himself upon her. with both hands to the handkerchief at her eyes. on our own account. the street being within sight empty. I don't know that I am particularly clever in itÐbut I want to do right. She breathes a light breath into it and asks. and I'll blow a kiss into that. I am quite a little serious thing now. and on the other's!' Disarmed by this glimpse of a woman's nature in the spoilt child. laughing.' is his remark in a low tone in connection with the train of thought. to the Nuns' House. that we try one another so. `Take me back at once. Eddy! It's generous of you to ask me. and at this moment the organ and the choir sound out sublimely. At the gate. Edwin bends down his face to Rosebud's. no. what do you see?' `See. no! I'm too sticky to be kissed. please. I am a young little thing. Eddy. I thought you Egyptian boys could look into a hand and see all . if What is to be had been left What might have been. As they sit listening to the solemn swell. She remonstrates.`Let us be friends. no!' They have come very near to the Cathedral windows. O. Don't be angry. and indeed beginning in her young inconstancy to laugh at herself for having been so movedÐleads her to a seat hard by. `I fancy I can distinguish Jack's voice. Let each of us forbear. There is notÐthere may beÐI really don't see my way to what I want to say. and not teasing you. but no. the confidence of last night rises in young Edwin Drood's mind. really have. Rosa?' `Why.' He does so. `I wish we _could_ be friends! It's because we can't be friends. [Picture: Under the trees] `One clear word of understanding. Rosa. but I really. retaining it and looking into it:Ð `Now say.' urges his Affianced. But give me your hand. They go arm-in-arm now. shaking her head and bursting into real tears. this one time. and is a childish schoolgirl again. along the old High-street.
and his weather-glass. which leaves the real DeanÐa modest and worthy gentlemanÐfar behind. Mr. more conventional than fairÐthen the purest jackass in Cloisterham is Mr. that he is a credit to Cloisterham. Over the doorway is a wooden effigy. and another roll in his gait. Can't you see a happy Future?' For certain. Thomas Sapsea. giving first on his paved back yard. Sapsea has many admirers. and the other goes away. Sapsea is very proud of this. neither of them sees a happy Present. voting at elections in the strictly respectable interest. not to mention a certain gravely flowing action with his hands. Glancing at a scrap of manuscript. as if he were presently going to Confirm the individual with whom he holds discourse. irregularly modernised here and there. Mr. in ending a Sale by Public Auction. CHAPTER IVÐMR. Mr. the proposition is carried by a large local majority. as the gate opens and closes. He possesses the great qualities of being portentous and dull. has been bowed to for the Dean. and of having a roll in his speech. that they preferred air and light to Fever and the Plague. without his chaplain. Much nearer sixty years of age than fifty. because he would uphold himself against mankind. They are of about the period of the Nuns' House. to make himself more like what he takes to be the genuine ecclesiastical article. Mr. He has even (in selling landed property) tried the experiment of slightly intoning in his pulpit. Sapsea reads it to . in the act of selling. even including non-believers in his wisdom. Sapsea's side on the table are a writing-desk and writing materials. and horizontal creases in his waistcoat. and of his voice. perhaps. Mr. Sapsea `dresses at' the Dean. in mistake. Sapsea's premises are in the High-street.sorts of phantoms. as steadily deteriorating generations found. Sapsea's father. have been much admired. his eight-day clock. over against the Nuns' House. like some few other customs. in a curly wig and toga. under the impression that he was the Bishop come down unexpectedly. with a flowing outline of stomach. SAPSEA Accepting the Jackass as the type of self-sufficient stupidity and conceitÐa custom. and one goes in. has even been spoken to in the street as My Lord. chilly autumn eveningÐand is characteristically attended by his portrait. more and more. and society? Mr. So. Sapsea finishes off with an air of bestowing a benediction on the assembled brokers. Auctioneer. morally satisfied that nothing but he himself has grown since he was a baby. Mr. about half life-size. Mr. representing Mr. how can dunder-headed Mr. but pleasant on the cool. reputed to be rich. indeed. hammer. By Mr. and then on his railed-off garden. The chastity of the idea. Sapsea be otherwise than a credit to Cloisterham. Sapsea has a bottle of port wine on a table before the fireÐthe fire is an early luxury. his weather-glass against weather. Characteristically. and pulpit. and the natural appearance of the little finger. and his clock against time. and of his style. Sapsea sits in his dull ground-floor sitting-room.
' `You are pleased to say so. or make a catalogue. repeats it from memory: so internally. There are three clean wineglasses in a tray on the table. `I think I know something of it. as being claimed. that the word `Ethelinda' is alone audible. Jasper is come. Cooped up in it myself.' Ineffable loftiness on Mr. in my life. Jasper? You are much my junior. and then.' Mr. Let me fill your glass. `You can scarcely be ignorant. and I have improved upon my opportunities. and feel it to be a very little place. Sapsea does the honours of his house in this wise. I see a French clock. I will give you. His serving-maid entering. young man. foreign countries have come to me. `Glad to see you. Sapsea's infancy. The honour is mine and the self-congratulation is mine. Mr. Sapsea waves `Admit him. Sapsea.' `And I.' `By all means. something of it. sir.' `I have for some time desired to know you. Mr. and he is therefore fully convinced of its being appropriate to any subsequent era. For Cloisterham is a little place. have long known you by reputation as a man of taste.' says Mr. and made me wish to know you. I know nothing beyond it. sir. and then stops:Ð`You will excuse me calling you young man. Sapsea.' observes Jasper. sir. May we meet them at Dover!' This was a patriotic toast in Mr.' is the chuckling reply. I congratulate myself on having the honour of receiving you here for the first time.' Mr. Sapsea's part accompanies these words. young man.' Mr. But I do assure you that it is a satisfaction to me to receive you in my humble home. sir. as leaving the sentence to be understood: `You will not easily believe that your society can be a satisfaction to a man like myself. Put it that I take an inventory. sir.' `Well. slowly pacing the room with his thumbs in the arm-holes of his waistcoat. I never saw him before. nevertheless. Sapsea begins.' `If I have not gone to foreign countries.' and draws two wineglasses from the rank. sir. `that you know the world. and announcing `Mr. it is. Mr. though with much dignity. `You are very good. filling his own: `When the French come over. They have come to me in the way of business. but I instantly lay my finger on him and say ªParis!º I see some cups and saucers of Chinese make.' `If I have not gone to foreign countries. And that is what I would not say to everybody.himself with a lofty air. Sapsea.' `Your reputation for that knowledge has always interested and surprised me. watching the auctioneer with a smile as the latter stretches out his legs before the fire. equally strangers to me personally: I put my .
puts down that screen and calls up a look of interest.' `We were. be absorbed in itÐI cast as I say. it don't do to boast of what you are. for man to be alone. seems to refill his visitor's glass. `when I had will not say to what it now is. which is full already. in the act of yawning behind his wineglass. It is a little impaired in its expressiveness by his having a shut-up gape still to dispose of. When I made my proposal. on an extensive knowledge of the world. I ought perhaps to describe the character of the late Mrs. Jasper shakes his head. `Half a dozen years ago. The world did put it about. Jasper appears to commit this original idea to memory. as to be able to articulate only the two words. sir.' Mr. was deeply imbued with homage to Mind. But I do not believe this. Nankin. Sapsea. Sapsea. it is not good or so. which is empty. with unspeakable complacency. though encouraged . a whisper even sprang up in obscure malignity. with watering eyes. or in vacation time. then and there. Mr. that one ignorant and besotted Churl (a parent) so committed himself as to object to it by name. sir. Young man. of acquiring a knowledge of men and things. and I say ªPekin. Sapsea.' Mr. that she admired my style. for half a pint of pale sherry!º' `Really? A very remarkable way. `because. precipitated. in a grandiloquent state of absence of mind. as I say. and Canton. her semi-transparent hands were clasped together. and takes the decanter into safe keeping again. she did me the honour to be so overshadowed with a species of Awe. I will not call it the rival establishment to the establishment at the Nuns' House opposite. For is it likely that any human creature in his right senses would so lay himself open to be pointed at. Sapsea.' Mr. and. for that might but up to the pitch of wanting another mind to my eye about me for a nuptial partner. `Miss Brobity's Being.º It is the same with Japan.' `Most interesting. by what I call the finger of scorn?' Mr. Jasper. as I say.' Mr. or. Sapsea rejoins. ªO Thou!º meaning myself. young man.' `I mention it. pallor overspread her aquiline features. and said ªSpear of Esquimaux make. and does really refill his own. The world did notice that as time flowed by. I put my finger on them all. We were to speak of the late Mrs. `Miss Brobity at that time kept. I have put my finger on the North Pole before now. sir. when launched. and still has required some thought. but I will call it the other parallel establishment down town. when they took place on half holidays. `Before I consult your opinion as a man of taste on this little trifle'Ðholding it upÐ`which is _but_ a trifle. Sapsea fills both glasses. Sapsea proceeds. The world did have it that she showed a passion for attending my sales. and with bamboo and sandalwood from the East Indies. my style became traceable in the dictation-exercises of Miss Brobity's pupils. and then you prove it. Mr. but show how you came to be it. enlarged my mind up toÐI seem to aim at too much. now dead three quarters of a year. Because. with Egypt.' Mr. some little fever of the brow. She revered Mind. Not in the least likely. Her limpid blue eyes were fixed upon me.finger on them.
I disposed of the parallel establishment by private contract. `Durdles is come. she never did proceed a word further. Jasper says. in unison with the deepened voice `Ah!'Ðrather as if stopping himself on the extreme verge of addingÐ`men!' `I have been since. Jasper has closed his eyes as the auctioneer has deepened his voice.' `We can only suppose so. announces. VALUER. PAUSE And ask thyself the Question. Sapsea coincides. Mr. and solemnly enjoying himself with the wine and the fire. I have been since a solitary mourner. sir. let me take your opinion. and she never did. as well as the contents with the mind. with his legs stretched out. but that is the way I put it. wasting my evening conversation on the desert air. on the inscription I have (as I before remarked. `And now. Never brought him acquainted with A SPIRIT More capable of LOOKING UP TO HIM. as a man of taste. Man proposes. as I say. Jasper murmurs assent. `what you behold me. STRANGER. `As I say.to proceed. THOMAS SAPSEA. when his serving-maid. ESTATE AGENT. Jasper. and says. I will not say that I have reproached myself. Jasper complying. what might the stimulating action have been upon the liver?' Mr. Sapsea. CANST THOU DO LIKEWISE? If Not. not without some little fever of the brow) drawn out for it.' Mr. Mr. for the purpose of observing the effect of these lines on the countenance of a man of taste. and we became as nearly one as could be expected under the circumstances. Take it in your own hand. AUCTIONEER. Heaven disposes. consequently has his face towards the door. sees and reads as follows: ETHELINDA. But she never could. that he `supposes it was to be. &c. The setting out of the lines requires to be followed with the eye. sir!' He . He now abruptly opens them. `Mrs. Though somewhat extensive. she addressed me in the same unfinished terms. but there have been times when I have asked myself the question: What if her husband had been nearer on a level with her? If she had not had to look up quite so high.' Mr. Reverential Wife of MR.' Mr.' Mr.' resumes the auctioneer. producing his scrap of manuscript. WITH A BLUSH RETIRE. find a phrase satisfactory to her perhaps-too-favourable estimate of my intellect.. with an appearance of having fallen into dreadfully low spirits. again appearing. Sapsea's monument having had full time to settle and dry. Sapsea having risen and stationed himself with his back to the fire.' says Mr. Whose Knowledge of the World. I have been since. OF THIS CITY. It may or may not be putting the same thought in another form. To the very last (feeble action of liver).
Striking. The old chap gave Durdles a look with his open eyes. to lock-out the Cloisterham boy-populace. `Show Durdles in. however. chiefly in the gravestone. Durdles leads a hazy.' The auctioneer inclines his head. has seen strange sights. it may even be than any dead one. No man is better known in Cloisterham. for aught that anybody knows. as contractor for rough repairs. and broken columns. as if they were mechanical figures emblematical of Time and Death. so far. and a mason's hammer all but always in his hand. have been few and far apart: Durdles being as seldom drunk as sober. . handing back the paper. for it will warm him. in the demolition of impedimental fragments of wall. being a little misty as to his own identity. on certain renowned occasions. These occasions. sir?' `Impossible not to approve. and complete. but because of its having been. as being now claimed. taken into custody along with Durdles (as drunk and incapable). `You approve. tomb.' in reference to a buried magnate of ancient time and high degree. and wholly of their colour from head to foot. ªIs your name Durdles? Why. In a suit of coarse flannel with horn buttons. and sitting on all manner of tombstones to dine. It is said that the intimacy of this acquaintance began in his habitually resorting to that secret place. He is the chartered libertine of the place.promptly draws forth and fills the third wineglass. while other two journeymen. This dinner of Durdles's has become quite a Cloisterham institution: not only because of his never appearing in public without it. `by striking right into the coffin with his pick. gipsy sort of life. Durdles goes continually sounding and tapping all about and about the Cathedral. Fame trumpets him a wonderful workmanÐwhich. of stones stolen from the city wall. and pavement. dipping as regularly in and out of their sheltering sentry-boxes. and whenever he says to Tope: `Tope. touching his strange sights: `Durdles come upon the old chap. and laced boots of the hue of his stony calling. and. To this abode there is an approach. For the rest. and he lives in a little antiquated hole of a house that was never finished: supposed to be built. Be this as it may. and invites the entering Durdles to take off that glass of wine (handing the same). incessantly saw stone. in all stages of sculpture. an old hat more russet-coloured than black. I've been waiting for you a devil of a time!º And then he turned to powder. when he narrates. as one accepting his due and giving a receipt. and monument way. Jasper. here's another old 'un in here!' Tope announces it to the Dean as an established discovery.' `Admirable!' quoth Mr. draperies. characteristic. he may be (as he never works). and a wonderful sotÐwhich everybody knows he is. he does know much about it. buttress. He often speaks of himself in the third person. perhaps impartially adopting the Cloisterham nomenclature in reference to a character of acknowledged distinction. who face each other. Durdles is a stonemason. Herein two journeymen incessantly chip. as much as to say. Thus he will say. resembling a petrified grove of tombstones. perhaps. he is an old bachelor. carrying his dinner about with him in a small bundle.' With a two-foot rule always in his pocket. With the Cathedral crypt he is better acquainted than any living authority. and replies. a yellow neckerchief with draggled ends. my man. and exhibited before the Bench of justices at the townhall. ankle-deep in stone chips. and sleep off fumes of liquor: he having ready access to the Cathedral. urns.
but that I must expect. Jasper. Sapsea?' Mr. Sapsea. Durdles!' exclaims Jasper. Jasper knows what Durdles means. `It'll come in to a eighth of a inch. and measures the lines calmly. Mr. Sapsea rises. You get among them Tombs afore it's well light on a winter morning.' says Durdles. unlocks an iron safe let into the wall. `When Durdles puts a touch or a finish upon his work. `Why. as the Catechism says. when he had consumed his glass of port. Mr. alloying them with stone-grit.' `How are you Durdles?' `I've got a touch of the Tombatism on me. The key proffered him by the bereaved widower being a large one.' says Durdles. `Your servant. no man better. and takes from it another key. I mean. in a sharp tone. Sapsea waits for its effect on a common mind. Mr. takes a key from a drawer. Mr. Sapsea intrusts that precious effort of his Muse. Sapsea. Jasper. Durdles unfeelingly takes out his two-foot rule.' `It is a bitter cold place. looking on amused. down in the crypt among the earthy damps there.' returns that individual. (He is nettled by having his composition so mechanically received.' `You mean the Rheumatism. man. `This is for the monument.ÐIs this to be put in hand at once. and _you'll_ know what Durdles means. with a lot of live breath smoking out about you.' Mr. Yes. `And if it's bitter cold for you. Ask 'ere a man in Cloisterham whether Durdles knows his work. is it. `Durdles leaves you to judge. doggedly.' Durdles explains.' Mr. `you are undermined .To Durdles. Mr. and see that his work is a-doing him credit.) `No. Sapsea. Jasper assents. and keep on. Mr. and opens the mouth of a large breast-pocket within it before taking the key to place it in that repository. I don't. `You had better let me have the key then. no matter where.' says Sapsea. up in the chancel. a-walking in the same all the days of your life. Mr. with an antipathetic shiver. with an Author's anxiety to rush into publication. what the bitterness is to Durdles. and the dead breath of the old 'uns.' Mr. replies that it cannot be out of hand too soon. and deliberately opens his flannel coat. `Why. Hope I see you well. Durdles likes to look at his work all round. he slips his two-foot rule into a side-pocket of his flannel trousers made for it. Mr. it is not to be put inside the monument!' `Durdles knows where it's to be put. It's another sort from Rheumatism. inside or outside. the Tombatism. Sapsea?' `The Inscription.
highly conscious of its dignity. whether Stony stood for Tony.' says Durdles. and buttons them up. DURDLES AND FRIEND . Sapsea lets him off for the present.' `By the bye. You know they sometimes call you Stony Durdles. is by no means expended even then.' `You'll find 'em much of a muchness. They all open Durdles's work. and liked to dine off cold iron. and have always forgotten. Jasper. `I don't mind them any more than you do. and terminating in a supper of cold roast beef and salad. (`Take care of the wards. Sapsea's likewise. of course. deigning no word of answer. Mr. and prone to take offence. but his visitor intimates that he will come back for more of the precious commodity on future occasions. and that hazy state of his is always an uncertain state. `They all belong to monuments. Sapsea then proposes a hit at backgammon. He drops his two keys back into his pocket one by one. But the stony one is a gruff one likewise. (`You can't make a pitch pipe of 'em. `Hand me Mr. and he gets out of the room. Jasper weighs the three keys in his hand. many a day.' `I am aware of that. But the boys sometimesÐ' `O! if you mind them young imps of boysÐ' Durdles gruffly interrupts. in its delivery to mortals. Mr. `I have been going to ask you. Jasper. which. Mr. Jasper. and delivers the keys to Durdles with an ingenuous and friendly face. rather of the diffuse than the epigrammatic order.' clinking with a change of keys. But there was a discussion the other day among the Choir. Mr. Mr. Surely this is the heaviest of the three.with pockets!' `And I carries weight in 'em too. Mr. don't you?' `Cloisterham knows me as Durdles. he takes his dinner-bundle from the chair-back on which he hung it when he came in. Jasper. Not that they're much used. beguiles the golden evening until pretty late. as he idly examines the keys.' it comes into Jasper's mind to say. by tying the third key up in it.' clinking one key against another. Durdles keeps the keys of his work mostly.') `Or whether Stony stood for Stephen. How stands the fact?' Mr.') `Or whether the name comes from your trade. Sapsea's wisdom being. I expect. he distributes the weight he carries. CHAPTER VÐMR. as though he were an Ostrich. and Mr. Feel those!' producing two other large keys. seasoned with his own improving conversation. lifts his head from his idly stooping attitude over the fire. to ponder on the instalment he carries away.
`Do you know this thing. and one more delivery at Durdles. `Is that itsÐhisÐname?' .' says the small boy. this child?' asks Jasper. like a little savage. The hideous small boy. and whenever he misses him. Sometimes the stones hit him. if you don't look out!' `Baby-Devil that you are. John Jasper invites the boy with a beck of his head to follow him (feeling it hopeless to drag him. yelps out `Mulled agin!' and tries to atone for the failure by taking a more correct and vicious aim. `Deputy. or to betake himself homeward. where half his teeth are wanting.' `What is that to you?' `He gives me a 'apenny to pelt him home if I ketches him out too late. stepping out into the moonlight from the shade. at a loss for a word that will define this thing. and a hideous small boy in rags flinging stones at him as a well-defined mark in the moonlight. `I'll smash your eye. Widdy widdy wy! ThenÐEÐdon'tÐgoÐthenÐIÐshyÐ Widdy Widdy Wake-cock warning!' Ðwith a comprehensive sweep on the last word. agreed upon. on the contrary.' says the boy. dinner-bundle and all. what has the man done to you?' `He won't go home. if you come a-ketching hold of me. with a nod. in the front of his mouth. as a caution to Durdles to stand clear if he can.John Jasper. is brought to a stand-still by the spectacle of Stony Durdles. whenever he hits Durdles.' `Yes. leaning his back against the iron railing of the burial-ground enclosing it from the old cloister-arches. or coax him). I'll give 'em you down your throat. `Making a cock-shy of him.' replies the hideous small boy. but Durdles seems indifferent to either fortune. half stumbling and half dancing among the rags and laces of his dilapidated boots:Ð `Widdy widdy wen! IÐketÐchesÐImÐoutÐarÐterÐten. and sometimes they miss him. and backing. blows a whistle of triumph through a jagged gap. on his way home through the Close. convenient for the purpose. This would seem to be a poetical note of preparation. And then chants. `Give me those stones in your hand. shaking himself loose. and crosses to the iron railing where the Stony (and stoned) One is profoundly meditating. `What are you doing to the man?' demands Jasper.' says Durdles.
' introducing the monument of that devoted wife.' introducing a sarcophagus within the railing.' observes Durdles.' introducing a vase and towel. but what he stoned. adjusting it. white and cold in the moonlight. What did he earn by it? Short terms in Cloisterham jail. I put that enlightened object before him. or I'll kill you! Come. When we're chock full and the Travellers is all a-bed I come out for my 'elth. standing on what might represent the cake of soap. I did.ÐYour own brother-in-law. quite satisfied. `Departed Assessed Taxes. in his only form of polite contradiction. nor a bird.' `He has plenty. looking back. Sapsea. `I'm man-servant up at the Travellers' Twopenny in Gas Works Garding. Now. `own brother to Peter the Wild Boy! But I gave him an object in life. soon forgot.' Then withdrawing into the road. A poor lot. `Durdles was making his reflections here when you come up.`Deputy. `Own brother. I took him in hand and gave him an object.' says Durdles.' assents Durdles. Jasper suggests. and now he can turn his honest halfpenny by the three penn'orth a week. nor a dog. sir. but he stones 'em all away. that is merely bundled up in turf and brambles. and as unexpectedly forgetting his offence as he had recalled or conceived it. nor a pig.' returns Durdles. like a poplar Author. is behind us. Not a person. nor a cat. Of the common folk. Mr. `Mrs.' `At which he takes aim?' Mr. not a piece of property. Deputy. unexpectedly reminded of. What work did he do? Nothing but destruction. turning himself about again. Shall I carry your bundle?' `Not on any account. `Former pastrycook and Muffin-maker. `Late Incumbent. surrounded by his works. `That's it. `I don't know what you may . `Yer lie. `at which he takes aim.' `I wonder he has no competitors. Durdles. I don't know what this scheme of mine comes to. sir. `You never cried Widdy Warning before you begun to-night. let me walk home with you to-night. for want of an enlightened object. `Is he to follow us?' The relations between Durdles and Deputy are of a capricious kind. sir. or imagining.' pursues Durdles.' introducing gravestone. for. nor a fowl.' says Jasper. What was he before? A destroyer. an injury. he resumes:Ð `Widdy widdy wen! IÐketÐchesÐImÐoutÐarÐterÐ' `Hold your hand. on Durdles's turning himself about with the slow gravity of beery suddenness. much respected.' this thing explains. considering about it with the same sodden gravity. not a winder.' introducing the Reverend Gentleman's broken column.' `This creature. `All safe and sound here. and taking aim.' cries Jasper.' says Deputy. and all Durdles's work. `and don't throw while I stand so near him. Deputy makes a pretty wide circuit into the road and stands on the defensive. the less said the better. sir. not a horse. Jasper.' replies Durdles. `All us man-servants at Travellers' Lodgings is named Deputy.
' Durdles answers. `What I dwell upon most. Yes. Durdles gruffly answers: `Yours is another. I think you mean. by which they come and went. and stone gritÐas though he. never-changing place. I should say. But there is much more mystery and interest in your connection with the Cathedral than in mine. is approximately so.' `He still keeps behind us. I meant. if taken to express that Durdles may always be found in a state of vagabondage somewhere.' says Jasper.' . and of the steps and doors. by the deserted way. `All right. I make him out (so fur as I've made him out yet) to be one of them old 'uns with a crook. Durdles?' asks John Jasper. pillar. `Yours is a curious existence. `then we won't try to give it a name.precisely call it. It ain't a sort of aÐscheme of aÐNational Education?' `I should say not.' repeats Jasper. I am beginning to have some idea of asking you to take me on as a sort of student. `and we'll drop him there. Jasper.' `There's a old 'un under the seventh pillar on the left as you go down the broken steps of the little underground chapel as formerly was.' Without any endeavour to correct the literality of this opinion. `is he to follow us?' `We can't help going round by the Travellers' Twopenny.' `Any new discovery on your part. `Is there anything new down in the crypt. under you. pursuing his subject of romantic interest. whether he receives this as a compliment or as quite the reverse. taking open order.' assents Durdles. and see some of these odd nooks in which you pass your days.' growls Durdles. were getting imbued with a romantic interest in his weird life. chilly. if not strictly true.' `Well! inasmuch as my lot is cast in the same old earthy. and invading the silence of the hour and place by stoning every wall. `I should say not. Jasper surveys his companionÐcovered from head to foot with old mortar. which is the back way. To judge from the size of the passages in the walls.' Which. `is the remarkable accuracy with which you would seem to find out where people are buried. let me hold it.' So they go on. or free 'prentice.ÐWhat is the matter? That bundle is in your way. if we go the short way. in a general way.' Without furnishing the least clue to the question. `It ain't a spot for novelty. `Anything old. looking over his shoulder. post. Indeed. Deputy.' replies Jasper. as a rear rank one. and other inanimate object. when he's wanted. and to let me go about with you sometimes. them crooks must have been a good deal in the way of the old 'uns! Two on 'em meeting promiscuous must have hitched one another by the mitre pretty often. Everybody knows where to find Durdles.' The Stony One replies. lime.
like the morals of the travellers. hollow again! There you are! Old 'un crumbled away in stone coffin. Sapsea. and says. And don't let me see any more of you to-night. as suspecting that Treasure may be about to be discovered.) `I tap. tap.' `Not really Mrs. Solid still! Tap again. and .ÐHolloa you Deputy!' `Widdy!' is Deputy's shrill response. lookee here. tap. And his hammer is handed him. after good sounding: ªSomething betwixt us!º Sure enough.' returns Durdles.' `So I sound for mine.' says Durdles. as supposing that his head may be in requisition. on his evidence. with scant remains of a lattice-work porch over the door. Jasper?' `Yes. tap. and the delicious treat of the discoverers being hanged by the neck. when thus relieved of it. persevering. They have but to cross what was once the vineyard. but say Mrs. don't you. Sapsea. `Catch that ha'penny.' Clink.' measuring on the pavement. `Say that hammer of mine's a wallÐmy work. clink. by no means receiving the observation in good part. which may somehow lead to his own enrichment. Solid in hollow. and two is six. `Just you give me my hammer out of that. and the attentive Deputy skirmishes at a rather wider range. attentive to all his movements. some rubbish has been left in that same six-foot space by Durdles's men!' Jasper opines that such accuracy `is a gift. to try it better. and I tap. having caught the halfpenny.' (Here he strikes the pavement. drawing out his two-foot rule (Deputy meanwhile skirmishing nearer. four. and having it up by the roots when it don't want to come. Holloa! Hollow! Tap again. and was looking about for some ledge or corner to place his bundle on. immediately skirmishing into the road). tap. `and I'll show you. Solid in hollow! Tap. in vault!' `Astonishing!' `I have even done this. `I worked it out for myself.Durdles has stopped and backed a little (Deputy. that wall represented by that hammer. and inside solid. belonging to what was once the Monastery. until they are dead). I take my hammer. Durdles comes by _his_ knowledge through grubbing deep for it. after we come to the Travellers' Twopenny. Solid! I go on tapping. Sapsea?' `Say Mrs. standing off again.' says Durdles. Mr. `Six foot inside that wall is Mrs. Durdles taps. You pitch your note. Two.' `Warning!' returns Deputy.' `I wouldn't have it at a gift. to come into the narrow back lane wherein stands the crazy wooden house of two low stories currently known as the Travellers' Twopenny:Ða house all warped and distorted. and appearing by this mystic word to express his assent to the arrangement. Sapsea. `Now. Her wall's thicker.
like six weak little rushlights. As Durdles and Jasper come near. he turns the corner into safety.also of a rustic fence before its stamped-out garden. who knows!Ðwho. and bearing it off. very carefully. leading to two rooms. His nephew lies asleep. because six little brother Crisparkles before him went out. and delivers himself to the Spectres it invokes at midnight. a stone coming rattling at his hat. They are also addressed by some half-dozen other hideous small boysÐwhether twopenny lodgers or followers or hangers-on of such. start into the moonlight. as they were born. having adjusted the contents of the bowl. finds his fire still burning. All is silent. one by one. as vultures might gather in the desert. ascends an inner staircase of only a few steps. Jasper. his unlighted pipe in his hand. The semblance of an inn is attempted to be given to this wretched place by fragments of conventional red curtaining in the windows. and takes Durdles home: Durdles stumbling among the litter of his stony yard as if he were going to turn head foremost into one of the unfinished tombs. which he fillsÐbut not with tobaccoÐand. with a little instrument. much to the . where Christians are stoned on all sides. he passes to his own room.' cries Jasper angrily.' and leads the way down the lane. by reason of the travellers being so bound to the premises by a tender sentiment (or so fond of having a fire by the roadside in the course of the day). He takes from a locked press a peculiar-looking pipe. One of these is his own sleeping chamber: the other is his nephew's. hotly enraged. you young brutes. according to a custom of late years comfortably established among the police regulations of our English communities. for some time. calm and untroubled. At the corner of the lane. which rags are made muddily transparent in the night-season by feeble lights of rush or cotton dip burning dully in the close air of the inside. and entering softly with his key. John Jasper returns by another way to his gatehouse. they are addressed by an inscribed paper lantern over the door. Durdles remarks of the young savages. and a distant yell of `Wake-Cock! Warning!' followed by a crow. as if attracted by some carrion-scent of Deputy in the air. having broken the thin morning ice near Cloisterham Weir with his amiable head. `and let us go by!' This remonstrance being received with yells and flying stones. that they can never be persuaded or threatened into departure. with some point. Then. There is a light in each. lights his pipe. checks his companion and looks back. and instantly fall to stoning him and one another. that `they haven't got an object. Next moment. without violently possessing themselves of some wooden forget-me-not. John Jasper stands looking down upon him. as they were lighted). hushing his footsteps. as from some infernally-hatched Chanticleer. setting forth the purport of the house. as if the days of Saint Stephen were revived. CHAPTER VIÐPHILANTHROPY IN MINOR CANON CORNER The Reverend Septimus Crisparkle (Septimus. `Stop. apprising him under whose victorious fire he stands. with a fixed and deep attention.
Sept. while his radiant features teemed with innocence. Look at this!' In a concluding round of great severity. and powerful monks had had their centuries of being sometimes useful and sometimes harmful there. when her face is cheerful and calm. Here's wind.' `Neither. countering with his left. Minor Canon nevertheless. Cloisterham. it was pleasant to see (or would have been. feinting and dodging with the utmost artfulness. please God. These completed. so individually assorted to herself.' `Do what. not wife of the Reverend SeptimusÐwas only just down. `I say. that you'll do it at last. Indeed. and behold they were all gone out of Minor Canon Corner. Perhaps one of the highest uses of their ever having been there. the Reverend Septimus left off at this very moment to take the pretty old lady's entering face between his boxing-gloves and kiss it. every morning of my life. and so much the better. that blessed air of tranquillity which pervaded . and the two alone again. the old lady standing to say the Lord's Prayer aloud. and soft-hearted benevolence beamed from his boxing-gloves. the Reverend Septimus administered and escaped all sorts of punishment. the echoing footsteps of rare passers. Ma. that there might be left behind. Ma dear?' `Break the pier-glass. standing with bent head to hear it. if there had been any one to see it. seemed to render more quiet than absolute silence. and her son. and wound up by getting the old lady's cap into ChanceryÐsuch is the technical term used in scientific circles by the learned in the Noble ArtÐwith a lightness of touch that hardly stirred the lightest lavender or cherry riband on it. in a tremendous manner. he being within five years of forty: much as he had stood to hear the same words from the same lips when he was within five months of four. which the cawing of the rooks. or burst a blood-vessel. just in time to get his gloves into a drawer and feign to be looking out of window in a contemplative state of mind when a servant entered.invigoration of his frame. for Mrs. Swaggering fighting men had had their centuries of ramping and raving about Minor Canon Corner. so neatly moulded on her? Nothing is prettier. looking on. when her dress is as the dress of a china shepherdess: so dainty in its colours. Her thought at such times may be condensed into the two words that oftenest did duty together in all her conversations: `My Sept!' They were a good pair to sit breakfasting together in Minor Canon Corner. when taking his seat at table opposite his long-widowed mother.' remarked the old lady. the sound of the Cathedral bell. It was scarcely breakfast-time yet. and putting in his right. Magnanimously releasing the defeated. CrisparkleÐmother. and beaten serfs had had their centuries of drudging and dying there. and waiting for the urn. or the roll of the Cathedral organ. the Reverend Septimus then gave place to the urn and other preparations for breakfast. was. Ma dear. A fresh and healthy portrait the looking-glass presented of the Reverend Septimus. thought the good Minor Canon frequently. Having done so with tenderness. and hitting out from the shoulder with the utmost straightness. the Reverend Septimus turned to again. What is prettier than an old ladyÐexcept a young ladyÐwhen her eyes are bright. `and so you will. For Minor Canon Corner was a quiet place in the shadow of the Cathedral. was now assisting his circulation by boxing at a looking-glass with great science and prowess. when her figure is trim and compact. which there never was).
the old lady was exceedingly proud of her bright eyes being so clear that she could read writing without spectacles. The Reverend Septimus took off his spectacles. after reading it. panelled rooms. She handed it over to her son. He then lamely read on: `ªHaven of Philanthropy. and that serenely romantic state of the mindÐproductive for the most part of pity and forbearanceÐwhich is engendered by a sorrowful story that is all told. or a pathetic play that is played out. when they were unassisted.' said the old lady. Wednesday. `you don't see the context! Give it back to me.º' Septimus looked at the row of chairs against the wall. .º In the what's this? What does he write in?' `In the chair. and stone-walled gardens where annual fruit yet ripened upon monkish trees. as he exclaimed: `Why. `Of course. `And what. Red-brick walls harmoniously toned down in colour by time. had just laid it down upon the breakfast-cloth. Chief Offices. with a half-protesting and half-appealing countenance. Crisparkle and the Reverend Septimus as they sat at breakfast. her son obeyed: murmuring that his sight for reading manuscript got worse and worse daily. that he had invented the pretence that he himself could _not_ read writing without spectacles. big oaken beams in little places. reading very perspicuously and precisely.º' his mother went on. Honeythunder. `It's from Mr.' returned the old lady. what should he write in?' `Bless me. giving proof of a wholesome and vigorous appetite. that he might see her face. but seriously impeded his perusal of the letter.' said the old lady. latticed windows. which not only seriously inconvenienced his nose and his breakfast. to which I shall probably be confined for some hours.' Glad to get his spectacles off (for they always made his eyes water). and so dutifully bent on her deriving the utmost possible gratification from it. Sept. of course. Her son was also so proud of the circumstance. Ma dear. `does the letter say?' The pretty old lady. London. were the principal surroundings of pretty old Mrs.' assented her son. `ªI write. he had the eyes of a microscope and a telescope combined. my dear. Now. `ªI write in theÐ. strong-rooted ivy. bless me. of grave and prodigious proportions. Therefore he now assumed a pair. folding her arms.Minor Canon Corner. For.' inquired the Minor Canon. `ªDEAR MADAM. `ªfrom the chair.
With compliments to the Rev.' `ªTherefore. on Monday next.º' the old lady read on with a little extra emphasis.' said Septimus.º' `And it is another most extraordinary thing. and it is their unanimous pleasure that I take the chair. And it is another most extraordinary thing that they are always so violently flush of miscreants!' `ªDenouncing a public miscreantÐº'Ðthe old lady resumed. Though that seems wretchedly prejudicedÐdoes it not?Ðfor I never saw him. as I should have taken good care they did. and inclination too. Dear Madam. Neville and Helena Landless. and matching . The terms in both cases are understood to be exactly as stated to me in writing by yourself. Mr.' the old lady replied after some hesitation.' `ªNot to lose a day's post. Septimus. `ªa meeting of our Convened Chief Composite Committee of Central and District Philanthropists. after the honour of being introduced to you at your sister's house in town here. and that I have time to bestow upon him. I am. whether they liked it or not. Crisparkle's sister.º' Septimus breathed more freely.' `Hah!' said Septimus. Ma. Ma?' `I should call him a large man. the Rev. I take the opportunity of a long report being read. Honeythunder himself. LUKE HONEYTHUNDER.ÐI beg your pardon. and (as one may say) bumping them into the paths of peace. denouncing a public miscreantÐº' `It is a most extraordinary thing. let him. dear Madam. Mrs. and also of the ham and toast and eggs. `that these philanthropists are so given to seizing their fellow-creatures by the scruff of the neck. laying down his knife and fork to rub his ear in a vexed manner. Mr. `we must try it. I must confess to feeling rather glad that he is not Mr. and they give in to the plan proposed. my dear. for interrupting. you will please prepare your son. There can be no doubt that we have room for an inmate. to take up her quarters at the Nuns' House. the establishment recommended by yourself and son jointly. I have spoken with my two wards.' `Than himself?' `Than anybody. to expect Neville as an inmate to be read with. another piece of Dresden china. after a little more rubbing of his ear. Septimus. Your affectionate brother (In Philanthropy).' interposed the gentle Minor Canon. `ªto get our little affair of business off my mind. Please likewise to prepare for her reception and tuition there. were a little on the wane.' remarked the Minor Canon in the same tone as before. `that these Philanthropists are always denouncing somebody. at our Head Haven as above. `but that his voice is so much larger. And finished his breakfast as if the flavour of the Superior Family Souchong. and muttered: `O! if he comes to _that_. when I opened a correspondence with you on this subject.`ªWe have. Ma dear. on the subject of their defective education. Is he a large man. On the same day Helena will accompany him to Cloisterham.º' `Well.
In those days there was no railway to Cloisterham. Ma. whether or no. but became reconciled to leaving them behind. Miss Twinkleton did. and Church and State if it succeeded. in good time for dinner. That's three. and stock for soup became fragrant in the air of Minor Canon Corner. and we will have him to meet the brother and sister at dinner. when certain devoted orphans of tender years had been glutted with plum buns. Ma?' `Nine would. Mr. and Mr. compressing the driver . `My dear Ma. awaiting the arrival of a short. which was going to ruin the Money Market if it failed. and by right should never have been seen apart. Crisparkle called with his mother upon Miss Twinkleton. Mr. Sapsea said more. Instructions were then despatched to the Philanthropist for the departure and arrival. Crisparkle repaired. there was. Add our two selves. because we cannot be at our ease with them unless they are at their ease with us. and that's six. Sapsea said there never would be.' So it was settled that way: and when Mr. without asking Jasper. and youth takes to youth. Mr. We can't think of asking him. These were all the antecedents known in Minor Canon Corner of the coming pupils. he said there never should be. after a public occasion of a philanthropic nature. after thinking the matter over. Crisparkle during the last re-matching of the china ornaments (in other words during her last annual visit to her sister). Crisparkle could hardly see anything else of it for a large outside passenger seated on the box. That's four. I particularise eight. and like takes to like. is. with a disproportionate heap of luggage on the roofÐlike a little Elephant with infinitely too much CastleÐwhich was then the daily service between Cloisterham and external mankind. `that the first thing to be done. indeed. the Constitution. but yell and whirl through it on their larger errands. in these days. Sept. to put these young people as much at their ease as possible. Crisparkle. was the childless wife of a clergyman holding Corporation preferment in London City.' returned the old lady. deserting the high road. He is a cordial young fellow. Neville and Miss Helena. visibly nervous.' `The exact size of the table and the room. the two other invitations having reference to that establishment were proffered and accepted. Now. Add Miss Twinkleton and the fairy bride that is to be. As this vehicle lumbered up. Jasper's nephew is down here at present. squat omnibus.her so neatly that they would have made a delightful pair of ornaments for the two ends of any capacious old-fashioned chimneypiece. and that's eight. but even that had already so unsettled Cloisterham traffic. and plump bumptiousness. and (of course). my dear. casting the dust off their wheels as a testimony against its insignificance. that the traffic. with his elbows squared. glance at the globes. to arrange for the reception of Miss Helena Landless at the Nuns' House. `I am sure you will agree with me. Some remote fragment of Main Line to somewhere else. that Express Trains don't think Cloisterham worth stopping at. for many years labelled at the corner: `Beware of the Dog. And yet. came sneaking in from an unprecedented part of the country by a back stable-way.' said Mr. and his hands on his knees. it has come to pass.' To this ignominious avenue of approach. Mr. as regretting that they were not formed to be taken out into society. Would eight at a friendly dinner at all put you out. of Mr. Honeythunder in his public character of Professor of Philanthropy had come to know Mrs. There is nothing disinterested in the notion. marvellous to consider.
`Is this Cloisterham?' demanded the passenger.' `But you must have them. also descending.' replied the passenger. accosting the passenger with: `Mr. as if he were roasting it. I thought I would take a mouthful of fresh air. which seemed to make him anxious. `Hah! I expected to see you older. casting his eyes over it with no great favour. after throwing the reins to the ostler. a superficial perquisition into the state of his skeleton. becoming more chafed in temper. Honeythunder?' `That is my name.' `I say!' expostulated the driver. my good fellow!' and then.' said the driver.' `I think I won't deprive you on it. as he got down. `And I never was so glad to see it. `Take that card. Having a little succumbed of late. `my mother was contented with myself. `What shall I get by it?' asked the driver. whenÐ' But here. Joe! don't forget yourself. and glowering about him with a strongly-marked face. sir. and come down with them. when Joe peaceably touched his hat.' was the good-humoured reply. I am your brother.' replied the driver.' The driver instituted. with the palms of his hands.' said the passenger.' `My name is Crisparkle. in a tremendous voice. and return at night. remonstrating aside. Crisparkle interposed. I don't want no brothers. but not otherwise using it. and twisting a double eyeglass by its ribbon. `Thankee. under the pressure of my public labours. Septimus. `not too fur! The worm _will_.' returned the driver.' `I hope you will. as if he didn't like it at all. without taking it.into a most uncomfortably small compass. `What's the good of it to me?' `Be a Member of that Society. Joe. very deliberately. rubbing himself as if he ached. `It is. Joe. then. `whether you like it or not. my friend. in a ferocious voice. `Your master is morally boundÐand ought to be legally. So you are the Reverend Mr.' said the driver. sir.' returned the passenger.' `Reverend Mr. Septimus? Glad to see you. in a friendly voice: `Joe. . under ruinous penaltiesÐto provide for the comfort of his fellow-man. Mr. sir. Neville and Helena are inside. `Have I sat upon you?' asked the passenger. `You have.' `Tell your master to make his box-seat wider. and so am I.' returned the passenger. are you?' surveying him on the whole with disappointment. `Brotherhood.
get your card of membership and your riband and medal. and an unusually handsome lithe girl. much alike. and judges. who were of the contrary opinion. or on your own account. and put your name down as a Member and a Professing Philanthropist. half shy. which might be equally likened to the pause before a crouch or a bound. Honeythunder to dinner. took great delight in what he pointed out of the Cathedral and the Monastery ruin. to become philanthropists. and calling him all manner of names. and forcing them. and what the Committee said. or conscientiously couldn't. be concordant. Always something in the nature of a Boil upon the face of society. she of almost the gipsy type. but were to make converts by making war upon them. Though it was not literally true. and were evermore to live upon a platform. `Only a poor little joke. an indefinable kind of pause coming and going on their whole expression. and loudly developing a scheme he had. as was facetiously charged against him by public unbelievers. `A joke is wasted upon me. Then. on pain of prompt extermination. rather than the followers. but after an indefinite interval of maligning him (very much as if you hated him). You were to have universal concord. and what the Treasurer said. and were to get it by eliminating all the people who wouldn't. I never see a joke. to trial by court-martial for that offence. and gave his arm to Helena Landless. and what the Secretary said. and evermore to say what Mr. and what the . You were to have no capital punishment. _verbatim_. something untamed about them both. Slender. with a troubled mind (for the discomfiture of the dear old china shepherdess lay heavy on it). you were to pay up your subscription. shouldering the natives out of his way. and what the sub-Committee said. a certain air upon them of hunter and huntress. but you were first to bring all commanding officers who had done their duty. but were first to sweep off the face of the earth all legislators. Not worth repeating.' An unusually handsome lithe young fellow. Where are they? Helena and Neville. Crisparkle would have read thus. laying them every one by the heels in jail. Mrs. You were to abolish war. and wonderedÐso his notes ran onÐmuch as if they were beautiful barbaric captives brought from some wild tropical dominion. Honeythunder walked in the middle of the road. half defiant. He invited Mr. Honeythunder said. jurists. Mr. Honeythunder frowningly retorted. Mr. come here! Mr. both very dark. The rough mental notes made in the first five minutes by Mr. and very rich in colour. Above all things. both of face and form. Crisparkle had need of her own share of philanthropy when she beheld this very large and very loud excrescence on the little party. and shoot them. come here and be blessed!' still his philanthropy was of that gunpowderous sort that the difference between it and animosity was hard to determine. Honeythunder expanded into an inflammatory Wen in Minor Canon Corner. supple. Crisparkle has come down to meet you. and what the sub-Treasurer said. quick of eye and limb.`Eh?' demanded Mr. Honeythunder. yet withal a certain air of being the objects of the chase. for making a raid on all the unemployed persons in the United Kingdom. as they walked all together through the ancient streets. sir.' Mr. that he called aloud to his fellow-creatures: `Curse your souls and bodies. You were to love your brother as yourself. You were to abolish military force.' `Joke? Ay. fierce of look. You were to go to the offices of the Haven of Philanthropy. Both she and her brother. you were to do nothing in private. and charging them with loving war as the apple of their eye.
during years upon years. of impersonating him as a wicked and weak opponent. while his worthy mother sat bridling. after exhibiting a combination of dastardly meanness with ensanguined daring. a full hour before he wanted it. with still half-an-hour to spare. sat himself in the way of the waiting. by the special activity of Mr. such as the world has not often witnessed. must have been highly gratifying to the feelings of that distinguished man. nor meant to open them. The philanthropist deranged the symmetry of the table. were so fervent in their apprehensions of his catching cold. over his own head. The dinner was a most doleful breakdown. Nobody could talk to anybody. to the effect: `That this assembled Body of Professing Philanthropists views. in part indignant and in part perplexed. blocked up the thoroughfare. `You know very little of your guardian?' the Minor Canon repeated. and to sue and whine and howl for mercy!' Whereat the unfortunate Minor Canon would look. Honeythunder began to impend.Vice-Secretary said. as if the company had no individual existence. and pledges itself to make as many obnoxious statements as possible about them. But the gush of philanthropy that burst forth when the departure of Mr. Mr. sir. with tears in her eyes. He impounded the Reverend Mr. Or he would say: `Now see. CHAPTER VIIÐMORE CONFIDENCES THAN ONE `I know very little of that gentleman. Crisparkle sat with his watch in his hand for about the same period. The affectionate kindness of the whole circle hustled him into his greatcoat. you have now the hypocrisy to bend the knee before the most degraded of mankind. who took him to the omnibus. without being at all particular as to facts. with indignant scorn and contempt.' said Neville to the Minor Canon as they turned back. lest he should overstay his time. sir. when it was really five. Miss Twinkleton estimated the distance to the omnibus at five-and-twenty minutes' walk. to what a position you are reduced. that they shut him up in it instantly and left him. he would ask: `And will you. or kind of human peg to hang his oratorical hat on. Crisparkle and his new charge. Septimus. And this was usually said in the unanimously-carried resolution under hand and seal. because he held forth to everybody at once. and a troop of horse were at the back door. in which there was no flavour or solidity. I will leave you no escape. Mr. but were a Meeting. His coffee was produced. when it actually struck but one. After exhausting all the resources of fraud and falsehood. common among such orators. the baseness of all those who do not belong to it. and drove Mr. Thus. Tope (who assisted the parlour-maid) to the verge of distraction by passing plates and dishes on. now stultify yourself by telling me'Ðand so forth. The four young people were unanimous in believing that the Cathedral clock struck three-quarters. as an official personage to be addressed. and the remainder of the party lapsed into a sort of gelatinous state. sir. Tope. and fell into the exasperating habit. not unmixed with utter detestation and loathing abhorrence'Ðin short. when the innocent man had not opened his lips. and very little resistance. and shoved him out into the moonlight. as if he were a fugitive traitor with whom they sympathised. `Almost nothing!' .
' The pupil hung his head for a little while. We lived with a stepfather there. with a quick change to a submissive manner. You spoke of my sister's tears. sir. `could justify those horrible expressions that you used. sir.' `Nothing. I suppose you know that we come (my sister and I) from Ceylon?' `Indeed. It is well he died when he did. he passed us over to this man. more than once or twice. than his being a friend or connexion of his. and to have the kindness to hear a word or two from me in my defence?' `Defence?' Mr. `You are not on your defence. whose name was always in print and catching his attention.`How came heÐ' `To _be_ my guardian? I'll tell you. before she would have let him believe that he could make her shed a tear.' `Well. Crisparkle reviewed those mental notes of his. Neville. and was neither at all surprised to hear it. Mr.' `I think I am. in spite of himself. sir?' he said.' Mr. sir. `What if you leave me to find it out?' . Crisparkle repeated. and clothes to wear. But permit me to set you right on one point. `You shock me. I have seen him beat mine. sir. Crisparkle stopped short in the moonlight and looked at his hopeful pupil in consternation. as they walked on. unspeakably shock me. sir. when we were little children. At least I know I should be. Crisparkle.' `I wonder at that. I suppose?' `Quite lately. My sister would have let him tear her to pieces. and then said: `You never saw him beat your sister. Mr. if you were better acquainted with my character.' `That was lately. no. `Perhaps you will think it strange. for no better reason that I know of. `not even a beloved and beautiful sister's tears under dastardly ill-usage. `I surprise you. This stepfather of ours was a cruel brute as well as a grinding one.' was the rejoinder. Our mother died there. We have had a wretched existence. and especially to you. Neville. or I might have killed him. At his death.' said Mr.'Ðthis was said in a hesitating voiceÐ`that I should so soon ask you to allow me to confide in you. and he was a miserly wretch who grudged us food to eat. I beg to recall them. nor at all disposed to question it.' `I am sorry I used them.' Mr. as his indignation rose.' he became less severe. and I never forgot it. She made him our guardian.
as much better than I am. or you may not have time to finish what you wish to say to me. and we see an unmistakable difference between your house and your reception of us. Quite the contrary. It hinted to him that he might. we had made up our minds not to like you. Crisparkle. liberty. Honeythunder's departureÐand Cloisterham being so old and grave and beautiful. Mr. I must ask you not to suppose that I am describing my sister's. sir.' said Mr. the very necessaries of life. to the resource of being false and mean. The truth is. the commonest pleasures of childhood. with the moon shining on itÐthese things inclined me to open my heart. Neville. and break away again.' answered the young man. we came here (my sister and I) to quarrel with you. we could not know what you were beforehand. sir. and anything else we have ever known. turn aside a trustfulness beneficial to a mis-shapen young mind and perhaps to his own power of directing and improving it.' `Really?' said Mr. from my earliest remembrance. without meaning it. or remembrances. sir. `You see. and affront you. without knowing it.`Since it is your pleasure. Neville.º as if I had been here a week. at a dead loss for anything else to say. I have been stinted of education. And it is salutary to listen to such influences. ThisÐand my happening to be alone with youÐand everything around us seeming so quiet and peaceful after Mr. This has made me secret and revengeful. This has caused me to be utterly wanting in I don't know what emotions. Crisparkle again. I must submit. Crisparkle in his own breast was not so sure of this. `Let us turn back and take a turn or two up and down.' `In describing my own imperfections. You are hasty in thinking that I mean to check you.' .' There was that in the tone of this short speech which made the conscientious man to whom it was addressed uneasy. She has come out of the disadvantages of our miserable life. to suppress a deadly and bitter hatred. `But we do like you. dress. could we?' `Clearly not. Crisparkle. with a quick change in his manner to sullen disappointment: `since it is your pleasure to check me in my impulse. sir. I invite your confidence. I say ªever since.' `Really?' said Mr. `I have had. sir. They were within sight of the lights in his windows. the commonest possessions of youth. in my weakness. I have been always tyrannically held down by the strong hand. This has driven me. and he stopped. or good instinctsÐI have not even a name for the thing. ever since I came here. money. you see!Ðthat you have had to work upon in other young men to whom you have been accustomed.' `I quite understand. as that Cathedral tower is higher than those chimneys.' Mr. sir. `And having liked no one else with whom we have ever been brought into contact.' `You have invited it. Mr.
and I may easily have contracted some affinity with them. Here is my hand on it. When we ran away from it (we ran away four times in six years. efficiently.' thought Mr. Neville. but for your sister too?' `Undoubtedly I did. it can only be with your own assistance.' `And. but I remember. She not only feels as I have described. and showed the daring of a man. that nothing in our misery ever subdued her. to be soon brought back and cruelly punished).`This is evidently true. sir (we are twin children). `You don't know. `I don't preach more than I can help.' returned the Minor Canon. both for her and for myself. that he rather monopolised the occasion. when I lost the pocket-knife with which she was to have cut her hair short. Mr. Crisparkle as they turned again. but perhaps I may venture to say. sir. of an inferior race. But I entreat you to bear in mind. and a cheerful sound of voices and laughter was heard within. and mused. `for I want to ask you a question. by seeking aid from Heaven.' `Excuse me. sir. yet. that Mr. `We will take one more turn before going in. Mr. but she very well knows that I am taking this opportunity of speaking to you. But this is not encouraging. except that I hope you will bear with me and make allowance for me. Crisparkle.' Mr. you ought to know. Mr. Mr. Neville. you may be sure. Crisparkle looked at the pavement. though no spoken wordÐperhaps hardly as much as a lookÐmay have passed between us. and that you can only render that. though it often cowed me. When you said you were in a changed mind concerning me. `In a last word of reference to my sister. May you not have answered for your sister without sufficient warrant?' Neville shook his head with a proud smile. how desperately she tried to tear it out. Sometimes. May God bless our endeavours!' They were now standing at his house-door. but his face expressed such absolute and firm conviction of the truth of what he said.' `I will try to do my part.' said Mr. you spoke.' `As in the case of that remark just now. very seriously and steadily. I will try to do mine. I don't know but that it may be a drop of what is tigerish in their blood. that if I am to do you any good. sir. until they came to . to her honour. I have nothing further to say. sir: I have been brought up among abject and servile dependents. Each time she dressed as a boy.' thought Mr. Crisparkle looked in his face. without ill-nature. `And to finish with. I take it we were seven years old when we first decamped. Neville. since I met you. and I will not repay your confidence with a sermon. not only for yourself. what a complete understanding can exist between my sister and me. but I think you have had no opportunity of communicating with your sister. or bite it off. with some incredulity.' `Of that. the flight was always of her planning and leading. sir. Crisparkle. Honeythunder was very eloquent.
opposite the singer. I called it eloquence. stood Helena. `D-r-double o-d. Neville. Mr. carefully and softly hinting the key-note from time to time. Edwin Drood gallantly furled and unfurled Miss Twinkleton's fan. and that lady passively claimed that sort of exhibitor's proprietorship in the accomplishment on view. Standing with an arm drawn round her. He comes here visiting his relation. what he knew of the little story of their betrothal. daily claimed in the Cathedral service. with her hands over her eyes: `I can't bear this! I am frightened! Take me away!' With one swift turn of her lithe figures Helena laid the little beauty on a sofa. and shrieked out. until all at once the singer broke into a burst of tears. Tope.) `IÐyes. Crisparkle sat down by the china shepherdess. `I understand his air of proprietorship now!' This was said so evidently to himself. on one knee beside her. as though it were a low whisper from himself.) Then he explained.' said Mr. This Mr. Crisparkle. Honeythunder'sÐI think you called it eloquence. the voice became less steady. sir?' (`Now. leaning against the piano. between whom and her brother an instantaneous recognition passed. the understanding that had been spoken of. as if she had never caught her up. Mr. `O! _that's_ it. and of her being a heedless little creature.' said Mr. with sudden superciliousness?' thought Mr. sir?' `Never. that the latter instinctively felt as if to notice it would be almost tantamount to noticing a passage in a letter which he had read by chance over the writer's shoulder. Mr. Honeythunder's eloquence. with his eyes as well as hands. It was a consequence of his playing the accompaniment without notes. Jasper. Crisparkle. is it?' said the young man. `But for Mr.his door again. in which Mr. and was accompanying Miss Rosebud while she sang. Jasper than on her singing. the Verger. very apt to go wrong. sir: I think that's the name?' `Quite correct. aloud. It was a sorrowful strain of parting. or to anybody rather than Mr.' `Is Miss Bud his relation too.' said the young man. As Jasper watched the pretty lips. this time. flash out. [Picture: At the piano] The song went on. Then. but with a face far more intent on Mr. `But for Mr. A moment afterwards they re-entered the house. Crisparkle. sir?' (somewhat slyly. and ever and again hinted the one note. and the fresh young voice was very plaintive and tender. Crisparkle. . Crisparkle saw. why should he ask that. which Mr. sir. that he followed her lips most attentively. Neville then took his admiring station. I might have had no need to ask you what I am going to ask you. Jasper was seated at the piano as they came into his drawing-room. `I will ask for one more turn. Mr. Mr. or thought he saw.' `Does heÐor did heÐread with you. Edwin Drood. with a rather heightened colour rising in his face.
that I believe you make her afraid of you. while his little pupil was taken to an open window for air. though. and begged to thank Miss Landless for her vindication of his character. I can answer for them. `Pussy's not used to an audience. `I have been dreading all day. `and we are good-natured girls. looked over his shoulder.' But she answered never a word. and require so much. No wonder. that I should be brought to bay at this time. Tisher in solitary vigil awaited the new pupil. But the idea of my being a friend to you seems too absurd. and the gate of the Nuns' House closed upon them. without striking the notes. `You will be a friend to me. Helena said to them: `It's nothing. while with the other she appealed to all the rest. The boarders had retired. When she was brought back.' `Why?' . and couldn't hold out. you hear! You would be afraid of him. and tenderly caressing the small figure. for finding ourselves outside the walls of the Nuns' House. don't speak to her for one minute.and with one hand upon her rosy mouth. Besides. as requiring to be communicated in confidence) were really bound (voice coming up again) to set a better example than one of rakish habits. wouldn't you. Mrs. under similar circumstances. his place was empty. won't you?' `I hope so.' said Helena. and only Mrs.' laughed Helena. and was otherwise petted and restored. you are such a conscientious master. and she is well!' Jasper's hands had. Jasper brought down his hands.' said Edwin Drood.' returned Rosa. and that we who undertook the formation of the future wives and mothers of England (the last words in a lower voice. searching the lovely little face with her dark. `She got nervous. Miss Landless?' `Not under any circumstances. and the two young cavaliers volunteered to see the ladies home. fiery eyes. Jack. Miss Twinkleton now opining that indeed these were late hours. `I am more than half afraid he didn't like to be charged with being the Monster who had frightened you. as if they had made her a little too cold. `Jack's gone.' returned Helena. lifted themselves from the keys. as though he waited to resume. my dear. and shivered. `This is a blessed relief. Pussy. before she was placed in charge of her new friend.' `I can answer for you.' repeated Helena. Then he fell to dumbly playing.' `There are not many of us.' `No wonder. wrappers were put in requisition. very little introduction or explanation was necessary. In that attitude he yet sat quiet: not even looking round. It was soon done.' Edwin told her. it's all over. `There. Jack. that's the fact. Crisparkle. in the same instant. at least the others are. and were now poised above them. and left for the night. when all the rest had changed their places and were reassuring one another. Her bedroom being within Rosa's.
I shrink into nothing by the side of your presence even. I suppose he does. `I am sure I have no right to say he doesn't.' `You do not love him?' `Ugh!' She put her hands up to her face. `I will be as good a friend as such a mite of a thing can be to such a noble creature as you. And be a friend to me. please. `What a pity Master Eddy doesn't feel it more!' Of course her relations towards that young gentleman had been already imparted in Minor Canon Corner. I don't think I am. half in jest and half in earnest. surely he must love you with all his heart!' cried Helena.`O. can I help it? There is a fascination in you. and deeply ashamed to own my ignorance. and you are so womanly and handsome. my dear. and retaining both her hands said: `Who is Mr. `You know that he loves you?' .' said Rosa. `Eh? O. And we are always quarrelling. `My pretty one. Perhaps it's my fault. But it _is_ so ridiculous!' Helena's eyes demanded what was. I don't understand myself: and I want a friend who can understand me.' `And yet you acknowledge everything to me!' said Rosa. in a tone of affectionate childishness that went straight and true to her heart. You seem to have resolution and power enough to crush me. well. Jasper?' Rosa turned aside her head in answering: `Eddy's uncle.' Helena Landless kissed her. very much indeed. my dear!' Rosa gave that answer as if it were the most conclusive answer in the world. and my music-master. pouting again.' `I am a neglected creature. with an earnestness that threatened to blaze into ferocity if he didn't. I will. and shook with fear or horror.' said Rosa.' `O! is there though?' pouted Rosa.' replied Rosa. `Why. Perhaps I am not as nice to him as I ought to be. answering as if she had spoken. my dear. `We are such a ridiculous couple. `_We_ are. and then she impulsively put out both her hands and said: `You will be my friend and help me?' `Indeed. unacquainted with all accomplishments. sensitively conscious that I have everything to learn.' `Why?' `Because we both know we are ridiculous. I am such a mite of a thing. Helena's masterful look was intent upon her face for a few moments.
' `He has never spoken to me aboutÐthat. When I play. he himself is in the sounds. without his uttering a threat. their charges. but cried out. Eddy is devoted to him. I avoid his eyes. or plays a passage. like a dreadful ghost. and commanding me to keep his secret. and the wild black hair fell down protectingly over the childish form. and strikes a note. but he forces me to see them without looking at them. and clinging to her new resource. He has forced me to understand him. Hold me! Stay with me! I am too frightened to be left by myself. besides feeling terrified I felt ashamed and passionately hurt.' She actually did look round. But you said to-night that you would not be afraid of him. I will.' `Yes.' `My child! You speak as if he had threatened you in some dark way. Because you are so strong. I have never even dared to think or wonder what it is. `Don't tell me of it! He terrifies me. Never. he never moves his eyes from my lips. under any circumstances. I feel as if he could pass in through the wall when he is spoken of.' `What has he done?' `He has made a slave of me with his looks. as if she dreaded to see him standing in the shadow behind her. It was as if he kissed me. Even when a glaze comes over them (which is sometimes the case). and that gives meÐwho am so much afraid of himÐcourage to tell only you.' The lustrous gipsy-face drooped over the clinging arms and bosom. and finding themselves coldly stared at by . When I sing. or a chord. I will. You must never breathe this to any one. darling. having seen the damsels. except that to-night when he watched my lips so closely as I was singing. and I couldn't bear it. don't!' cried Rosa. more terrible to me than ever. whispering that he pursues me as a lover. pretty one? What is threatened?' `I don't know. There was a slumbering gleam of fire in the intense dark eyes. `Try to tell me more about it. and he has forced me to keep silence. and to know that he is sitting close at my side. Let whomsoever it most concerned look well to it! CHAPTER VIIIÐDAGGERS DRAWN The two young men.' `And was this all. don't. enter the courtyard of the Nuns' House. When he corrects me.' `What is this imagined threatening. I feel that I am never safe from him. and stay with me afterwards. to-night?' `This was all. He haunts my thoughts.`O. he never moves his eyes from my hands. without his saying a word. don't. though they were then softened with compassion and admiration. dropping on her knees. he obliges me to know it. But hold me the while. and he seems to wander away into a frightful sort of dream in which he threatens most.
look along the perspective of the moonlit street. then I shall take my leave of Cloisterham. Crisparkle of your other good fortune. `No.' is the careless answer. quite openly. However. the last remark had better be answered. My small patrimony was left a part of the capital of the Firm I am with.the brazen door-plate. working. I expect. says Edwin: . And I did so.' `I am not accountable for Mr. look at one another. Edwin has made his retort with an abruptness not at all polite. Or Pussy's portrait. Mr. Neville Landless is already enough impressed by Little Rosebud. They stop and interchange a rather heated look.' Edwin Drood assents. and put him out of the way so entirely. my guardian and trustee.' `What do you mean by my other good fortune?' Neville has made his remark in a watchfully advancing. of being at once hunter and hunted. Edwin Drood is already enough impressed by Helena. off and on. a former partner. for many a long day. `Are you reading?' `Reading?' repeats Edwin Drood. leading on again at a somewhat quicker pace.' `Are you going abroad?' `Going to wake up Egypt a little. very expressive of that peculiar air already noticed. Drood?' says Neville. Mr.' is the condescending answer. `No.' `I heard from Mr. and England too. to-morrow. `But.' Neville begins. with a touch of contempt. with my portrait for the sign of The Betrothed's Head. by my father. But I shall be here. `I am accountable for mentioning it to you. `I hope. and slowly walk away together. that's true. engineering. Doing. and then I step into my modest share in the concern. and I am a charge upon the Firm until I come of age. `Not this time. there are these two curious touches of human nature working the secret springs of this dialogue. on the supposition that you could not fail to be highly proud of it. `there is no offence. Crisparkle's mentioning the matter to me.' Now. in my innocently referring to your betrothal?' `By George!' cries Edwin.' says Neville. until then. `I leave for London again. JackÐyou met him at dinnerÐis. `everybody in this chattering old Cloisterham refers to it I wonder no public-house has been set up. and yet furtive and shy manner. `Do you stay here long. to feel indignant that Edwin Drood (far below her) should hold his prize so lightly. So. until next Midsummer.' resumes Neville. to feel indignant that Helena's brother (far below her) should dispose of him so coolly. Drood. you are not. One or the other. as if the battered old beau with the glass in his eye were insolent.
and Jasper stands between them. Frankly and freely. and I daresay do.' retorts Edwin Drood. I promise to follow it. and the question is superfluous. they usually talk most about. `that what people are proudest of.' laying his left hand on the inner shoulder of that young gentleman. `Ned. they most like other people to talk about. that what they are proudest of. though not so freely. And. who ought to know everything. Now. for instance?' asks Edwin Drood.' `Nor in me. as it were. Edwin Drood under the transparent cover of a popular tune. Mr. what is amiss? But why ask! Let there be nothing amiss.' remarks Neville. it would seem that he. you see there is no anger in Ned. not having had your advantages. For. We had better not say anything having the appearance of a remonstrance or condition. I was not brought up in ªbusy life. I don't know either. Ned!' he says. the best civility. to be sure. my dear boy. it might not seem generous. `It does not seem to me very civil in you. Mr.' `Do you know that you take a great deal too much upon yourself?' is the angry rejoinder. We are all three on a good understanding. and a stop now and then to pretend to admire picturesque effects in the moonlight before him. far away from here. whatever kind of people we are brought up among. But I live a busy life. and I speak under correction by you readers. `is to mind our own business. too.' says Neville Landless. you are almost in the position of host to-night. Mr. But. are we not?' After a silent struggle between the two young men who shall speak last. Crisparkle).º and my ideas of civility were formed among Heathens. You belong. and has come up behind them on the shadowy side of the road. at length. Neville. and in a manner represent it towards a stranger. to try to make up for lost time. Neville out in the open. Neville' (adopting that mode of address from Mr. he might know better how it is that sharp-edged words have sharp edges to wound me. and thus walking on between them. Edwin Drood strikes in with: `So far as I am concerned. and you should respect the obligations of hospitality. I don't like this. Remember. `But if Mr. But. `and that in the part of the world I come from. Frankly and . Jack. in a soothing manner.' `Perhaps. and surveying the other with a look of disdain. Mr. `we must have no more of this. Ned. there is no anger in me. has strolled round by the Nuns' House. Neville is a stranger.' says Jasper. Drood knew all that lies behind me. you would be called to account for it?' `By whom. If you will set me that example.' `Perhaps. but I appeal to you to govern your temper too. coming to a halt. I have overheard high words between you two. hand to shoulder on either side: `you will pardon me. or perhaps so carelessly.`I don't know. to the place. `we had better not qualify our good understanding. here a startling right hand is laid on Edwin's shoulder.' By this time they had both become savage. `to reflect upon a stranger who comes here.
Jack. Mr. not quite so frankly or so freely. Neville in with us. feels that Edwin Drood's coolness. I suppose you would make her (no matter what she was in . makes him red-hot. Jasper. the first object visible. `if I had known I was in the artist's presenceÐ' `O. Ned. so far from being infectious. a joke. Drood. Neville. who made me a present of it. is very exasperating to the excitable and excited Neville. still walking in the centre. but it is far from flattering the original. but would rather not go. Mr. `You recognise that picture. my bachelor gatehouse is a few yards from here. or the fire. `I suppose. as the speaker throws himself back in a chair and clasps his hands at the back of his head. be it said once again. It seems to require much mixing and compounding. quick to resent the indignant protest against himself in the face of young Landless. you are up and away to-morrow. directly calls attention to it. Neville?' shading the lamp to throw the light upon it. Mr. `I recognise it. sir.' The air of leisurely patronage and indifference with which this is said. Jasper.' Neville feels it impossible to say less. Jasper. and the heater is on the fire. Mr. and it is not a stone's throw from Minor Canon Corner. hand to shoulder on either side. not quite so carelessly perhaps.' `I am sorry for that. one of these days. to take a stirrup-cup. but say nothing. is the portrait over the chimneypicce. you are hard upon it! It was done by Ned. a mere joke. and turns his back to mix a jug of mulled wine at the fire. He has an impression upon him that he has lost hold of his temper. or. Mr. when he adds the light of a lamp to that of the fire.' `O. and they all go up to his rooms. slightly smiles. which is fully as visible as the portrait. and the wine and glasses are on the table.' `And with all mine.' `With all my heart. beautifully turns the Refrain of a drinking song.' is the hasty interruption. Mr. with a real intention to apologise. We will carry Mr. and not your fault. But if you could. with a provoking yawn. `A little humouring of Pussy's points! I'm going to paint her gravely. `All over then! Now.' says Edwin. as rather awkwardly reviving the subject of their difference. they both glance at it consciously. You would if you could.' Still. Mr.' Neville apologises. there is no anger in you. or the lamp: `I suppose that if you painted the picture of your lady loveÐ' `I can't paint. It is not an object calculated to improve the understanding between the two young men. as a rest for it.freely.' Edwin cuts in. Jasper. `That's your misfortune. Accordingly. however (who would appear from his conduct to have gained but an imperfect clue to the cause of their late high words). if she's good. Neville?' `None at all. Jasper looks observantly from the one to the other. There.
we are to drink to my nephew. saying: `Come. `Pray. Eh?' `I have no lady love. or of change and excitement. and it may not be so very easy as it seems. haven't we. _his_ speech is also thick and indistinct. A life of stirring work and interest. You and I have no prospect (unless you are more fortunate than I am. a life of domestic ease and love! Look at him!' Edwin Drood's face has become quickly and remarkably flushed with the wine. `See where he lounges so easily. with a snap of his thumb and finger. after all. I suppose? As it never will be got. which may easily be). turning merely his eyes in that direction. `It might have been better for Mr. so has the face of Neville Landless. or of domestic ease and love. Edwin Drood says. with a boyish boastfulness getting up in him. Neville.' retorts Edwin.' says Edwin. But you know what I know. Pussy? You know what I mean. I am afraid I shall never see what you can do. May it. Mr. my love!' Jasper sets the example of nearly emptying his glass.' [Picture: On dangerous ground] His speech has become thick and indistinct. `Look at him. `I feel quite apologetic for having my way smoothed as you describe. Pussy?' To the portrait.' Jasper turns round from the fire. Diana. Neville. and Venus. `pray why might it have been better for Mr. though rallyingly too.' says Edwin.' and follows the double example. fills a large goblet glass for Neville. my dearest fellow. And yet consider the contrast. `on a portrait of Miss LandlessÐin earnest. in earnestÐyou should see what I could do!' `My sister's consent to sit for it being first got. but the tedious unchanging round of this dull place. Juno. Jack. mind you. Jasper. all in one. and hands each his own. As it is his foot that is in the stirrupÐmetaphoricallyÐour stirrup-cup is to be devoted to him. You and I have no prospect of stirring work and interest. a life of change and excitement. I must bear the loss. defiantly. and I can't say. `It is hardly worth his while to pluck the golden fruit that hangs ripe on the tree for him. `Thank you both very much. then fills for himself. Minerva. Neville! The world is all before him where to choose. fills a large goblet glass for Edwin. and Neville follows it. quiet and self-possessed.' `Upon my soul. Jack. making that rest of clasped hands for his head. Ned. looks to Neville. Jack. Drood to have known some hardships. Mr.reality).' cries Jasper. as expecting his answer or comment. Mr. stretching out his hand admiringly and tenderly.' he says. complacently. Ned. Drood to have known some hardships?' . `We have got to hit it off yet. `See how little he heeds it all!' Jasper proceeds in a bantering vein. Edwin still sits thrown back in his chair. When Neville speaks.' `If I were to try my hand.
`I have. that he flings the dregs of his wine at Edwin Drood. and a common boaster. Open your hand. and a clattering of glasses and overturning of chairs. That you take a great deal too much upon yourself.' `Pooh. or a black common boaster. sir. `let us know why?' `Because they might have made him more sensible. Jasper quickly looks to the other for his retort. to the end. if I remember?' `Yes.' `You added something else to that.' `I tell you I have.' `Say it again. `I entreat you. my dear fellow!' he cries in a loud voice. I see! That part of the world is at a safe distance. with a contemptuous laugh.' `I said that in the part of the world I come from. you talk as if you were some rare and precious prize.' rejoins the other. pooh. sitting upright.' Mr. `Say anywhere! Your vanity is intolerable. `of good fortune that is not by any means necessarily the result of his own merits. rising in a fury. when you see him (and no doubt you have a large acquaintance that way). I believe? Yes.' says Neville. `Mr.`Ay. `Ned. `Have _you_ known hardships. Jasper quickly looks to his nephew for his rejoinder.' `And what have they made you sensible of?' Mr. Jasper's play of eyes between the two holds good throughout the dialogue. you would be called to account for it.' `Say here.' `Only there?' cries Edwin Drood. Mr.' This insulting allusion to his dark skin infuriates Neville to that violent degree.' `You have done nothing of the sort. but more collected. You are a common fellow. and is in the act of flinging the goblet after it. instead of a common boaster. `A long way off. to be still!' There has been a rush of all the three.' Jasper assents. may I ask?' says Edwin Drood. I WILL have it!' . when his arm is caught in the nick of time by Jasper. for shame! Give this glass to me. equally furious. with an air of interest. Neville. `how should you know? You may know a black common fellow. `I have told you once before to-night. your conceit is beyond endurance. then.' says Edwin Drood. but you are no judge of white men. I command you. I did say something else.
like a dangerous animal. You are not sober. The south wind that goes where it lists. He repairs to Minor Canon Corner. and thinks what shall he do? Some wildly passionate ideas of the river dissolve under the spell of the moonlight on the Cathedral and the graves. though I can satisfy you at another time that I have had a very little indeed to drink. and he leaves the house. but I thinkÐit is equally true of Mr. I have begun dreadfully ill.' The Minor Canon props him by the elbow with a strong hand (in a strictly scientific manner. Mr.' `Come in. in a raging passion. regardful of the slumbers of the china shepherdess. Neville. sir. he only knows that he stands with a bare head in the midst of a blood-red whirl.' `Mr. his cheerful face falls. Crisparkle himself. and that it overcame me in the strangest and most sudden manner. Neville. and to struggle to the death. When he opens the door. Neville. and the remembrance of his sister. Then. sir. But. `I have heard that said before. sir. waiting to be struggled with. Then. Jasper's.' is the dry rejoinder. with such force that the broken splinters fly out again in a shower. Neville! In this disorder! Where have you been?' `I have been to Mr.' says the Minor Canon. Jasper's nephew. with the goblet yet in his uplifted hand.' `Very likely. he becomes half-conscious of having heard himself bolted and barred out. and turns him into his own little book-room.' `I thinkÐmy mind is much confused. by way of Minor Canon Corner on a still night. he holds his steam-hammer beating head and heart. and pauses for an instant. very softly touching his piano and practising his favourite parts in concerted vocal music. He had heated that tigerish blood I told you of to-day. shaking his head with a sorrowful smile. `We quarrelled. and shuts the door. candle in hand. Mr. and disappointed amazement is in it.' . Crisparkle's custom to sit up last of the early household. and knocks softly at the door. It is Mr. is not more subdued than Mr. nothing around him is still or steady. and the thought of what he owes to the good man who has but that very day won his confidence and given him his pledge. With his nephew.' `I have begun ill. He insulted me most grossly. When he first emerges into the night air. and staggers away. nothing happening.' `I am afraid I am not. sir.' `Too true. Crisparkle at such times. and the moon looking down upon him as if he were dead after a fit of wrath. before then. he dashes it down under the grate. His knock is immediately answered by Mr.But Neville throws him off. sir. worthy of his morning trainings). nothing around him shows like what it is. `Mr.
`I beg your pardon. with no one else to interfere. but firmly: `I request you not to speak to me with that clenched right hand. without a word. sir. Do not use such strong words. But looking round at the door. Neville.' `He might have laid my dear boy dead at my feet. as skilfully as a Police Expert. In short. `I shall never know peace of mind when there is danger of those two coming together. Crisparkle conducts his pupil to the pleasant and orderly old room prepared for him.' is Mr. Mr. says `Good night!' A sob is his only acknowledgment. `We have had an awful scene with him. and. `so he said!' . Unclench it.' `You know your room. The gentle Minor Canon has had it in his thoughts to leave the room. He might have had many a worse. in a low voice. I would have cut him down if I could. `his own words!' `Seeing what I have seen to-night. he turns back to it. mildly.' pursues the young man. Crisparkle's quiet commentary. if you please. swift and strong with him. `Ah!' thinks Mr. with great earnestness.' Scooping his hand into the same scientific elbow-rest as before.' rejoins the Minor Canon. Another soft knock at the outer door attracts his attention as he goes down-stairs. holding in his hand the pupil's hat. but he did it.' The phrase smites home. I cannot say whether or no he meant it at first. `Has it been so bad as that?' `Murderous!' Mr. Your arm. sir. sir.`Mr. `in the passion into which he lashed me. It is no fault of his.' says Jasper. touches it with a mild hand. and backing it up with the inert strength of his arm.' adds Jasper. and hearing what I have heard. He opens it to Mr.' `He goaded me. Arrived there. and with an apparent repose quite unattainable by novices. that he did not. Softly. no. Crisparkle.' `You have clenched that hand again. but I will accompany you to it once more. through the mercy of God. the young man throws himself into a chair.' with an irrepressible outburst. It was horrible. for the house is all a-bed. could have had few better. But that I was. flinging his arms upon his reading-table. He certainly meant it at last. for I showed it you before dinner. no. `beyond my power of endurance. he would have cut him down on my hearth.' `Ah!' thinks Mr. and seeing this dejected figure. rests his head upon them with an air of wretched self-reproach. There is something of the tiger in his dark blood. Crisparkle. Jasper. if you please. perhaps. Crisparkle remonstrates: `No. and I tried to do it. instantly obeying.
with an emphasis on the last pronoun. Jasper. giddy. happier.' `You need have no fear for me. Who should be her favourite. having no relation that she knew of in the world. and no mother but Miss Twinkleton. Drood: who likewise had been left a widower in his youth. and thus the young couple had come to be as they were.' pursues Jasper. and even the long wet hair. and whom she would most rejoice to see again when they were reunited. were fixed indelibly in Rosa's recollection. my dear sir. have accepted a dangerous charge. drowned. and my dear boy has been. with a quiet smile. The atmosphere of pity surrounding the little orphan girl when she first came to Cloisterham. wilful. hangs it up.' returns Mr.' `I have none for myself. Possessing an exhaustless well of affection in her nature. went the silent road into which all earthly pilgrimages merge. now roseate. spoilt. who should take her home for the holidays. Her remembrance of her own mother was of a pretty little creature like herself (not much older than herself it seemed to her). some sooner. winning little creature.' returns Jasper.`You. Good night!' Mr. but it had always adorned her with some soft light of its own. nor am I in the way of being. prettier. but not in the sense of repaying it with indifference. the object of his hostility. even these gentle rivalries were not without their slight dashes of bitterness in the Nuns' House. now it had been golden. and some later. who had been brought home in her father's arms. had caused her to be treated in the beginning as a child much younger than her years. as the dead young figure. `even you. had. acquired the right to be hung up in his hall. and goes thoughtfully to bed. with the hat that has so easily. sad beauty lay upon the bed. Crisparkle. or do her this or that small service. It had taken brighter hues as she grew older. `because I am not. `I have none for myself. and yet its depths . if they hid no harder strife under their veils and rosaries! Thus Rosa had grown to be an amiable. who died broken-hearted on the first anniversary of that hard day. The betrothal of Rosa grew out of the soothing of his year of mental distress by his fast friend and old college companion. The general desire to console and caress her. known no home but the Nuns' House. But you may be. CHAPTER IXÐBIRDS IN THE BUSH Rosa. So were the wild despair and the subsequent bowed-down grief of her poor young father. and now azure. its sparkling waters had freshened and brightened the Nuns' House for years. taking his hand. But he. in its sad. in the sense of counting upon kindness from all around her. with scattered petals of ruined flowers still clinging to it. Well for the poor Nuns in their day. had never cleared away. who should anticipate this or that small present. who should write to her the oftenest when they were separated. the same desire had caused her to be still petted when she was a child no longer. so almost imperceptibly. from the seventh year of her age. too. Crisparkle goes in. The fatal accident had happened at a party of pleasure. Every fold and colour in the pretty summer dress.
or (as she might have expressed the phrase to a parent or guardian of a mythological turn) of sacrificing to the Graces. Edwin Drood. Poor little Rosa put a forefinger into each of her ears when these rumours began to circulate. Miss Landless's brother had thrown a bottle at Mr. Edwin Drood. dwelling with a flushed cheek on the provocation her brother had received. struck out the more definite course of going to Mr. then. and light heart. alleged to have picked the peck of pickled pepper. and thrown them all at Mr. she imparted to Rosa only. fork. and decanter (the decanter now coolly flying at everybody's head. . or fork-or bottle. and Miss Landless's brother had thrown a fork at Mr. knife. out of consideration for her new friend. what developing changes might fall upon the heedless head. knife. A knife became suggestive of a fork. _and_ forkÐfor the cook had been given to understand it was all threeÐat Mr. passing lightly over the fact that the other words had originated in her lover's taking things in general so very easily. having delivered it with sisterly earnestness. begging permission of Miss Twinkleton to go and speak with her brother. certain it is that the news permeated every gable of the old building before Miss Twinkleton was down. or the housemaids. and retired into a corner. Edwin Drood had said to Miss Landless's brother that he had no business to admire Miss Bud. but almost limiting it to that last gross affront as crowning `some other words between them. or the milkman delivered it as part of the adulteration of his milk. Edwin Drood. without the least introduction). Mr. and that Miss Twinkleton herself received it through Mrs. she brought a petition from her brother that she would forgive him. received it in exchange deposited on the mats by the town atmosphere. when the casement windows were set open. Miss Landless's brother had thrown a knife at Mr. beseeching not to be told any more. Tisher. so. or came blowing in with the very air itself. As in the governing precedence of Peter Piper.had never yet been moved: what might betide when that came to pass. got into Miss Twinkleton's establishment before breakfast. beating the dust out of their mats against the gateposts. To Rosa direct. Crisparkle's for accurate intelligence. Miss Landless's brother had said he admired Miss Bud.' and. whether the baker brought it kneaded into the bread. and pretty plainly showing that she would take it if it were not given. while yet in the act of dressing. By what means the news that there had been a quarrel between the two young men overnight. but Miss Landless. Whether it was brought in by the birds of the air. When she came back (being first closeted with Miss Twinkleton. it was held physically desirable to have evidence of the existence of the peck of pickled pepper which Peter Piper was alleged to have picked. Neville upon Edwin Drood. Miss Landless's brother had then `up'd' (this was the cook's exact information) with the bottle. and. it was held psychologically important to know why Miss Landless's brother threw a bottle. Edwin Drood? Well. involving even some kind of onslaught by Mr. it is impossible to say. in this case. what had taken place. then. in order that anything objectionable in her tidings might be retained by that discreet filter). knife. remained to be seen. made an end of the subject. Edwin Drood.
At this critical time.It was reserved for Miss Twinkleton to tone down the public mind of the Nuns' House. in the original language. sandy man. who drew a table-spoon in defence. had been represented by the bard of AvonÐneedless were it to mention the immortal SHAKESPEARE. for which we have no ornithological authority. she was cast in upon herself. or consequence.ÐRumour. A slight _fracas_ between two young gentlemen occurring last night within a hundred miles of these peaceful walls (Miss Ferdinand. who. the first four fables of our vivacious neighbour. entering in a stately manner what plebeians might have called the school-room. in . Monsieur La Fontaine) had been very grossly exaggerated by Rumour's voice. and Helena undisguisedly avoided the subject as a delicate and difficult one to herself. Mr. had been represented by that bardÐhem!Ð `who drew The celebrated Jew. not improbably with some reference to the ancient superstition that that bird of graceful plumage (Miss Jennings will please stand upright) sang sweetly on the approach of death. will have the kindness to write out this evening. was euphuistically. Ladies. Now. Grewgious had been well selected for his trust. and going through the motions of aiming a water-bottle at Miss Giggles. In the first alarm and anxiety arising from our sympathy with a sweet young friend. we would now discard the subject. looked as if he would have ground immediately into high-dried snuff. we descended from our maiden elevation to discuss this uncongenial and this unfit theme. To-day. because the quarrel had been with Helena's brother. not to say round-aboutedly. and too glaringly unladylike. also called the Swan of his native river. in the patrician language of the head of the Nuns' House. if he had been put into a grinding-mill. nevertheless. He was an arid. Rosa's guardian was announced as having come to see her. but certainly for no other appropriate quality discernible on the surface. and deprived of the relief of talking freely with her new friend. as cause. Ladies. is far too obvious. He had a scanty flat crop of hair. therefore. of all times. or what not. it was not likely that she would be free from it when they were apart. Responsible inquiries having assured us that it was but one of those `airy nothings' pointed at by the Poet (whose name and date of birth Miss Giggles will supply within half an hour). too. but what. that Miss Ferdinand got into new trouble by surreptitiously clapping on a paper moustache at dinner-time. But the subject so survived all day. and thought of it with an uncomfortable feeling that she was involved in it. and concentrate our minds upon the grateful labours of the day. Never free from such uneasiness when she was with her affianced husband. Rosa thought of this unlucky quarrel a great deal. `Ladies!' all rose. as a man of incorruptible integrity. being apparently incorrigible. not wholly to be dissociated from one of the gladiators in the bloodless arena in question (the impropriety of Miss Reynolds's appearing to stab herself in the hand with a pin. through being in a false position altogether as to her marriage engagement. Mrs.' as painted full of tongues. Miss Twinkleton then proceeded to remark that Rumour. to be pointed out). Rumour in Cloisterham (Miss Ferdinand will honour me with her attention) was no exception to the great limner's portrait of Rumour elsewhere. denominated `the apartment allotted to study. That lady. Tisher at the same time grouped herself behind her chief. as representing Queen Elizabeth's first historical female friend at Tilbury fort.' and saying with a forensic air.
' `I must entreat permission to _move_. in a few hard curves that made it more like work. Grewgious. how do you do? I am glad to see you. and too much ankle-bone and heel at his lower. as the possibility thrilled through his frame of his otherwise seeming to take the awful liberty of calling Miss Twinkleton my dear.ÐRosa. sat down himself. sir. repeating the word with a charming grace. said again: `My dear. laying his hand on Rosa's. and said: `I really cannot be worried to finish off this man. I beg that you will not move. `My dear. my dear.' Miss Twinkleton looked round with a kind of stiff stare.' Here Mr.' said Mr. my dear. let him go as he is. `I refer to the . `but I will not withdraw. up-stairs. left by the fire with Rosa. but for the stupendous improbability of anybody's voluntarily sporting such a head.' Miss Twinkleton rose at her little writing-table. how do you do? I am glad to see you. like those of the angelsÐnot that I compare myself to an angel. much discomfited by being in Miss Twinkleton's company in Miss Twinkleton's own sacred room.' `No. shall I be in the way?' `Madam! In the way!' `You are very kind. as to the polite Universe: `Will you permit me to retire?' `By no means. Mr.colour and consistency like some very mangy yellow fur tippet. Grewgious. when she had impatiently thrown away the chisel.' returned Miss Twinkleton. Grewgious. My dear. Permit me to hand you a chair. seemed to oppress the poor gentleman when found in these circumstances. `are. The little play of feature that his face presented. my dear. Dim forebodings of being examined in something. in contrast with his black suitÐMr. how much improved you are. and not coming well out of it. since you are so obliging. was cut deep into it. Grewgious. on my account. `Not by any means.' And having waited for her to sit down. with an awkward and hesitating manner. we know very well. madam. you will be under no restraint. and he had certain notches in his forehead.' said Rosa.' said Mr. that it must have been a wig. If I wheel my desk to this corner window.' assented Mr. Grewgious still had some strange capacity in him of making on the whole an agreeable impression. `My visits. The angels are. which are few and far between. with general sweetness. and with what is called a near sightÐwhich perhaps prevented his observing how much white cotton stocking he displayed to the public eye.' With too great length of throat at his upper end. `I merely refer to my visits. which looked as though Nature had been about to touch them into sensibility or refinement. my dear. with a shambling walk. saying. I am sure. Grewgious was discovered by his ward. it was so unlike hair. `I refer.
' This point. Grewgious stretched his near sight to be sure that this was her view of the case. and Fancy might have ground it straight.' answered Rosa. `And you are not in debt?' Rosa laughed at the idea of being in debt. a comical vagary of the imagination. Mr. what could he do. indeed. `ªPounds. It seemed. and pence. with a furtive glance towards Miss Twinkleton. A dry subject for a young lady. my dear?' Rosa wanted for nothing. and pence. sir. Grewgious. . like himself. with your permission. But if the notches in his forehead wouldn't fuse together. and evidently inserting the negative as an after-thought: `Death is _not_ pounds. and therefore it was ample. as comment.' he said. but an important subject too.' His voice was as hard and dry as himself. my dear. If Nature had but finished him off. and were pressing the water outÐthis smoothing action. refer. and never got to its destination. with a sense of not having managed his opening point quite as neatly as he might have desired. as waiting for the descent of an idea from any member of the Celestial Nine who might have one to spare. and pence. shillings. and then made another reference to his pocket-book. with a bend of his head towards the corner window. Mr. again. lining out `well and happy. and looking upward. my dear? You look so. he seemed to express kindness.' Miss Twinkleton resumed her writing. `I made. kindness might have been recognisable in his face at this moment. was biting the end of her pen. `Ah!' he said. for I have no conversational powers whateverÐto which I will. and a stump of black-lead pencil from his waistcoat-pocket. shillings. And yet. Life is pounds. Death isÐ' A sudden recollection of the death of her two parents seemed to stop him. and if his face would work and couldn't play.' said Mr. feeling that the courtesies required her to be by this time quite outside the conversation. and I am sure are rendered.other young ladies. however superfluous. Grewgious smoothed his smooth head again. poor man! `ªPounds.' `Yes. Grewgious. and pence. shillings.º is my next note.' as disposed of. `For which. to the maternal kindness and the constant care and consideration of the lady whom I have now the honour to see before me. smoothed his head from back to front as if he had just dived. shillings. made but a lame departure from Mr. turning the leaves: `I made a guiding memorandum or soÐas I usually do. `our warmest acknowledgments are due. You are well and happy. into high-dried snuff. Miss Twinkleton. for. Grewgious. ªWell and happy.º You find your allowance always sufficient for your wants.º Truly. and he said in a softer tone. Mr. to her inexperience. through the very limited means of expression that he possessed. was habitual with himÐand took a pocket-book from his coat-pocket.
All goes well. on these premises. for these two reasons. being a particularly Angular man. long before he found it. but a residue of business remains in them. `So I said. `Surely. `For instance. as a matter of form. And you like him. to give the exemplary lady in the corner window.' Rosa sat still and silent. Othenwise. surely. disposing of `Marriage' with his pencil. Perhaps her mind had not got quite so far as the ceremony yet. Grewgious. `Memorandum. before drawing his chair a little nearer.' said Mr. and all parties concerned. business notice of your departure in the ensuing half-year. Grewgious.and lining out pounds. that she thought a substitute might be found. my dear. I should take it very kindly. with perfect calmness.' said Mr. `Good.' rejoined Rosa.' `We write to one another. Grewgious. for whose ear the timid emphasis was much too fine. but was lagging on the way there. To return to my memorandum. I am the last man to intrude into a sphere for which I am so entirely unfitted. as she recalled their epistolary differences. `Good.' said Mr.' `I _like_ him very much. sir. no doubt.º Now. and he likes you. my dear. as if it suddenly occurred to him to mention it. time works on. and pence: `I spoke of having got among the angels! So I did!' Rosa felt what his next memorandum would prove to be. Edwin has been to and fro here. `It strikes you in the same light. as if he had made up his mind to screw it out at last: `and should only blunder.' Rosa intimated. He would advance and retire in a manner satisfactory to the feelings of the officiating clergyman. And you correspond. Grewgious. Mr. Grewgious carried his smoothing hand down over his eyes and nose.' His ungainliness gave him enough of the air of his simile to set Rosa off laughing heartily. and even chin. to whom we are so much indebted. referring to his notes. ªWill. pouting. if required. shillings.' proceeded Mr. and the bridegroom. and taking a paper from .' returned her guardian. I am a particularly Angular man. and of yourself. You have mentioned that.º Hem!' Mr.' said Mr. `ªMarriage. my dear.' said Rosa. with her eyes on the ground. Your relations with her are far more than business relations. `Such is the meaning that I attach to the word ªcorrespondº in this application. I should not have intruded here. in your quarterly letters to me. I amÐI am a particularly Angular man. Grewgious. and at this next Christmas-time it will become necessary. as was arranged. and speaking a little more confidentially: `I now touch. as if I was a bearÐwith the crampÐin a youthful Cotillon.' said Mr. upon the point that is the direct cause of my troubling you with the present visit. Grewgious. I feel. and business is business ever. `Just so. some competent Proxy would give _you_ away. the gentleman who teaches Dancing hereÐhe would know how to do it with graceful propriety. `and I am not used to give anything away. and was blushing and folding a crease in her dress with one embarrassed hand. my dear. If.
buds.' `For the lasting good of both of us.his pocket. Edwin is also aware of its contents. if you please. and the lasting happiness of both of us?' `Just so. No personality is intended towards the name you will so soon change. `that your young husband should be all in all. Yes. All is told. I am empowered to advance the cost of your preparations for your marriage out of that fund. You observe that I say. looking up quickly. yes. by any forfeit. It is an annuity of two hundred and fifty pounds. I was the only offspring of parents far advanced in life. Grewgious. Jasper as being his trustee.' `I do particularly wish it. I think you know all.' Rosa looked at him with some wonder. but not opening it: `whether I am right in what I am going to say? I can understand what you tell me. hurriedly and earnestly. I suppose. I think it right at this time to leave a certified copy of it in your hands.' `That we might be to one another even much more than they had been to one another?' `Just so. The savings upon that annuity. with vouchers. in caseÐ' `Don't be agitated. in order that we. all duly carried to account. and I don't know from my own knowledge. `that young ways were never my ways. in any way. `I don't like Mr. will place you in possession of a lump-sum of money.' `It was not bound upon Eddy. The fact is.' he explained. `Cannot the copy go to Eddy himself?' `Why. I am a particularly Unnatural man. My poor papa and Eddy's father made their agreement together.' `Will you please tell me.' said Mr. I have before possessed you with the contents of your father's will. Respecting your inheritance. Jasper to come between us. `although.' said Rosa. too. I seem to have come into existence a chip. Jasper's handÐ' `Not in his own!' asked Rosa. but I spoke of Mr. And although Mr. and I half believe I was born advanced in life myself.' `It is natural. my dear. rather exceeding Seventeen Hundred Pounds. and it was not bound upon me. might be very dear and firm and fast friends after them?' `Just so. `I mean. I think it right at this time likewise to place a certified copy of it in Mr. when I remark that while the general growth of people seem to have come into existence. as very dear and firm and fast friends. your wish shall be complied with. I was a chipÐand a very dry oneÐwhen I first became aware of myself. if you particularly wish it. Respecting the other certified copy.' said Rosa. taking the paper with a prettily knitted brow. so very much better than what I read in law-writings. I suppose. In the case that it brings tears into your . my dear. and some other items to your credit.
ªWishes. Grewgious. a friendly project. inconclusive. no forfeiture on either side.' he added. He will be back at Christmas. but still a duty in such a case. that two young people can only be betrothed in marriage (except as a matter of convenience. you will then communicate with me.' said Mr. a sentiment. that if either of your fathers were living now. Bad enough perhaps!' `And Eddy?' `He would have come into his partnership derived from his father. just as now.' said Rosa.affectionate eyes even to picture to yourselfÐin the case of your not marrying one anotherÐno. `Is there any instruction that I can take from you with reference to your affairs?' `IÐI should like to settle them with Eddy first. `You two should be of one mind in all things. as if he were reading it aloud.' Blurring pencil once again. blurring out `Will' with his pencil. Grewgious said all this. with her perplexed face and knitted brow. but we must take our chance of that). their own attachment. Is it to be supposed. `discharged myself of what is doubtless a formal duty in this case. and smoothing it with her foot. Grewgious. and that there was a lively hope that it would prosper. on his return at Christmas. my dear. and will make each other happy. tenderly expressed on both sides.' returned Mr. with an almost plaintive air of hesitation in want of help. to discharge myself of the duty of telling you. That it was strongly felt. . But circumstances alter cases.' Rosa. arrange all matters of detail with him. `I have now. there can be no doubt. looking abstractedly on the floor. bit the corner of her attested copy. as if he were repeating a lesson. and I made this visit to-day. Memorandum. indeed principally.' `Nothing could happen better. is there any wish of yours that I can further?' Rosa shook her head. and their own assurance (it may or it may not prove a mistaken one. `In short. my dear. and into its arrears to his credit (if any). surely. Is the young gentleman expected shortly?' `He has gone away only this morning. `Surely. No worse would have befallen you. and preposterous!' Mr. They will accrue at that season. and had any mistrust on that subject. for example. and I will discharge myself (as a mere business acquaintance) of my business responsibilities towards the accomplished lady in the corner window. and therefore mockery and misery) of their own free will. on attaining his majority. you began to be accustomed to it.º My dear. When you were both children. still more. if you please. and it _has_ prospered. You would then have been my ward until you were of age. `this betrothal is a wish. or. his mind would not be changed by the change of circumstances involved in the change of your years? Untenable. partly. plaiting the crease in her dress. So expressionless of any approach to spontaneity were his face and manner. unreasonable. You will. that they are suited to each other. as she sat with her head on one side.
' he rejoined. I do not fit smoothly into the social circle. apparentlyÐif such a word can be used of one who had no apparent lights or shadows about himÐcomplimented by the question. I should be quite proud of your wishing to see me. so very few people _do_ wish to see me. rising. Rosa my dear. certainly. of a boiled turkey and celery sauce with aÐwith a particularly Angular clerk I have the good fortune to possess. As a professional Receiver of rents. might I solicitÐ' `Ah. rising with a gracious condescension: `say not incumbrance. Miss Twinkleton. and tell her the penalty is remitted. you gentlemen! Fie for shame.º Yes. my dear. from the neighbourhood of Norwich. sends him up (the turkey up). the young ladies might gain nothing.' rejoined Miss Twinkleton. if I had anything particular to say to you?' `Why. Grewgious went to the gatehouse. and consequently I have no other engagement at Christmas-time than to partake. Mr. ªLeave.' `Nay. Grewgious. by having the rest of the day allowed them. and which she came out of nobly. and I will now release you from the incumbrance of my presence. I have read in the newspapers. So he descended the stair again. whose father. sir. . suggestive of marvels happening to her respected legs. Mr. my dear. three yards behind her starting-point.' said Rosa.' said Mr. I have had a most satisfactory conversation with my ward. Mr. and presenting on a slip of paper the word `Cathedral. I will now. he asks for a holiday. Jasper's door being closed. my dear! The honour is almost equal to the pleasure. the grateful Rosa put her hands upon his shoulders. madam. except in name. `O you gentlemen.' For his ready acquiescence. and climbed its postern stair. It being now the afternoon in theÐCollegeÐof which you are the eminent head. with a chastely-rallying forefinger. by any means. Mr. But if there is any young lady at all under a cloud. that you are so hard upon us poor maligned disciplinarians of our sex. `As a particularly Angular man. Not so. `that when a distinguished visitor (not that I am one: far from it) goes to a school (not that this is one: far from it). I cannot permit you to say so.' `Thank you. take my leave. for the airing of the place. and instantly kissed him. Jasper before leaving Cloisterham.' the fact of its being service-time was borne into the mind of Mr. though short-lived. Grewgious. for your sakes! But as Miss Ferdinand is at present weighed down by an incubus'ÐMiss Twinkleton might have said a pen-and-ink-ubus of writing out Monsieur La FontaineÐ`go to her.' Miss Twinkleton here achieved a curtsey. `Thank you. crossing the Close. being a Norfolk farmer. stood on tiptoe. or some sort of grace. Grewgious. in deference to the intercession of your guardian. madam. as a present to me. As he held it incumbent upon him to call on Mr. and. on the twenty-fifth. that the novelty would be bracing. stammering a little. certainly. Grewgious. Grewgious. as he jerked out of his chair in his ungainly way: `could I ask you. Grewgious!' cried Miss Twinkleton. which stood open on the fine and bright. most kindly to come to me at Christmas.' `Could I.`Memorandum. But Mr. `Lord bless me!' cried Mr. afternoon. paused at the great western folding-door of the Cathedral.
Grewgious answered somewhat sharply: `The especial reason of doing my duty. I have been to my pretty ward's. your nephew. and the brown arable lands.' `May I ask. and the dying voice made another feeble effort. the river. and put it down to the chilling account of the Cathedral. until the organ and the choir burst forth.' said Mr. Mr. `I merely came to tell her that it could not be considered binding. and drowned it in a sea of music. up the steps surmounted loomingly by the fast-darkening organ. Simply that. I assure you that this implies not the least doubt of. and all was still. where he met the living waters coming out. cast upon the pavement of the nave from stained glass by the declining sun. peeping in. patches of bright beaten gold. I came down of my own accord. Within the grill-gate of the chancel. shone.' `You found her thriving?' `Blooming indeed. sir.' `And what is itÐaccording to your judgment?' Mr. the teeming hills and dales. or want of disposition to carry it into effect. Grewgious noticed the whiteness of the lips that asked the question. and beat its life out.' Then he added: `Come. In the Cathedral.' `You could not. Grewgious. murky. what a betrothal by deceased parents is. and the cracked monotonous mutter went on like a dying voice. Jasper. having smoothed it. Grewgious had by that time walked to the chancel-steps. `speak more handsomely.' Old Time heaved a mouldy sigh from tomb and arch and vault. I merely came to tell her. and pierced the heights of the great tower. and. `Nothing is the matter?' Thus Jasper accosted him. as they walked on side by side. `You have not been sent for?' `Not at all. not at all. on the side of either party. I know your affection for your nephew. the green pastures. and surged among the arches. and gloomy shadows began to deepen in corners. or disrespect to. and then the sea rose high. . white robes could be dimly seen. and damps began to rise from green patches of stone. In the free outer air. and that you are quick to feel on his behalf. Mr.' Mr. and then the sea was dry. with a friendly pressure of his arm. were reddened by the sunset: while the distant little windows in windmills and farm homesteads. Most blooming. could at intervals be faintly heard. and lashed the roof. and jewels. against any such reason for its dissolution as a want of affection. and one feeble voice. and am now homeward bound again. the sea fell. had you any especial reason for telling her that?' Mr. `it's like looking down the throat of Old Time. rather quickly. Then. Grewgious pulled off his hat to smooth his head. and sepulchral. rising and falling in a cracked. began to perish. all became gray.' returned Jasper. seriously.`Dear me. monotonous mutter. nodded it contentedly. and put his hat on again.
smilingÐhis lips were still so white that he was conscious of it. don't you see? She don't want us. Grewgious. fortunate. who had all this time very knowingly felt his way round to action on his remembrance of what she had said of Jasper himself: `because she seems to have some little delicate instinct that all preliminary arrangements had best be made between Mr. happy.' `So. Because.' returned the latter.' said Jasper. and then you and I will step in. Grewgious. as they shook hands to part.' assented Mr. under such circumstances. `We should allow some margin for little maidenly delicacies in a young motherless creature. seeing that it is arrived at through no patient process of reasoning. But it is only right that the young lady should be considered. let them have their little discussions and councils together. as you have pointed out.' retorted Mr. on Edwin's birthday. `I said. and bit and moistened them while speaking: `I will wager that she hinted no wish to be released from Ned. save them. there is such an exceptional attachment between my nephew and me. Grewgious touched himself on the breast. it is not in my line. when Mr. you settled with her that you would come back at Christmas?' observed Jasper.' Mr. happy fellow than for myself. and put the final touches to the business. bless them.' remarked the former. `I said. But it has not . somewhat indistinctly: `You mean me. and that their marriage will be put in final train by themselves.' proceeded Mr. I accept it. `God bless them both!' `God save them both!' cried Jasper. I understand that at Christmas they will complete their preparations for May. Edwin Drood and herself. which would seem to be innate and instinctive. and said: `I mean us. and that it pronounces in the most confident manner even against accumulated observation on the part of the other sex. that I am more sensitive for the dear. don't you know?' Jasper touched himself on the breast. Edwin Drood comes back here at Christmas. that it can give no satisfactory or sufficient account of itself. as you quite fairly said just now. Therefore. and that I should accept my cue from you.' `That is my understanding. I suppose.' `I am glad you say so. `I see! Mr.`I will wager.' `And you will win your wager. what do you think?' `There can be no doubt of it. if you do. and have everything ready for our formal release from our trusts. Grewgious. and said. looking back over his shoulder. Grewgious. and that nothing will remain for us but to put ourselves in train also. `Is there any difference?' CHAPTER XÐSMOOTHING THE WAY It has been often enough remarked that women have a curious power of divining the characters of men.
Ma. and that when it has delivered an adverse opinion which by all human lights is subsequently proved to have failed. `he came home intoxicated.' said Mrs. `Now. communicates to this feminine judgment from the first. like every other human attribute) is for the most part absolutely incapable of self-revision.' There was a vibration in the old lady's cap. it is undistinguishable from prejudice. very sorry for it.' `Blame Mr. retiring on first principles.' added the old lady. I do _not_. on that unfortunate occasion. Ma dear.' returned the old lady. `Why not. evidently shut to it. commits himself under provocation.' said the old lady. my dear. Neville. `I must admit the wine. `that you are rather hard on Mr.' `That is not to be denied. Neville?' `No. `Well! Mr. I cannot see how we are to discuss. `There is nothing like being open to discussion. and showed great disrespect to this family. Sept.' `I have no objection to discuss it.' said the old lady. in nine cases out of ten.' `But.been quite so often remarked that this power (fallible. Sept. `My dear Ma! why Mr. and he is now. if you take that line. Crisparkle. my dear.' said the Minor Canon to his mother one day as she sat at her knitting in his little book-room. Ma.' said the old lady.' `But for Mr. Though I believe the two young men were much alike in that regard.' `I hope not. `Still. Ma. the weakness attendant on the testimony of an interested witness. with stately severity. I am always open to discussion. Sept. the very possibility of contradiction or disproof. my dear Ma. Jasper's well-bred consideration in coming up to me. as though she internally added: `and I should like to see the discussion that would change _my_ mind!' `Very good.' `And under mulled wine. in respect of its determination not to be corrected.' `I don't.' said her conciliatory son. don't you think. and did great discredit to this house. Nay. `Let us discuss it. however remote. I am quite open to discussion. I trust. Neville?' `Because. Ma?' `Because I _don't_. He was then. next . and not me.' returned the old lady. Neville for it. so personally and strongly does the fair diviner connect herself with her divination.
' said Mr. Ma. my dear. and to consider the expediency of his and my jointly hushing the thing up on all accounts. in which he thought of several things.' said the old lady. `Of course. I don't see that it greatly signifies. my dear Ma. when I found him speaking to you. and that he hasÐI hope I may sayÐan attachment to me.' `But. but I don't believe he will. he reads with her. my dear Sept. and in my best discharge of my duty according to my lights. rubbing his ear. He was still as pale as gentlemanly ashes at what had taken place in his rooms overnight. but there was. `still.' `Too late. and that he improves apace. `To be candid.' `ÐFor. you know what a capacity she has. And I said then. knitting on firmly. a humorous sense of its not being a piece of china to argue with very closely.' `However. I think I should have kept it from you if I could: though I had not decidedly made up my mind. Sept. that I hope Mr. certainly. it became the town-talk.' There was no impatience in the pleasant look with which Mr.' pursued the Minor Canon. Neville.' `And I said then. Crisparkle. quickly. ask yourself what he would be without his sister. and expressing his hope that I had not been greatly alarmed or had my rest violently broken.' `Perhaps not. Neville. I was following Jasper out.' interposed the old lady. `but I can't help it. `it is undeniable that Mr. and how much do you leave for him?' At these words Mr. my dear.day. he never said there was. `and passed out of my power. Give her her fair share of your praise.' `There is no merit in the last article. MaÐ' `I am sorry to say so.' Here the cap vibrated again considerably. Crisparkle contemplated the pretty old piece of china as it knitted. I think the worse of him for the boast. and I say now.' The old lady immediately walked across the room and kissed him: saying. You know what an influence she has over him. with his gown still on. `I am sorry to hear you say so. after service. in the Nave itself. `that I thought ill of Mr. indeed. `and if he says there is. you know that whatever he reads with you. Neville may come to good. And I say now. Then it was too late. Sept. I am sure of that. you may be sure it would have been for your peace and quiet.' said the old lady. Ma. that I think ill of Mr.' returned the old lady. `Besides. Crisparkle fell into a little reverie. to confer with him on the subject. and her knitting. and for the good of the young men. I believe I might never have heard of that disgraceful transaction.' returned the old lady. Neville is exceedingly industrious and attentive. as his mother resumed her seat. He thought of the times he had seen the .' `If I _had_ kept it from you. Sept.
this rare closet had a lock in mid-air. rue. and Peach. . to the effect that Helena. also presided over by the china shepherdess. a portrait of Handel in a flowing wig beamed down at the spectator. having climbed his favourite outlook. Cabbage. He thought how the consciousness had stolen upon him that in teaching one.brother and sister together in deep converse over one of his own old college books. whenever the Reverend Septimus fell a-musing. Lowest of all. spice-boxes. to temper their acerbity if unripe. now. Lemon. in which the town fires and lights already shone. to be dipped into sweet wine and kissed. There was a crowning air upon this closet of closets. gilliflower. and the lower slide ascending. and how he had almost insensibly adapted his explanations to both mindsÐthat with which his own was daily in contact. No common closet with a vulgar door on hinges. The Reverend Septimus yielded himself up quite as willing a victim to a nauseous medicinal herb-closet. Mixed. and other members of that noble family. jam-pots. openable all at once. Plum. and seeming to have undergone a saccharine transfiguration. and elbows) came forth again mellow-faced. Apricot. To what amazing infusions of gentian. Gherkin. The scene closing on these charmers. and swallowing up head. a beetling fragment of monastery ruin. and agreeably outlandish vessels of blue and white. oranges were revealed. and that which he only approached through it. until those venerable bees had made sublimated honey of everything in store. Apple. as has been noticed. and a musical air of intending to combine all its harmonies in one delicious fugue. peppermint. the one falling down. Gooseberry. in the rimy mornings. attended by a mighty japanned sugar-box. the luscious lodgings of preserved tamarinds and ginger. a compact leaden-vault enshrined the sweet wine and a stock of cordials: whence issued whispers of Seville Orange. announced their portly forms. The upper slide. as to this glorious cupboard. Home-made biscuits waited at the Court of these Powers.' the blooming old lady made all haste to the dining-room closet. announced themselves in feminine caligraphy. making the landscape bleaker. and the other pushing up. on being pulled down (leaving the lower a double mystery). The pickles. and various slender ladies' fingers. and Caraway-seed. in a uniform of rich brown double-breasted buttoned coat. sage. and the two studious figures passed below him along the margin of the river. Above it. Damson. externally so very different. Cauliflower. and as wearing curlpapers. when he faced the wind at sunset. in the sombre evenings. when he made those sharpening pilgrimages to Cloisterham Weir. and yellow or sombre drab continuations. his good mother took it to be an infallible sign that he `wanted support. of having been for ages hummed through by the Cathedral bell and organ. parsley. like a soft whisper. and leaving nothing to be disclosed by degrees. revealed deep shelves of pickle-jars. whom he had mistrusted as so proud and fierce. to produce from it the support embodied in a glass of Constantia and a home-made biscuit. rosemary. The jams. and had become an integral part of his life? As. Every benevolent inhabitant of this retreat had his name inscribed upon his stomach. Almond. shoulders. It was a most wonderful closet. now. He thought of the gossip that had reached him from the Nuns' House. thyme. he was teaching two. worthy of Cloisterham and of Minor Canon Corner. He thought of the picturesque alliance between those two. and learnt from her what she knew. accompanied by a goodly fragment of plum-cake. with a knowing air of being up to the contents of the closet. to be Raspberry. as being of a less masculine temperament. tin canisters. as Walnut. submitted herself to the fairy-bride (as he called her). in printed capitals. and it was always observed that every dipper among the shelves (deep. He thoughtÐperhaps most of allÐcould it be that these things were yet but so many weeks old. Onion. where two perpendicular slides met.
`It is a place of all others where one can speak without interruption. as I wish to do. foreshadowed a stormy night. did his courageous stomach submit itself! In what wonderful wrappers. sir. and the restless dipping and flapping of the noisy gulls. and were spread out upon shelves. An unusual quantity had come in with the last tide. without a pause for breath. Not even doing that much. and the confusion of the water. when Helena and Neville Landless passed below him. the trot to end in a charge at his favourite fragment of ruin. enclosing layers of dried leaves. which was to be carried by storm. and stood beside them before many good climbers would have been half-way down. if the dear old lady convicted him of an imperceptible pimple there! Into this herbaceous penitentiary. Mr.' assented Mr. and the weather is driving in from the sea?' Helena thought not. situated on an upper staircase-landing: a low and narrow whitewashed cell. he set off for a brisk trot after service. He had had the two together in his thoughts all day.' `Consequently.' In saying it . and then would go out. `A wild evening. The footing was rough in an uncertain light for any tread save that of a good climber. The river at Cloisterham is sufficiently near the sea to throw up oftentimes a quantity of seaweed. as Lady Macbeth was hopeless of those of all the seas that roll. Crisparkle. and an angry light out seaward beyond the brown-sailed barges that were turning black. `It is very retired. like the highly popular lamb who has so long and unresistingly been led to the slaughter. The Cathedral being very cold. It was very retired.' said Mr. not breathed even then. Neville. `your sister is aware that I have repeatedly urged you to make some kind of apology for that unfortunate occurrence which befell on the night of your arrival here. Crisparkle. and. and at once climbed down to speak to them together. as confident in the sweetening powers of Cloisterham Weir and a wholesome mind. in company with portentous bottles: would the Reverend Septimus submissively be led. merely taking a corrective dip of hands and face into the great bowl of dried rose-leaves.and dandelion. and there would he. applied himself to the remaining duties of the day. where bunches of dried leaves hung from rusty hooks in the ceiling. or forehead. and walking on with them. In his mind he was contrasting the wild and noisy sea with the quiet harbour of Minor Canon Corner. In their orderly and punctual progress they brought round Vesper Service and twilight. Miss Landless! Do you not find your usual walk with your brother too exposed and cold for the time of year? Or at all events. when the sun is down. In the present instance the good Minor Canon took his glass of Constantia with an excellent grace. he would quietly swallow what was given him. It was their favourite walk. He carried it in a masterly manner. if his mother suspected him of a toothache! What botanical blotches would he cheerfully stick upon his cheek. and this. so supported to his mother's satisfaction. but the Minor Canon was as good a climber as most men. so that the old lady were busy and pleased. laying hold of his opportunity straightway. unlike that lamb. and. and into the other great bowl of dried lavender. I believe you tell your sister everything that passes between us?' `Everything. bore nobody but himself. stood looking down upon the river. would he swathe his rosy and contented face.
and I have no fear of his outliving such a prejudice.' `I have represented to Mr.' `I ask his pardon. Crisparkle. with a glance of deference towards his tutor. `between submission to a generous spirit. and I am angry. and deliberate aggravation of inexpressible affront. poor fellow.' remarked Mr. from your saying so. There is a notion about. would you have Neville throw himself at young Drood's feet. almost reproachfully: `O Mr. But how much wiser to take action at once. Crisparkle. and not he. or at Mr. They walked on in silence. than to trust to uncertain time! Besides. Helena. in a tone of mild though firm persuasion.' said Helena. who maligns him every day? In your heart you cannot mean it. `You see.' Helena submitted. But I cannot.he looked to her. Help me to convince him that I cannot be the first to make concessions without mockery and falsehood.' asked Helena.' Mr. it is right. Crisparkle.' `He was provoked. therefore it was she. Crisparkle. For there can be no question that Neville was wrong. and not to him. `I should be quite sure of it. with a look of proud compassion at her brother. expressing a deep sense of his being ungenerously treated.' `I have no doubt he is. I would. Neville struck in: `Help me to clear myself with Mr. apart from its being politic. I am still as angry when I recall that night as I was . Miss Helena. My nature must be changed before I can do so. if his case were yours. You forget however. From your heart you could not do it. and not otherwise acknowledge it?' `Is there no difference.' said Helena. `forasmuch as it certainly has engendered a prejudice against Neville. Crisparkle again resumed. Crisparkle. and I revolt from the pretence. Crisparkle as his own. until Helena raised her eyes to the Minor Canon's face. Jasper's. and submission to a base or trivial one?' Before the worthy Minor Canon was quite ready with his argument in reference to this nice distinction. Crisparkle submitted. and proving himself to have been misunderstood. Helena. with a little faltering in her manner. but what you tell me is confirmed by suppressed hints and references that I meet with every day. `you both instinctively acknowledge that Neville did wrong. though with a moderate and delicate touch. `is not this to be regretted. who replied: `Yes. I am sensible of inexpressible affront. The plain truth is. and it is not changed.' said Neville. Then why stop short.' `Now. `that if I could do it from my heart.' resumed Mr. of an uncontrollable and furious temper: he is really avoided as such. again laying hold of his opportunity. is to suppose to have done what I did. that he is a dangerously passionate fellow. and said. `He was the assailant.' Mr.' `I call it unfortunate. and ought it not to be amended? These are early days of Neville's in Cloisterham. that to put the case to Mr.
Crisparkle's face. Then he spoke: . not to him: `It is so. sir. Husband or no husband. that fellow is incapable of the feeling with which I am inspired towards the beautiful young creature whom he treats like a doll. and a plea for advice. `you have repeated that former action of your hands. Neville!' Thus recalled to himself. which is very strong upon me down to this last moment. and he went on: `I have never yet had the courage to say to you. It is not easy to say. I confessed that I was still as angry. Crisparkle. watching him attentively. sir. and might. Mr.' `Neville. `The young lady of whom you speak is. which I so much dislike. but it has not come yet. The young lady has become your sister's friend.ÐI admire Miss Bud. The time may come when your powerful influence will do even that with the difficult pupil whose antecedents you know. that I cannot bear her being treated with conceit or indifference. gravely. remonstrating.' said Mr. and covered his face with his hand. and I should deceive you grossly if I pretended that you had softened me in this respect.' `I am sorry for it. and in spite of my struggles against myself. `therefore your admiration. Is this so. is outrageously misplaced. you have seen them only once. whose dark eyes were watching the effect of what he said on Mr. Crisparkle. Moreover. looked at Helena for corroboration. and a gesture so violent. shortly to be married.' Mr. but for my sister. I say she is sacrificed in being bestowed upon him.' After a short pause. and I wonder that your sister. so very much. with a steady countenance. it is monstrous that you should take upon yourself to be the young lady's champion against her chosen husband. Besides. as one repentant and wretched.' said Mr. and even if I did not feel that I had an injury against young Drood on my own account. in utter amazement. and I have been withheld by a fear of its seeming ridiculous. Helena?' She. I say he is as incapable of it. as you know. Mr. I should feel that I had an injury against him on hers. in her brother's eyes. he quickly became sensible of having lost the guard he had set upon his passionate tendency. and at the same time meditating how to proceed. `that I hoped for better things. as he is unworthy of her. sir. that his sister crossed to his side. Neville. but uselessly. Crisparkle. repliedÐto Mr.' hinted the Minor Canon. I say that I love her. sir. but it would be far worse to deceive you. if it be of that special nature which you seem to indicate. prevent my being quite open with you even now. sir.that night.' `And I confess. and caught his arm. Crisparkle. what in full openness I ought to have said when you first talked with me on this subject. walked on for some paces in silence. she answered the slightest look of inquiry conceivable. and despise and hate him!' This with a face so flushed.' `She has tried.' `I am sorry to disappoint you. but it was involuntary. with as slight an affirmative bend of her own head. `Neville. and met in her expressive face full corroboration. Crisparkle. even on her behalf. has not checked you in this irrational and culpable fancy.
and to be known to no other person save your sister and yourself. I will leave you undisturbed in the belief that it has few parallels or none. As it was. I understand it to have been confided to me. that it will abide with you a long time. Crisparkle. I will engage that you shall be. and on your sister's representation. Now. `and follow him to Heaven!' There was that in her tone which broke the good Minor Canon's voice. and even that young Drood shall make the first advance. and wild. and less unpretendingly good and true. Crisparkle. This feud between you and young Drood must not go on. I cannot permit it to go on any longer. to give me your similar and solemn pledge. and that it will be very difficult to conquer. They are of too serious an aspect to leave me the resource of treating the infatuation you have disclosed.' murmured Helena. knowing what I now know from you. Do I understand aright?' Helena answered in a low voice: `It is only known to us three who are here together. no!' `I require you. I will not tell you that it is the fancy of the moment. I know I can trust to it for that. and I speak to you accordingly. as the night now closing in.' `It is not at all known to the young lady.' said Mr. if you had been less patient with me.`Mr. and you living under my roof. I am sorely grieved to see in you more traces of a character as sullen. you have a right to be met half-way. `have needed so much as another minute. What may be in your heart when you give him your hand. that it shall remain the secret it is. or it would have repudiated her exaltation of him. angry. as undeserving serious consideration. less considerate of me. good-natured character. it is a frank. Mr. I will not tell you that such caprices have their rise and fall among the young and ardent every hour. your friend?' `On my soul. This condition fulfilled. pressing his hand upon his face.' `I should not. I am willing to admit that. Mr. Neville. Whatever prejudiced and unauthorised constructions your blind and envious wrath may put upon his character. pray observe what I am about to say. I give it very serious consideration.' The young man twice or thrice essayed to speak. Neville. On reflection. So much the more weight shall I attach to the pledge I require from you. if in my childhood I had known such a guide!' `Follow your guide now. as to that. I will not tell you that it will soon pass. but failed.' Helena implored him. whom it is time you took home. but it will never go well with you. you will pledge me the honour of a Christian gentleman that the quarrel is for ever at an end on your side. in making peace with young Drood. `Let me leave you with your sister. `You will find me alone in my room by-and-by. next as to what I must again speak of as your infatuation. when it is unreservedly given. `Another minute. he laid a . if there be any treachery there. Neville. Mr.' said Neville. Neville. and that you will take no other action whatsoever upon it than endeavouring (and that most earnestly) to erase it from your mind. can only be known to the Searcher of all hearts. O.' `Pray do not leave us yet. then. So far.
`I was dreaming at a great rate. Long afterwards he had cause to remember how Jasper sprang from the couch in a delirious state between sleeping and waking. or my weak wisdom. and crying out: `What is the matter? Who did it?' `It is only I. You came into this world with the same dispositions.' `Thank you. he tried. and the well-timed sight of the lighted gatehouse decided him to take it. You know with whom forgiveness lies.' returned the Minor Canon. The consciousness of being popular with the whole Cathedral establishment inclined him to the latter course.' He debated principally whether he should write to young Drood. Miss Helena. `Tut!' said the Minor Canon softly. I am sorry to have disturbed you. having ascended the postern-stair. sir?' replied Helena. and you passed your younger days together surrounded by the same adverse circumstances. to make a way to the fireside.' returned Mr. Mr. you and your brother are twin children. when. to think out the best means of bringing to pass what he had promised to effect. As to mineÐbut the less said of that commonplace commodity the better. [Picture: Mr. I am not confident. Jasper.' `Not mine.finger on his lips. `I beg your forgiveness for my miserable lapse into a burst of passion. and received no answer to his knock at the door. `I will strike while the iron is hot.' Jasper was lying asleep on a couch before the fire.' The glare of his eyes settled down into a look of recognition. `that my subject will at . is to say nothing!' Thus Neville. `What is my influence. and looked towards her brother. Not to mention that you are always welcome. and am glad to be disturbed from an indigestive after-dinner sleep. Crisparkle. `and it was the highest wisdom ever known upon this earth. as the highest attribute conceivable. as he went along in the dark. Neville. Mr. compared with yours!' `You have the wisdom of Love. out of my innermost heart. What you have overcome in yourself. and to say that there is no treachery in it. `and see him now.' he reflected. Who but you can keep him clear of it?' `Who but you. greatly moved. `To say that I give both pledges. `I shall probably be asked to marry them. and he moved a chair or two. can you not overcome in him? You see the rock that lies in his course. Crisparkle is overpaid] Retracing his steps towards the Cathedral Close. `and I would they were married and gone! But this presses first. Crisparkle gently turned the handle and looked in. remember. Crisparkle. Good night!' She took the hand he offered her. `I am much overpaid!' and turned away. and gratefully and almost reverently raised it to her lips. and what must somehow be done.' he said. not mine. or whether he should speak to Jasper. as he sat himself down in the easy-chair placed for him.
Mr.' repeated Jasper. The demoniacal passion of this Neville Landless. All my efforts are vain. for Mr. But I have exacted a very solemn promise from him as to his future demeanour towards your nephew. saying that he is willing to shake hands. when Jasper stopped him: `You have cause to say so. Jasper's face. but I am a minister of peace. after a silence. delighted by the swiftness and completeness of his success. that I cannot reason with or in any way contend against. Neville's favour. taking a book from a desk.' Jasper turned that perplexed face towards the fire. not more.' A very perplexed expression took hold of Mr. we must all admit that he was bitterly stung. you will guess when it was made: `ªPast midnight.' said Jasper. Crisparkle.' said Jasper. You will laugh at this entry.' `Undoubtedly. . I know what a good-natured fellow he is. a Diary of Ned's life too. though I hope he and I will get the better of it between us. a very perplexing expression too. in fact. inasmuch as it seemed to denote (which could hardly be) some close internal calculation. and getting him to write you a short note. and I admit his lamentable violence of temper. indeed. found it even more perplexing than before.' `You are always responsible and trustworthy. In a word. in a low and slow voice. Jasper. `for the comfort of having your guarantee against my vague and unfounded fears. Neville. `For the ªHowº I come to you. `but that my Diary is. I am not. Neville). Heaven knows. Crisparkle continuing to observe it.' The perplexed and perplexing look vanished.' `A line for a day would be quite as much as my uneventful life would need. Mr. I want to establish peace between these two young fellows. `I will do it. and I pursue my subject in the interests of peace. and a heavy weight. Crisparkle could make nothing of it. in his lively way. Crisparkle. acknowledged it in the handsomest terms.' the Minor Canon was going on. `How?' was Jasper's inquiry. And without in the least defending Mr.' Mr. Do you really feel sure that you can answer for him so confidently?' `I do. `I will do it. and what influence you have with him. I want to ask you to do me the great favour and service of interposing with your nephew (I have already interposed with Mr. `Then you relieve my mind of a great dread. `I know that you are not prepossessed in Mr. and I am sure he will keep it. You will laughÐbut do you keep a Diary?' `A line for a day.first sight be quite as welcome as myself. if you do kindly interpose. I have a morbid dread upon me of some horrible consequences resulting to my dear boy.ÐAfter what I have just now seen.
his strength in his fury, and his savage rage for the destruction of its object, appal me. So profound is the impression, that twice since I have gone into my dear boy's room, to assure myself of his sleeping safely, and not lying dead in his blood.º `Here is another entry next morning: `ªNed up and away. Light-hearted and unsuspicious as ever. He laughed when I cautioned him, and said he was as good a man as Neville Landless any day. I told him that might be, but he was not as bad a man. He continued to make light of it, but I travelled with him as far as I could, and left him most unwillingly. I am unable to shake off these dark intangible presentiments of evilÐif feelings founded upon staring facts are to be so called.º `Again and again,' said Jasper, in conclusion, twirling the leaves of the book before putting it by, `I have relapsed into these moods, as other entries show. But I have now your assurance at my back, and shall put it in my book, and make it an antidote to my black humours.' `Such an antidote, I hope,' returned Mr. Crisparkle, `as will induce you before long to consign the black humours to the flames. I ought to be the last to find any fault with you this evening, when you have met my wishes so freely; but I must say, Jasper, that your devotion to your nephew has made you exaggerative here.' `You are my witness,' said Jasper, shrugging his shoulders, `what my state of mind honestly was, that night, before I sat down to write, and in what words I expressed it. You remember objecting to a word I used, as being too strong? It was a stronger word than any in my Diary.' `Well, well. Try the antidote,' rejoined Mr. Crisparkle; `and may it give you a brighter and better view of the case! We will discuss it no more now. I have to thank you for myself, thank you sincerely.' `You shall find,' said Jasper, as they shook hands, `that I will not do the thing you wish me to do, by halves. I will take care that Ned, giving way at all, shall give way thoroughly.' On the third day after this conversation, he called on Mr. Crisparkle with the following letter: `MY DEAR JACK, `I am touched by your account of whom I much respect and esteem. myself on that occasion quite as wish that bygone to be a bygone, your interview with Mr. Crisparkle, At once I openly say that I forgot much as Mr. Landless did, and that I and all to be right again.
`Look here, dear old boy. Ask Mr. Landless to dinner on Christmas Eve (the better the day the better the deed), and let there be only we three, and let us shake hands all round there and then, and say no more about it. `My dear Jack, `Ever your most affectionate, `EDWIN DROOD. `P.S. Love to Miss Pussy at the next music-lesson.'
`You expect Mr. Neville, then?' said Mr. Crisparkle. `I count upon his coming,' said Mr. Jasper.
CHAPTER XIÐA PICTURE AND A RING Behind the most ancient part of Holborn, London, where certain gabled houses some centuries of age still stand looking on the public way, as if disconsolately looking for the Old Bourne that has long run dry, is a little nook composed of two irregular quadrangles, called Staple Inn. It is one of those nooks, the turning into which out of the clashing street, imparts to the relieved pedestrian the sensation of having put cotton in his ears, and velvet soles on his boots. It is one of those nooks where a few smoky sparrows twitter in smoky trees, as though they called to one another, `Let us play at country,' and where a few feet of garden-mould and a few yards of gravel enable them to do that refreshing violence to their tiny understandings. Moreover, it is one of those nooks which are legal nooks; and it contains a little Hall, with a little lantern in its roof: to what obstructive purposes devoted, and at whose expense, this history knoweth not. In the days when Cloisterham took offence at the existence of a railroad afar off, as menacing that sensitive constitution, the property of us Britons: the odd fortune of which sacred institution it is to be in exactly equal degrees croaked about, trembled for, and boasted of, whatever happens to anything, anywhere in the world: in those days no neighbouring architecture of lofty proportions had arisen to overshadow Staple Inn. The westering sun bestowed bright glances on it, and the south-west wind blew into it unimpeded. Neither wind nor sun, however, favoured Staple Inn one December afternoon towards six o'clock, when it was filled with fog, and candles shed murky and blurred rays through the windows of all its then-occupied sets of chambers; notably from a set of chambers in a corner house in the little inner quadrangle, presenting in black and white over its ugly portal the mysterious inscription: P J 1747 In which set of chambers, never having troubled his head about the inscription, unless to bethink himself at odd times on glancing up at it, that haply it might mean Perhaps John Thomas, or Perhaps Joe Tyler, sat Mr. Grewgious writing by his fire. Who could have told, by looking at Mr. Grewgious, whether he had ever known ambition or disappointment? He had been bred to the Bar, and had laid himself out for chamber practice; to draw deeds; `convey the wise it call,' as Pistol says. But Conveyancing and he had made such a very indifferent marriage of it that they had separated by consentÐif there can be said to be separation where there has never been coming together. No. Coy Conveyancing would not come to Mr. Grewgious. She was wooed, not won, and they went their several ways. But an Arbitration being blown towards him by some unaccountable wind, and he gaining great credit T
in it as one indefatigable in seeking out right and doing right, a pretty fat Receivership was next blown into his pocket by a wind more traceable to its source. So, by chance, he had found his niche. Receiver and Agent now, to two rich estates, and deputing their legal business, in an amount worth having, to a firm of solicitors on the floor below, he had snuffed out his ambition (supposing him to have ever lighted it), and had settled down with his snuffers for the rest of his life under the dry vine and fig-tree of P. J. T., who planted in seventeen-forty-seven. Many accounts and account-books, many files of correspondence, and several strong boxes, garnished Mr. Grewgious's room. They can scarcely be represented as having lumbered it, so conscientious and precise was their orderly arrangement. The apprehension of dying suddenly, and leaving one fact or one figure with any incompleteness or obscurity attaching to it, would have stretched Mr. Grewgious stone-dead any day. The largest fidelity to a trust was the life-blood of the man. There are sorts of life-blood that course more quickly, more gaily, more attractively; but there is no better sort in circulation. There was no luxury in his room. Even its comforts were limited to its being dry and warm, and having a snug though faded fireside. What may be called its private life was confined to the hearth, and all easy-chair, and an old-fashioned occasional round table that was brought out upon the rug after business hours, from a corner where it elsewise remained turned up like a shining mahogany shield. Behind it, when standing thus on the defensive, was a closet, usually containing something good to drink. An outer room was the clerk's room; Mr. Grewgious's sleeping-room was across the common stair; and he held some not empty cellarage at the bottom of the common stair. Three hundred days in the year, at least, he crossed over to the hotel in Furnival's Inn for his dinner, and after dinner crossed back again, to make the most of these simplicities until it should become broad business day once more, with P. J. T., date seventeen-forty-seven. As Mr. Grewgious sat and wrote by his fire that afternoon, so did the clerk of Mr. Grewgious sit and write by _his_ fire. A pale, puffy-faced, dark-haired person of thirty, with big dark eyes that wholly wanted lustre, and a dissatisfied doughy complexion, that seemed to ask to be sent to the baker's, this attendant was a mysterious being, possessed of some strange power over Mr. Grewgious. As though he had been called into existence, like a fabulous Familiar, by a magic spell which had failed when required to dismiss him, he stuck tight to Mr. Grewgious's stool, although Mr. Grewgious's comfort and convenience would manifestly have been advanced by dispossessing him. A gloomy person with tangled locks, and a general air of having been reared under the shadow of that baleful tree of Java which has given shelter to more lies than the whole botanical kingdom, Mr. Grewgious, nevertheless, treated him with unaccountable consideration. `Now, Bazzard,' said Mr. Grewgious, on the entrance of his clerk: looking up from his papers as he arranged them for the night: `what is in the wind besides fog?' `Mr. Drood,' said Bazzard. `What of him?' `Has called,' said Bazzard. `You might have shown him in.'
`I am doing it,' said Bazzard. The visitor came in accordingly. `Dear me!' said Mr. Grewgious, looking round his pair of office candles. `I thought you had called and merely left your name and gone. How do you do, Mr. Edwin? Dear me, you're choking!' `It's this fog,' returned Edwin; `and it makes my eyes smart, like Cayenne pepper.' `Is it really so bad as that? Pray undo your wrappers. It's fortunate I have so good a fire; but Mr. Bazzard has taken care of me.' `No I haven't,' said Mr. Bazzard at the door. `Ah! then it follows that I must have taken care of myself without observing it,' said Mr. Grewgious. `Pray be seated in my chair. No. I beg! Coming out of such an atmosphere, in _my_ chair.' Edwin took the easy-chair in the corner; and the fog he had brought in with him, and the fog he took off with his greatcoat and neck-shawl, was speedily licked up by the eager fire. `I look,' said Edwin, smiling, `as if I had come to stop.' `ÐBy the by,' cried Mr. Grewgious; `excuse my interrupting you; do stop. The fog may clear in an hour or two. We can have dinner in from just across Holborn. You had better take your Cayenne pepper here than outside; pray stop and dine.' `You are very kind,' said Edwin, glancing about him as though attracted by the notion of a new and relishing sort of gipsy-party. `Not at all,' said Mr. Grewgious; `_you_ are very kind to join issue with a bachelor in chambers, and take pot-luck. And I'll ask,' said Mr. Grewgious, dropping his voice, and speaking with a twinkling eye, as if inspired with a bright thought: `I'll ask Bazzard. He mightn't like it else.ÐBazzard!' Bazzard reappeared. `Dine presently with Mr. Drood and me.' `If I am ordered to dine, of course I will, sir,' was the gloomy answer. `Save the man!' cried Mr. Grewgious. `You're not ordered; you're invited.' `Thank you, sir,' said Bazzard; `in that case I don't care if I do.' `That's arranged. And perhaps you wouldn't mind,' said Mr. Grewgious, `stepping over to the hotel in Furnival's, and asking them to send in materials for laying the cloth. For dinner we'll have a tureen of the hottest and strongest soup available, and we'll have the best made-dish that can be recommended, and we'll have a joint (such as a haunch of mutton), and we'll have a goose, or a turkey, or any little stuffed thing of that sort that may happen to be in the bill of fareÐin short, we'll have whatever there is on hand.'
These liberal directions Mr. Grewgious issued with his usual air of reading an inventory, or repeating a lesson, or doing anything else by rote. Bazzard, after drawing out the round table, withdrew to execute them. `I was a little delicate, you see,' said Mr. Grewgious, in a lower tone, after his clerk's departure, `about employing him in the foraging or commissariat department. Because he mightn't like it.' `He seems to have his own way, sir,' remarked Edwin. `His own way?' returned Mr. Grewgious. `O dear no! Poor fellow, you quite mistake him. If he had his own way, he wouldn't be here.' `I wonder where he would be!' Edwin thought. But he only thought it, because Mr. Grewgious came and stood himself with his back to the other corner of the fire, and his shoulder-blades against the chimneypiece, and collected his skirts for easy conversation. `I take it, without having the gift of prophecy, that you have done me the favour of looking in to mention that you are going down yonderÐwhere I can tell you, you are expectedÐand to offer to execute any little commission from me to my charming ward, and perhaps to sharpen me up a bit in any proceedings? Eh, Mr. Edwin?' `I called, sir, before going down, as an act of attention.' `Of attention!' said Mr. Grewgious. `Ah! of course, not of impatience?' `Impatience, sir?' Mr. Grewgious had meant to be archÐnot that he in the remotest degree expressed that meaningÐand had brought himself into scarcely supportable proximity with the fire, as if to burn the fullest effect of his archness into himself, as other subtle impressions are burnt into hard metals. But his archness suddenly flying before the composed face and manner of his visitor, and only the fire remaining, he started and rubbed himself. `I have lately been down yonder,' said Mr. Grewgious, rearranging his skirts; `and that was what I referred to, when I said I could tell you you are expected.' `Indeed, sir! Yes; I knew that Pussy was looking out for me.' `Do you keep a cat down there?' asked Mr. Grewgious. Edwin coloured a little as he explained: `I call Rosa Pussy.' `O, really,' said Mr. Grewgious, smoothing down his head; `that's very affable.' Edwin glanced at his face, uncertain whether or no he seriously objected to the appellation. But Edwin might as well have glanced at the face of a clock. `A pet name, sir,' he explained again. `Umps,' said Mr. Grewgious, with a nod. But with such an extraordinary compromise between an unqualified assent and a qualified dissent, that
his visitor was much disconcerted. `Did PRosaÐ' Edwin began by way of recovering himself. `PRosa?' repeated Mr. Grewgious. `I was going to say Pussy, and changed my mind;Ðdid she tell you anything about the Landlesses?' `No,' said Mr. Grewgious. `What is the Landlesses? An estate? A villa? A farm?' `A brother and sister. The sister is at the Nuns' House, and has become a great friend of PÐ' `PRosa's,' Mr. Grewgious struck in, with a fixed face. `She is a strikingly handsome girl, sir, and I thought she might have been described to you, or presented to you perhaps?' `Neither,' said Mr. Grewgious. `But here is Bazzard.' Bazzard returned, accompanied by two waitersÐan immovable waiter, and a flying waiter; and the three brought in with them as much fog as gave a new roar to the fire. The flying waiter, who had brought everything on his shoulders, laid the cloth with amazing rapidity and dexterity; while the immovable waiter, who had brought nothing, found fault with him. The flying waiter then highly polished all the glasses he had brought, and the immovable waiter looked through them. The flying waiter then flew across Holborn for the soup, and flew back again, and then took another flight for the made-dish, and flew back again, and then took another flight for the joint and poultry, and flew back again, and between whiles took supplementary flights for a great variety of articles, as it was discovered from time to time that the immovable waiter had forgotten them all. But let the flying waiter cleave the air as he might, he was always reproached on his return by the immovable waiter for bringing fog with him, and being out of breath. At the conclusion of the repast, by which time the flying waiter was severely blown, the immovable waiter gathered up the tablecloth under his arm with a grand air, and having sternly (not to say with indignation) looked on at the flying waiter while he set the clean glasses round, directed a valedictory glance towards Mr. Grewgious, conveying: `Let it be clearly understood between us that the reward is mine, and that Nil is the claim of this slave,' and pushed the flying waiter before him out of the room. It was like a highly-finished miniature painting representing My Lords of the Circumlocution Department, Commandership-in-Chief of any sort, Government. It was quite an edifying little picture to be hung on the line in the National Gallery. As the fog had been the proximate cause of this sumptuous repast, so the fog served for its general sauce. To hear the out-door clerks sneezing, wheezing, and beating their feet on the gravel was a zest far surpassing Doctor Kitchener's. To bid, with a shiver, the unfortunate flying waiter shut the door before he had opened it, was a condiment of a profounder flavour than Harvey. And here let it be noticed, parenthetically, that the leg of this young man, in its application to the door, evinced the finest sense of touch: always preceding himself and tray (with something of an angling air about it), by some seconds: and always lingering after he and the tray had disappeared, like Macbeth's leg when accompanying him
and Mr. in seventeen-forty-seven. or what would have been a wink. it could have been quick enough. Grewgious. `and I pledge you!' . Bazzard merely said: `I follow you. might have been seen looking at his visitor between his smoothing fingers. for any lights and shades they caused to flicker over his face. Grewgious. J. Instead of his drinking them. sir. `And now. So Edwin winked responsively. but I have no imaginationÐMay!Ðthe thorn of anxiety is as nearly the mark as I am likely to getÐMay it come out at last!' Mr. Externally. But.' said Mr. success to Mr. as if the thorn of anxiety were there. Mr. was Pretty Jolly Too. in Mr. `I devote a bumper to the fair and fascinating Miss Rosa. in his wooden way. Neither was his manner influenced. Bazzard. put a hand into his tangled locks. then into his pockets. as if it were there. Bazzard!' echoed Edwin. they might have been poured over him in his high-dried snuff form. Bazzard!' `Success to Mr. Grewgious showed no signs of being mellowed by these glowing vintages. P. with a frowning smile at the fire. and I thank you. however. T. and when at the end of dinner. The host had gone below to the cellar. `I follow you. the fair and fascinating Miss Rosa!' `I follow you. then into his waistcoat. though mostly in speechlessness. GrewgiousÐ`I am not at liberty to be definiteÐMay!Ðmy conversational powers are so very limited that I know I shall not come well out of thisÐMay!Ðit ought to be put imaginatively. they pushed at their corks to help the corkscrew (like prisoners helping rioters to force their gates).' said Mr. Grewgious. Bazzard. `I drink to you. if. sir. `Bazzard!' said Mr. and smoothed his head and face. which had ripened long ago in lands where no fogs are. as if that young gentleman expected to see the thorn in action.' returned Bazzard. I wonder!' `And May!' pursued Mr. and bending aside under cover of the other. for a certainty. with a totally unfounded appearance of enthusiasm. he motioned Edwin back to his own easy-chair in the fireside corner. Grewgious. In all these movements he was closely followed by the eyes of Edwin.' said Bazzard.' This was said with a mysterious wink. J. drank such winesÐthen. and had since lain slumbering in the shade. It was not produced. But I put Bazzard first.' `I am going. and danced out gaily. as if it were there. and with the unspoken addition: `What in. or in any other year of his period. and Edwin sank luxuriously into it after very brief remonstrance. Sparkling and tingling after so long a nap. Grewgious's hands. straw-coloured. He mightn't like it else. who had done his work of consuming meat and drink in a workmanlike manner. Mr. T. to whisper to Edwin. `to drink to my ward. and run to waste. as he turned his seat round towards the fire too. jingling his glass on the table with one hand. Mr. and had brought up bottles of ruby. sir. without the least idea what he meant by doing so.off the stage with reluctance to the assassination of Duncan. he had observant eyes for Edwin. and golden drinks. Bazzard. If P. suddenly turning to him. Edwin.
no lassitude. not directly inducive of self-examination or mental despondency. can be no coolness. `goes on to represent (under correction from you. it is either for the reason that having no conversational powers. that there doubt. I hazard the guess that her dear name is precious to him. and wants many touches from the life. unless in a certain occasional little tingling perceptible at the end of his nose. Which.`And so do I!' said Edwin. and as living at once a doubled life and a halved life. If I was to say seeking that. that I never. it is reserved for her. got within ten thousand miles of it. the true lover as ever impatient to be in the presence or vicinity of the beloved object of his affections. to Mr. and as constantly seeking that. to the best of my belief.' It was wonderful to see Mr. or that having no meaning. `My picture. Grewgious proceeded. `are probably erroneous on so to myself (subject.' resumed Mr. an insensibility. to be understood as foregoing the bird's-nest. as certain points of this picture came into the light. and in gutter-pipes and chimneypots. and bit his lip. Edwin will correct it where it's wrong. But I figure Edwin's correction). no indifference. `Lord bless me. as before. and is not for common ears. not having a morsel of fancy). and yet I fancy (if I may use the word. almost a breach of good faith. sir. Grewgious sitting bolt upright.' `Mr. therefore. who seek their nests on ledges. still before. If he has any distinguishing appellation of fondness for her. and have neither soft sympathies nor soft experiences. Grewgious. Edwin). He now sat looking at the fire. a coldness. for I was born a Chip.' Mr. Well! I hazard the guess that the true lover's mind is completely permeated by the beloved object of his affections. And I am besides totally unacquainted with the habits of birds. cannot be heard or repeated without emotion. as caring very little for his case in any other society. But my picture does represent the true lover as having no existence separable from that of the beloved object of his affections. `and have the picture. no half man. `and will throw in a few touches from the life. breaking the blank silence which of course ensued: though why these pauses _should_ come upon us when we have performed any small social rite. to my knowledge. not constructed for them by the beneficent hand of Nature. it would be a liberty. and is preserved sacred.' said Bazzard. being alone with her own bright self. I do not mean what I fail to express. because that would trench upon what I understand to be poetry.' resumed Mr. And if I do not clearly express what I mean by that.' cried Mr. continuously chopping this discourse out of himself: much as a charity boy with a very good memory might get his catechism said: and evincing no correspondent emotion whatever. I beg. `The speculations of an Angular sitting and speaking exactly as globular a topic. to flaunt elsewhere.' `Let us follow you. and I am so far from trenching upon poetry at any time. Grewgious.' Edwin had turned red and turned white. is not the case. A name that it would be a privilege to call her by. who can tell? `I am a particularly Angular man. Grewgious. I should make an ass of myself. except the birds of Staple Inn. I cannot express what I mean. with his hands on his knees. in a . that I could draw a picture of a true lover's state of mind. to-night. I dare say it is wrong in many particulars. no fire and half smoke state of mind. Mr. as a bird seeks its nest.
much as the supposititious charity boy just now referred to might have repeated a verse or two from the Book of Proverbs.' `He may not show. I'll help Bazzard too.' he proceeded. Grewgious at length.' assented Mr. with _his_ eyes on the fire. `I should say. and stood it bottom upward on the table. Grewgious. `as you refer the question to meÐ' `Yes. `And now. `He must not make a plaything of a treasure. and drained his glass. As he sat upright and stiff in his chair. `neither with himself. embarrassed. `likely so.' said Mr. But not for long. Woe betide him if he does! Let him take that well to heart. wiping his mouth and hands upon his handkerchief: `to a little piece of business. he _may_ not!' After that.' Edwin bit his lip again. the other day. as though he had just caught a bluebottle in it. `And let him be sure that he trifles with no one. though he _is_ asleep. I am a hard man in the grain. he suddenly rapped his knees. they all sat silent. Edwin. and still sat looking at the fire.' `Likely so. `His responsibility is very great. a certified copy of Miss Rosa's father's will. He mightn't like it else. with his eyes on the fire.' said Mr. but I submit that perhaps you may be rather hard upon the unlucky lover. Edwin.' stammered Edwin.' said Mr. Mr. and helped himself. Grewgious. Pray am I at all near the mark in my picture?' As abrupt in his conclusion as in his commencement and progress. `all he feels. You received from me.' said Edwin. or he may notÐ' There he stopped so long. Let me help you. `that the picture you have drawn is generally correct. he jerked this inquiry at Edwin. Edwin nodded assent. You knew its .real lover. to find the rest of his sentence. though. Mr. nor with any other. Though he said these things in short sentences. sir. and stopped when one might have supposed him in the middle of his oration. like the carved image of some queer Joss or other coming out of its reverie. Bazzard being occasioned by slumber.' said Mr. there was something dreamy (for so literal a man) in the way in which he now shook his right forefinger at the live coals in the grate.' `I should say. and again fell silent. the silence of Mr. that Mr. `I refer it to you. Grewgious.' Edwin went on. sir. then. Grewgious rendered his difficulty a thousand times the greater by unexpectedly striking in with: `No to be sure. and said: `We must finish this bottle. Grewgious. as an authority.' He helped them both.
With this in his hand. Grewgious.' `Not a business-like acknowledgment. that. this rose of diamonds and rubies delicately set in gold. `This ring was given to the young lady who was drowned so early in her beautiful and happy career. Hard man as I am. unlocked it. it was to remain in my possession. and then. and your betrothal prospering and coming to maturity. he returned to his chair. when his death drew very near. . in my discretion. Failing those desired results. and it was he who.' `Mr. I am not hard enough for that. in my presence. `Mr. half a minute. Now.' `Yes. I might imagine that the lasting beauty of these stones was almost cruel. Edwin.' said Mr. Grewgious.' `I meant to have acknowledged it when I first came in this evening.' `You should have acknowledged its receipt. Favour me with your attention. `will be the solemn seal upon your strict fidelity to the living and the dead. let that pass. it came into my mind just now.' He closed the case again as he spoke. Jasper. looking steadfastly at him. his hand trembled.' returned Mr. with such distracted grief as I hope it may never be my lot to contemplate again. It was he who removed it from her unconscious hand. `business being business all the world over. and some indecision was in the action of his hand. when I was looking at the fire.' Some trouble was in the young man's face. at such time as I in my discretion may think best. As he held it up for the young man to see. by her husband. that I could. as Mr. Grewgious.contents before. was a ring belonging to Miss Rosa's mother. acquit myself of that trust at no better time than the present. you and Miss Rosa growing to manhood and womanhood. sir. and took from it an ordinary ring-case made for a single ring.' He took a bunch of keys from his pocket. gave him the ring.' said Mr. `And yet the eyes that were so much brighter. confided to me in conversation. touched the spring of a little secret drawer. You are going to her. It was removed from her dead hand. but you received it from me as a matter of business. The trust in which I received it. `Your placing it on her finger. `however. See how bright these stones shine!' opening the case. Grewgious. but for Miss Rosa's wishing it to come straight to you. with a candle in his hand. in that document you have observed a few words of kindly allusion to its being left to me to discharge a little trust. placed it in mine. and that so often looked upon them with a light and a proud heart. You received it?' `Quite safely. Edwin. some years! If I had any imagination (which it is needless to say I have not). sir. sir. in preference. went to a bureau or escritoire. I should have sent it to Mr. when they first plighted their faith to one another. However. I should give it to you to place upon her finger. to make the last irrevocable preparations for your marriage. you did not. was. and dust among dust. singled out by the candle-light the key he wanted. have been ashes among ashes.
speechless distance. `and I witness the transaction. who alighted from a speculative flight in the coffee interest). and I have prized it so much! I wonderÐ' He was in a wondering mood as well as a restless. muttering something about time and appointments.' he said. as is usual in such cases.' he went on. `Her ring. he resumed his wondering when he sat down again. The fog was reported no clearer (by the flying waiter. `Bazzard!' said Mr. `I follow you both. at a hopeless.' He closed the empty little drawer with a sigh.' said Mr. Mr. to bring that ring back to me!' Here Bazzard awoke himself by his own snoring. for what can it signify now!) whether he confided the charge of their orphan child to me. But that is explainable. `Will it come back to me? My mind hangs about her ring very uneasily to-night. and placed it in his breast. and Bazzard. I have had it so long. It was hard to lose the ring. then. and opened it. `The appeal to him seemed necessary. `I charge you once more.Take it with you. `followed' him. if anything should be even slightly wrong. for an hour and more. `I follow you.' said Bazzard. how like her mother she has become!' `I wonder whether he ever so much as suspected that some one doted on her. `I hope I have done right. Grewgious. I have handed Mr. if you should have any secret consciousness that you are committing yourself to this step for no higher reason than because you have long been accustomed to look forward to it. Grewgious. by the living and by the dead. and what a weak fool I. walked softly and slowly to and fro. as defying vacancy to accuse him of having been asleep.' returned Bazzard. harder than ever. sir. after his manner. He was restless to-night. Grewgious. though he checked himself at that point. and Bazzard looked into it.' The young man took the little case. You see?' Edwin reproduced the little case. sir. `and I have been following you. and yet it must have gone from me very soon. `If anything should be amiss.' `In discharge of a trust.' Evidently anxious to get away and be alone. when he struck in and won her. between you. Edwin Drood now resumed his outer clothing. and took another walk. because he knewÐGood God. and seemed dispirited. for. `I wonder (for the ten-thousandth time. Edwin Drood a ring of diamonds and rubies. I wonder whether it ever crept into his mind who that unfortunate some one was!' . and shut and locked the escritoire. left alone. but he went out into it. and came back to the solitary fireside. and. sat apoplectically staring at vacancy.
he rendered it pretty clear that Providence made a distinct mistake in originating so small a nation of hearts of oak. epitaph. Should he meet a stranger coming from the churchyard with a quick step. towards evening. it cannot be disputed that the whole framework of societyÐMr. and other geographical forms of land soever. In short. no kickshaw ditties. he often takes an airing in the Cathedral Close and thereabout. besides sweeping the seas in all directions. Grewgious crossed the staircase to his raw and foggy bedroom. he extinguished his light. favourites with national enemies. poor man. Mr. tickling his earsÐfigurativelyÐlong enough to present a considerable area for tickling. and on that occasion Mr. J. he held his candle to it for a moment. `There! there! there! Get to bed. CHAPTER XIIÐA NIGHT WITH DURDLES When Mr. and salad. Sapsea has improved the acquaintance of Mr. Sir Thomas Sapsea! Of such is the salt of the earth. Rise. but gave him the genuine George the Third home-brewed.' Mr. Mayors have been knighted for `going up' with addresses: explosive machines intrepidly discharging shot and shell into the English Grammar. Sapsea has been received at the gatehouse with kindred hospitality. And yet there are such unexplored romantic nooks in the unlikeliest men. and finds the contemplation of his own profundity becoming a little monotonous in spite of the vastness of the subject. Mr. at the core. Without mayors. Jasper seated himself at the piano. backgammon. and sang to him. _you_. and was soon ready for bed. Mr. T. Sapsea that evening. Sapsea. in or about seventeen-forty-seven. and cease to jabber!' With that. isthmuses. peninsulas. and perhaps reading his inscription. and many of them. beef. exhorting him (as `my brave boys') to reduce to a smashed condition all other islands but this island. and try. I will shut out the world with the bedclothes. Dimly catching sight of his face in the misty looking-glass. pulled up the bedclothes around him. that even old tinderous and touchwoody P. Sapsea is confident that he invented that forcible figureÐwould fall to pieces. Sapsea may `go up' with an address. and has publicly given her a prize.`I wonder whether I shall sleep to-night! At all events. he sang to Mr. he is morally convinced that the stranger is `with a blush retiring. Sapsea has nothing better to do.' as monumentally directed. and that he is sound. and . to come into anybody's thoughts in such an aspect!' he exclaimed. Sapsea's importance has received enhancement. sir. that he is always ready to profit by the wisdom of his elders. and to encourage in his breast a sort of benignant-landlord feeling. at some odd times. for he has become Mayor of Cloisterham. promontories. in that he has been bountiful towards that meritorious tenant. He likes to pass the churchyard with a swelling air of proprietorship. and all continents. In proof of which. He likes to see a stray face or two looking in through the railings. since their first meeting to partake of port. Possibly Jabbered Thus. and with another sigh shut out the world. What Mr. Jasper. Mrs. Sapsea likes in that young man is. Mr. `A likely some one.
walking slowly this moist evening near the churchyard with his hands behind him. Mr. first led to my bestowing a second thought upon the man: though of course I had met him constantly about. Sapsea. looking about him for information. `Well!' says the Dean. Mr.' `A character. Mayor?' `I am not aware. perhaps. his head and voice are much too valuable to us. Tope is again highly entertained. as I did. `How is that. Mr. Sapsea's knowledge of mankind and power of drawing out whatever is recluse or odd around him. and we ought to make a good book.' Mr. if you had seen Mr. Sapsea gets a little behind the Dean. Mayor. Tope. `yes. Sapsea.' returns the lumbering auctioneer.' Mr. The Very Reverend the Dean refers to that? Yes. Jasper. `I may have a little influence over him.' explains Jasper. `You are evidently going to write a book about us. among other things. We are not so richly endowed in possessions as in age. Mayor?' says the Dean. that with a few skilful touches you turn inside out.' says Jasper. Mr. The Very Reverend the Dean will please to bear in mind that I have seen the world. `of turning author or archæologist.so many other verminous peoples.' replies Jasper. on the look-out for a blushing and retiring stranger. Sapsea. not quite that. with a nod of good-natured recognition of his Fetch. perhaps. and is instantly stricken far more ecclesiastical than any Archbishop of York or Canterbury. You would not be surprised by this. looking about him to see what has become of his copyist: `I hope. Sapsea makes his obeisance. Mr. `Durdles. Mr. and a little insight into his character. `to what the Very Reverend the Dean does me the honour of referring.' And then falls to studying his original in minute points of detail. we cannot afford it. Sapsea deal with him in his own parlour.' Mr. you will use your study and knowledge of Durdles to the good purpose of exhorting him not to break our worthy and respected Choir-Master's neck. yes. sir. conversing with the Verger and Mr.' `O!' cries Sapsea. `to write a book about us. turns a corner. Sapsea here is more accountable than I am. is greatly entertained by this. sir. having fallen into respectful .' `How so. `Nay. to inspect his coat-buttons.' Mr. Mr. picking up the ball thrown to him with ineffable complacency and pomposity. and comes instead into the goodly presence of the Dean. Jasper. Well! We are very ancient. Tope hints. Jasper together. I regard Durdles as a Character. but perhaps you will put _that_ in your book. It is but a whim of mine. `I really have no intention at all. `Ay!' the Dean echoes. and.' quoth the Dean. I happened to bring Durdles and Mr. Durdles!' `The truth is. as in duty bound. Mr. Mr. Sapsea remarks. And even for my whim. and call attention to our wrongs. `Durdles. Dean. Mr. `that my curiosity in the man was first really stimulated by Mr.' Here Mr.
' [Picture: Durdles cautions Mr. How is it at present endangered?' he inquires. And the solemn idiot really believes that he does remember. can Mister Jarsper.' `And here he is. Durdles with his dinner-bundle in his hand. `Mind you take care of my friend. it might be worth my while?' `I remember!' replies the auctioneer. `Profiting by your hint. but again sinking to the company.convulsions of laughter. with a grave cautionary nod. `What friend o' yourn is dead?' asks Durdles. Sapsea stops him.' `O! him?' says Durdles. is indeed beheld slouching towards them. `I own to it. `You remember suggesting. `He can take care of himself. `No orders has come in for any friend o' yourn. importing that surely any gentleman would deem it a pleasure and an honour to have his neck broken. Whom Durdles (there being command in his tone) surlily surveys from head to foot. that. Slouching nearer. Jasper's neck. if you'll mind what concerns you. subsides into a deferential murmur. as a lover of the picturesque. and ruins.' `Don't you get into a bad habit of boasting. Jasper is my friend. `to answer for Mr. he pulls off his hat. winking to the company to observe how smoothly he will manage him. looking about him with magnificent patronage. Mr.' returns Durdles. reddening. vaults. and perceiving the Dean. Sapsea. `With submission to his Reverence the Dean.' says Sapsea again. `I don't like liberties.' returns Jasper. I will tell Durdles to be careful of it.' observes Sapsea loftily. Sapsea lays upon him. and we are to make a moonlight hole-and-corner exploration to-night.' pursues Jasper. Sapsea.' retorts Durdles.' `You're out of temper. `I have had some day-rambles with the extraordinary old fellow. `Only by my making a moonlight expedition with Durdles among the tombs.' . And you are my friend.' is the injunction Mr. `I will take it upon myself.' says Mr. `It'll grow upon you. and is slouching away with it under his arm. and Mr. Durdles he'll mind what concerns him.' `I mean my live friend there. Sapsea against boasting] `You are out of temper. when you brought us together. in return for such a compliment from such a source.' says Sapsea. `My friend concerns me. towers.' `But do you take care of him too.' says the Dean. when Mr. He will mind what _I_ say. sir.
with no light but that of the fire. as agreed. and putting on a low-crowned. when you want me. and his hat. and Mr. The two journeymen have left their two great saws sticking in their blocks of stone. and his clothes. Sapsea winks a third wink to the company. as he puts his hat on. Tope to his tea. . by the rising moon. the two think little of that now. and the moon is about to rise. but being uniformly in one condition of dust and grit.' and stalks out of the controversy. until it has been for some time dark. and they go out together. or hole in the city wall. and seeing a light within it. and two skeleton journeymen out of the Dance of Death might be grinning in the shadow of their sheltering sentry-boxes. My spirit is ready for 'em. he sits chanting choir-music in a low and beautiful voice. Why does he move so softly to-night? No outward reason is apparent for it. and he appears with it at the door. flap-brimmed hat. or ardent?' `The one's the t'other.Mr.Ðor say one of the two! `Ho! Durdles!' The light moves. Curious.' `Do you mean animal spirits. and tumbler. should there be need. puts a match or two in his pocket wherewith to light it. `Are you ready?' `I am ready. and perhaps merry. Let the old 'uns come out if they dare. goes softly out. already touched here and there. `You'll find me at home. `and I mean 'em both. Mr. Durdles then gives the Dean a good evening. being alive. and stony lumber of the yard. with a goodly wicker-cased bottle in its largest pocket.' He takes a lantern from a hook. when we go among their tombs.' answers Durdles. Likely enough. for no other cleansing instruments are visible in the bare brick room with rafters overhead and no plastered ceiling. never showing any trace of cleaning. This going home to clean himself is one of the man's incomprehensible compromises with inexorable facts. to make a guess at the two. and his boots. The lamplighter now dotting the quiet Close with specks of light. for two or three hours. in short. into which he shows his visitor. as who should say: `I think you will agree with me that I have settled _his_ business. and running at a great rate up and down his little ladder with that objectÐhis little ladder under the sacred shadow of whose inconvenience generations had grown up. Mister Jarsper. He would seem to have been `cleaning himself' with the aid of a bottle.' soon slouches out of sight. he softly picks his course among the gravestones. I'm a-going home to clean myself. he. sidewise. softly changes his coat for a pea-jacket. jug. There. and adding. monuments. Can there be any sympathetic reason crouching darkly within him? Repairing to Durdles's unfinished house. Jasper to his piano. Mister Jarsper. Then he closes his piano softly. about to slash away at cutting out the gravestones of the next two people destined to die in Cloisterham. and which all Cloisterham would have stood aghast at the idea of abolishingÐthe Dean withdraws to his dinner.
' . With a little handy stirring. cannot be heard consecutively. What they say. and were going to fire. Crisparkle and Neville walk to and fro. as though his eye were at the trigger of a loaded rifle. and looks at him. Crisparkle can be distinctly heard to observe. and to study moonlight effects in such company is another affair. This crossed. What is it?' `Lime. that even Durdles pauses in his munching. there is a piece of old dwarf wall. Mister Jarsper. but Mr. Let us keep quiet here. but that the Choir-Master or any one else should hold it worth his while to be with him. Jasper. `they will go out into the moonlight soon. Meanwhile Mr. The sound of a closing house-door strikes their ears.' Mr. like a GhoulÐthat he should be stealing forth to climb. is nothing extraordinary. therefore! `'Ware that there mound by the yard-gate. Surely an unaccountable sort of expedition! That Durdles himself. and emerging into the clear moonlight of the Monks' Vineyard. and he had covered him. A sense of destructive power is so expressed in his face. and. and falls to munching some fragments from his bundle. breast high. with a strange and sudden smile upon his face. and ruins. and waits for him to come up. `and the last day of the week is Christmas Eve. Crisparkle and Neville. the only remaining boundary of what was once a garden. `What you call quick-lime?' `Ay!' says Durdles. with an unmunched something in his cheek. quick enough to eat your bones.' Mr. for he lags behind. and two men come out.' `You may be certain of me. and dive.' `I see it. with his chin resting on them. presently passing the red windows of the Travellers' Twopenny.dinner-bundle and all. Jasper folds his arms upon the top of the wall. who is always prowling among old graves. `This is the first day of the week. and wander without an object. `Those two are only sauntering. sir. quietly talking together. stopping so short. but is now the thoroughfare. or they will detain us. or what not. watches. as they turn back. stand behind it. Jasper and Durdles would have turned this wall in another instant. but. stopping him where he stands. too. At that end of Minor Canon Corner the shadow is profound in the existing state of the light: at that end. Surely an unaccountable sort of expedition. lays the palm of his hand upon the breast of Durdles. `quick enough to eat your boots. Jasper stops.' Durdles nods assent. He takes no note whatever of the Minor Canon. but watches Neville.' They go on.' Jasper whispers. or want to join us. These are Mr. they come to Minor Canon Corner: of which the greater part lies in shadow until the moon shall rise higher in the sky. Jasper has already distinguished his own name more than once.
' Then the sound of their talk becomes confused again. this fragment of a reply is heard: `Not deserved yet. who still has that suspended something in his cheek. As they draw still nearer. passing out into the moonlight at the opposite end of the Corner. also. become visible to the living. but no wave passes the archway. bare of glass. but there is next to none at night. Among those secluded nooks there is very little stir or movement after dark. Jasper's own gatehouse. The word `confidence. is uttered by Mr. with a child in her arms and a rope dangling from her neck. under any circumstances. for the moonlight strikes in at the groined windows. and are down in the Crypt. but as the two approach. Jasper's wicker bottle. Then Durdles bolts the something. as if desperately resigning himself to indigestion. the sound of their talking becomes confused again. and almost as widely unacknowledged.' Hence. the whole expanse of moonlight in their view is utterly deserted. They enter. locking themselves in. they would tell you no. sir. There is little enough in the high tide of the day. will get out of them as soon as I can. stares at him until Mr. but between them there are lanes of light. The lantern is not wanted. and bursts into a fit of laughter. in the widely diffused. but still capable of being pieced together. and to point before him. Durdles discoursing of the `old uns' he yet counts on disinterring. when Mr. and is the natural channel in which the Cloisterham traffic flows. if they believed in Ghosts. in connection with the words from Mr. in which he considers `a whole family on 'em' to be stoned and earthed up. Durdles. they halting for a little while. Besides that the cheerfully frequented High Street lies nearly parallel to the spot (the old Cathedral rising between the two). over which his lamp burns red behind his curtain. descend the rugged steps. They then slowly disappear. Jasper again hears his own name. But then he turns to Durdles.' As they turn away again. has been seen flitting about there by sundry witnesses as intangible as herselfÐbut it is to be sought in the innate shrinking of dust with the breath of life in it from dust out of which the breath of life has passed. after dark.' shattered by the echoes. and slapping a wall. met at random in the streets at noon. which circulates . but shall be. the living. just as if he were a familiar friend of the family. and some earnest action on the part of Neville succeeding. The murmur of the tide is heard beyond. and the churchyard. It is not until they are gone. Mr. these are such likely surroundings for the purpose that I. which not many people care to encounter.The echoes were favourable at those points. before descending into the crypt by a small side door. Up and down these lanes they walk. and you would find that ninety-nine declared for the longer round and the more frequented way. Ask the first hundred citizens of Cloisterham. but put them to choose at night between these eerie Precincts and the thoroughfare of shops. Jasper and Durdles pause to glance around them. Crisparkle is seen to look up at the sky. the cloisters. a certain awful hush pervades the ancient pile. Jasper moves. reflection: `If the dead do. as if the building were a Lighthouse. One might fancy that the tide of life was stemmed by Mr. Crisparkle: `Remember that I said I answered for you confidently. of which the latter has a key. the broken frames for which cast patterns on the ground. Jasper lays his face down on his arms to have his laugh out. Crisparkle. The taciturnity of Durdles is for the time overcome by Mr. and who sees nothing to laugh at. When they move once more. that Mr. The cause of this is not to be found in any local superstition that attaches to the PrecinctsÐalbeit a mysterious lady. The heavy pillars which support the roof engender masses of black shade.
but this is not ascertainable through the sense of sight. in the way of giving it the welcome it had a right to expect. only a few days later. and replaced again. At length I gave 'em the slip.Ðin the sense. I mean screeches. I happened to have been doing what was correct by the season. while Mr. domestically or chronologically. when them town-boys set on me at their worst. And yet. `But do you think there may be Ghosts of other things. I've never made out. though not of men and women?' `What things? Flower-beds and watering-pots? horses and harness?' `No. and casts forth the rinsing. Wait a bit till I put the bottle right. since neither can descry the other. and turned in here. `I mean that I made inquiries everywhere about.ÐI bought it on purpose.' `What cries do you mean? Chairs to mend?' `No.' answers Durdles with his usual composure. fierce retort. that is to say. They are to ascend the great Tower. Mr. And what woke me? The ghost of a cry. Mr. So I say they was both ghosts. `This is good stuff. and. scornfully.freely. That was _my_ last Christmas Eve. it _would_ lead towards a mixing of things. such as a dog gives when a person's dead. `There! _Now_ it's right! This time last year. as though their faces could commune together. The odour from the wicker bottle (which has somehow passed into Durdles's keeping) soon intimates that the cork has been taken out.' `What do you mean?' is the very abrupt. Mister Jarsper!' `It would be a more confused world than it is. Durdles pauses for new store of breath. the old uns don't. you see. Jasper only rinses his mouth once.' `I thought you were another kind of man.' `They don't show. Jarsper. that no living ears but mine heard either that cry or that howl. Mister Jarsper!' `It is very good stuff. that its contents enter freely into Mr. which shriek was followed by the ghost of the howl of a dog: a long. On the steps by which they rise to the Cathedral. in talking.' `Well. one might say.' Here the cork is evidently taken out again. Sounds. Jasper seats himself upon another.' Durdles acquiesces: pausing on the remark. The steps are very dark. if they could. as if the idea of ghosts had not previously presented itself to him in a merely inconvenient light. Durdles's circulation. they turn to one another. and.' `What sounds?' `Cries. I hope. `and yet . `So I thought myself. Durdles seats himself upon a step. though why they came to me. but out of the darkness they can see the lanes of light they have traversed. woeful howl. dismal. Now I'll tell you. The ghost of one terrific shriek. And here I fell asleep.' says Jasper.
I was picked out for it.' Jasper had risen suddenly, when he asked him what he meant, and he now says, `Come; we shall freeze here; lead the way.' Durdles complies, not over-steadily; opens the door at the top of the steps with the key he has already used; and so emerges on the Cathedral level, in a passage at the side of the chancel. Here, the moonlight is so very bright again that the colours of the nearest stained-glass window are thrown upon their faces. The appearance of the unconscious Durdles, holding the door open for his companion to follow, as if from the grave, is ghastly enough, with a purple hand across his face, and a yellow splash upon his brow; but he bears the close scrutiny of his companion in an insensible way, although it is prolonged while the latter fumbles among his pockets for a key confided to him that will open an iron gate, so to enable them to pass to the staircase of the great tower. `That and the bottle are enough for you to carry,' he says, giving it to Durdles; `hand your bundle to me; I am younger and longer-winded than you.' Durdles hesitates for a moment between bundle and bottle; but gives the preference to the bottle as being by far the better company, and consigns the dry weight to his fellow-explorer. Then they go up the winding staircase of the great tower, toilsomely, turning and turning, and lowering their heads to avoid the stairs above, or the rough stone pivot around which they twist. Durdles has lighted his lantern, by drawing from the cold, hard wall a spark of that mysterious fire which lurks in everything, and, guided by this speck, they clamber up among the cobwebs and the dust. Their way lies through strange places. Twice or thrice they emerge into level, low-arched galleries, whence they can look down into the moon-lit nave; and where Durdles, waving his lantern, waves the dim angels' heads upon the corbels of the roof, seeming to watch their progress. Anon they turn into narrower and steeper staircases, and the night-air begins to blow upon them, and the chirp of some startled jackdaw or frightened rook precedes the heavy beating of wings in a confined space, and the beating down of dust and straws upon their heads. At last, leaving their light behind a stairÐfor it blows fresh up hereÐthey look down on Cloisterham, fair to see in the moonlight: its ruined habitations and sanctuaries of the dead, at the tower's base: its moss-softened red-tiled roofs and red-brick houses of the living, clustered beyond: its river winding down from the mist on the horizon, as though that were its source, and already heaving with a restless knowledge of its approach towards the sea. Once again, an unaccountable expedition this! Jasper (always moving softly with no visible reason) contemplates the scene, and especially that stillest part of it which the Cathedral overshadows. But he contemplates Durdles quite as curiously, and Durdles is by times conscious of his watchful eyes. Only by times, because Durdles is growing drowsy. As aëronauts lighten the load they carry, when they wish to rise, similarly Durdles has lightened the wicker bottle in coming up. Snatches of sleep surprise him on his legs, and stop him in his talk. A mild fit of calenture seizes him, in which he deems that the ground so far below, is on a level with the tower, and would as lief walk off the tower into the air as not. Such is his state when they begin to come down. And as aëronauts make themselves heavier when they wish to descend, similarly Durdles charges himself with more liquid from the wicker bottle, that he may come down the better.
The iron gate attained and lockedÐbut not before Durdles has tumbled twice, and cut an eyebrow open onceÐthey descend into the crypt again, with the intent of issuing forth as they entered. But, while returning among those lanes of light, Durdles becomes so very uncertain, both of foot and speech, that he half drops, half throws himself down, by one of the heavy pillars, scarcely less heavy than itself, and indistinctly appeals to his companion for forty winks of a second each. `If you will have it so, or must have it so,' replies Jasper, `I'll not leave you here. Take them, while I walk to and fro.' Durdles is asleep at once; and in his sleep he dreams a dream. It is not much of a dream, considering the vast extent of the domains of dreamland, and their wonderful productions; it is only remarkable for being unusually restless and unusually real. He dreams of lying there, asleep, and yet counting his companion's footsteps as he walks to and fro. He dreams that the footsteps die away into distance of time and of space, and that something touches him, and that something falls from his hand. Then something clinks and gropes about, and he dreams that he is alone for so long a time, that the lanes of light take new directions as the moon advances in her course. From succeeding unconsciousness he passes into a dream of slow uneasiness from cold; and painfully awakes to a perception of the lanes of lightÐreally changed, much as he had dreamedÐand Jasper walking among them, beating his hands and feet. `Holloa!' Durdles cries out, unmeaningly alarmed. `Awake at last?' says Jasper, coming up to him. `Do you know that your forties have stretched into thousands?' `No.' `They have though.' `What's the time?' `Hark! The bells are going in the Tower!' They strike four quarters, and then the great bell strikes. `Two!' cries Durdles, scrambling up; `why didn't you try to wake me, Mister Jarsper?' `I did. I might as well have tried to wake the deadÐyour own family of dead, up in the corner there.' `Did you touch me?' `Touch you! Yes. Shook you.' As Durdles recalls that touching something in his dream, he looks down on the pavement, and sees the key of the crypt door lying close to where he himself lay. `I dropped you, did I?' he says, picking it up, and recalling that part of his dream. As he gathers himself up again into an upright position, or into a position as nearly upright as he ever maintains, he is again conscious of being watched by his companion.
`Well?' says Jasper, smiling, `are you quite ready? Pray don't hurry.' `Let me get my bundle right, Mister Jarsper, and I'm with you.' As he ties it afresh, he is once more conscious that he is very narrowly observed. `What do you suspect me of, Mister Jarsper?' he asks, with drunken displeasure. `Let them as has any suspicions of Durdles name 'em.' `I've no suspicions of you, my good Mr. Durdles; but I have suspicions that my bottle was filled with something stiffer than either of us supposed. And I also have suspicions,' Jasper adds, taking it from the pavement and turning it bottom upwards, `that it's empty.' Durdles condescends to laugh at this. Continuing to chuckle when his laugh is over, as though remonstrant with himself on his drinking powers, he rolls to the door and unlocks it. They both pass out, and Durdles relocks it, and pockets his key. `A thousand thanks for a curious and interesting night,' says Jasper, giving him his hand; `you can make your own way home?' `I should think so!' answers Durdles. `If you was to offer Durdles the affront to show him his way home, he wouldn't go home. Durdles wouldn't go home till morning; And _then_ Durdles wouldn't go home, Durdles wouldn't.' This with the utmost defiance. `Good-night, then.' `Good-night, Mister Jarsper.' Each is turning his own way, when a sharp whistle rends the silence, and the jargon is yelped out: Widdy widdy wen! IÐketÐchesÐImÐoutÐarÐterÐten. Widdy widdy wy! ThenÐEÐdon'tÐgoÐthenÐIÐshyÐ Widdy Widdy Wake-cock warning!' Instantly afterwards, a rapid fire of stones rattles at the Cathedral wall, and the hideous small boy is beheld opposite, dancing in the moonlight. `What! Is that baby-devil on the watch there!' cries Jasper in a fury: so quickly roused, and so violent, that he seems an older devil himself. `I shall shed the blood of that impish wretch! I know I shall do it!' Regardless of the fire, though it hits him more than once, he rushes at Deputy, collars him, and tries to bring him across. But Deputy is not to be so easily brought across. With a diabolical insight into the strongest part of his position, he is no sooner taken by the throat than he curls up his legs, forces his assailant to hang him, as it were, and gurgles in his throat, and screws his body, and twists, as already undergoing the first agonies of strangulation. There is nothing for it but to drop him. He instantly gets himself together, backs over to Durdles, and cries to his assailant, gnashing the great gap in front of
`He has been prowling near us ever since!' `Yer lie. Mister Jarsper. The housemaids had been bribed with various fragments of riband.' returns Deputy. and.' retorts Jasper. and cowslip wine had been quaffed from the small squat measuring glass in which little Rickitts (a junior of weakly constitution) took her steel drops daily. and sundry pairs of shoes more or less down at heel. the airiest costumes had been worn on these festive occasions. s'elp me! I'll stone yer eyes out. Jasper goes to his gatehouse. and now from that: prepared. The Christmas recess was at hand. and handed round with the curling tongs. `it ain't _any_ fault. and more strictly collegiate. even by the erudite Miss Twinkleton herself. if run down after all. I haven't.his mouth with rage and malice: `I'll blind yer. What had once.' but what was now called. shielding him. If IÐketÐchesÐImÐoutÐarÐterÐten!' (with the usual rhythm and dance. `the term. until suffocated in her own pillow by two flowing-haired executioners.' `He followed us to-night. CHAPTER XIIIÐBOTH AT THEIR BEST Miss Twinkleton's establishment was about to undergo a serene hush. though dodging behind Durdles).' urges Durdles. been called. and cry: `Now. begins stoning that respectable gentleman home.' would expire to-morrow. and the daring Miss Ferdinand had even surprised the company with a sprightly solo on the comb-and-curlpaper. as if he were a reluctant ox. ferociously. the unaccountable expedition comes to an endÐfor the time. when we first came here!' `Yer lie. Club suppers had occurred in the bedrooms. I didn't!' replies Deputy. as everything comes to an end. `I'd only jist come out for my 'elth when I see you two a-coming out of the Kin-freederel. to dart away in all manner of curvilinear directions. and at no remote period. And thus. then. . Portions of marmalade had likewise been distributed on a service of plates constructed of curlpaper. Durdles. is it?' `Take him home. with another sharp whistle. A noticeable relaxation of discipline had for some few days pervaded the Nuns' House. `the half. `and let my eyes be rid of the sight of you!' Deputy. and snarling at Jasper. at once expressing his relief. to make no mention of crumbs in the beds. `Recollect yourself. now from this side of him. and a dressed tongue had been carved with a pair of scissors. as being more elegant. to grovel in the dust. and his commencement of a milder stoning of Mr. Mr. s'elp me! If I don't have yer eyesight. brooding. though with a strong check upon himself. bellows me!' At the same time dodging behind Durdles. hit me when I'm down! Do it!' `Don't hurt the boy. if pounced upon. in his one form of polite contradiction.
for all was redolent of our relations and friends. pursuits which.' Hearts. in saluting each young lady's cheek. and was even better contented than ever before. that she was contented to remain where she was. `with Miss Twinkleton's best compliments' in the corner. had brought us to a pause in our studiesÐlet us hope our greatly advanced studiesÐand.' but annually stopped on the brink of that expression. and that Ghosts should be encouraged by all possible means. it was always expressly made a point of honour that nobody should go to sleep. another revolving year had brought us round to that festive period at which the first feelings of our nature bounded in ourÐMiss Twinkleton was annually going to add `bosoms. was freely distributed among the attendants. until we met again. addressed to her next friend at law. acknowledged such homage by making faces at the golden youth. and happiness. This compact invariably broke down. So many times had Rosa seen such dispersals. and the bespoken coaches began to choke the street. held a drawing-room in her own apartment (the globes already covered with brown Holland). pursuits which. on such an occasion. and so very little did she know of any other Home. Boxes appeared in the bedrooms (where they were capital at other times). Largess. and Miss Twinkleton. our hearts. might _they_ find _us_ prospering as _they_ expected! Ladies. Addison's impressive tragedy: `The dawn is overcast. The handmaidens of the establishment. And when the time should come for our resumption of those pursuits which (here a general depression set in all round). in words too trite for repetition. Might _we_ find _them_ prospering as _we_ expected. the morning lowers. confidences were interchanged respecting golden youth of England expected to call. Helena Landless. like the mariner in his bark. and substituted `hearts. in their best caps. Miss Giggles (deficient in sentiment) did indeed profess that she. having been a party .Ðthen let us ever remember what was said by the Spartan General. From horizon to zenith all was _couleur de rose_. at the battle it were superfluous to specify. out of all proportion to the amount packed. The concluding ceremony came off at twelve o'clock on the day of departure. confided to her an exceedingly neat letter. the captive in his dungeon. Then leave-taking was not long about. then handed the trays. but were something in the nature of a delicate and joyful surprise. Tisher. but this young lady was outvoted by an immense majority. The great. wish one another good-bye. Hem! Again a revolving year. And yet her latest friendship had a blank place in it of which she could not fail to be sensible.' on the first opportunity. And heavily in clouds brings on the day. with our love to one another. and the young ladies sipped and crumbled. On charges of inviolable secrecy. we yearned for home. and also of hairpins. we would now. On the last night before a recess. Did we say. in the opening words of Mr. This missive she handed with an air as if it had not the least connexion with the bill. for her part. supported by Mrs. when Miss Twinkleton. the warrior in his tent. and a surprising amount of packing took place. ladies. and got up very early. `at home. where glasses of white-wine and plates of cut pound-cake were discovered on the table. Miss Twinkleton then said: Ladies. in the form of odds and ends of cold cream and pomatum. and all the young ladies went to sleep very soon. th' important dayÐ?' Not so. having her latest friend with her.Nor were these the only tokens of dispersal. and the traveller in his various conveyances.
`Good-bye. With far less force of purpose in his composition than the childish beauty. Thus they got out together before it became necessary for either Miss Twinkleton. and Cloisterham was itself again. They would not be moved. It would have made a pretty picture. I will bear his words in mind. was mysterious to Rosa. and try to be true to the living and the dead. so unwontedly sparkling. and Mr. and had got among the quiet walks in the neighbourhood of the Cathedral and the river: `I want to say something very serious to you. Sapsea's father over the opposite doorway seemed to say to mankind: `Gentlemen. Tisher. crowned by acclamation fairy queen of Miss Twinkleton's establishment. He must either give the ring to Rosa. now that she knewÐfor so much Helena had told herÐthat a good understanding was to be reëstablished between the two young men. and Miss Twinkleton had already graciously sanctioned fresh air. he would have drifted into their wedding-day without another pause for real thought. It was a bright.' was his decision. to lay even so much as one of those usual offerings on the shrine of Propriety. or the deputy high-priest Mrs. and wonder more and more why this avoidance of Edwin's name should last. `Whatever comes of it. long time. left alone. I have been thinking about it for a long. walking from the gatehouse to the Nuns' House.' Rosa was dressed for walking. `My dear Eddy. Crisparkle. Rosebud darlingº] If Rosebud in her bower now waited Edwin Drood's coming with an uneasy heart. As it was. or he must take it back. she might have relieved her own little perplexed heart of some of its doubts and hesitations. youthful. frosty day. in various silvery voices. and but for the ring he carried in the breast pocket of his coat. She expected him. Edwin for his part was uneasy too. were neither to be frowned aside nor laughed aside. Why she so avoided it.to her brother's revelation about Rosa. ran dry. Grewgious had pricked it. But that serious putting him on his truth to the living and the dead had brought him to a check. and that sunny little creature peeping out of it (unconscious of sly faces carved on spout and gable peeping at her). by taking Helena into her confidence. so many pretty girls kissing Rosa in the cold porch of the Nuns' House. when Edwin came down. when they had turned out of the High Street. as if she represented the spirit of rosy youth abiding in the place to keep it bright and warm in its desertion. favour me with your attention to this charming little last lot left behind. But for the dinner in Staple Inn. Once put into this narrowed way of action. he had a conscience. `I will be guided by what she says. and waving farewells to the departing coaches. it was curious that he began to consider Rosa's claims upon him more unselfishly than he had ever considered them before. and having entered into that compact of silence with Mr.' said Rosa. The hoarse High Street became musical with the cry. But for the fact. she had no such vent: she could only ponder on her own difficulties. Rosebud darling!' and the effigy of Mr. and fresh for a few rippling moments. That gentleman's steady convictions of what was right and what was wrong in such a case as his. [Picture: ªGood-bye. shrank from any allusion to Edwin Drood's name. and bid with a spirit worthy of the occasion!' Then the staid street.' . and by how we get on. but she perfectly perceived the fact. loosely trusting that all would go well. and began to be less sure of himself than he had ever been in all his easy-going days.
Let us change to brother and sister from this day forth. I mean to be serious and earnest. will you? You will not think I speak for myself only. and you see how sorry we both are. poor boy! And I for you!' This pure young feeling. and on many.' Another silence fell upon them.' clasping her hand on his arm.' `That's a dear good boy! Eddy. brought with it its reward in a softening light that seemed to shine on their position. honourable. with pathetic earnestness. Rosa. affectionate.' `No. And you will not think me unkind because I begin.' pursued Rosa. I am not truly happy in it. `you couldn't like me then. Rosa. that we were far from right together in those relations which were not of our own choosing.`I want to be serious with you too. and true. O.' `Never be husband and wife?' `Never!' Neither spoke again for a little while. Rosa. `If we knew yesterday. Deeply sorry for you. Eddy. as she dried her eyes. besides. `And there is no fear.' `And I for you. let us be courageous. You are not truly happy in our engagement.' she returned. `we have so much reason to be very lenient to each other!' `We will be. Eddy. but how much better to be sorry now than then!' `When. many yesterdays. because I speak first? That would not be generous. And then we should be angry. `of our quarrelling. what better could we do to-day than change them? It is natural that we should be sorry. dear.' said Rosa. they became elevated into something more self-denying. and you . and of course I am in honour bound to confess freely that it does not originate with you. Rosa?' `When it would be too late.' said Rosa innocently. in such a light. `I hope I am not ungenerous to you. `And you know. nor with you. or a failure.' He called her Pussy no more. so sorry!' And there she broke into tears. `I am deeply sorry too. Never again. But after that pause he said. would it? And I know you are generous!' He said. I am so sorry. this gentle and forbearing feeling of each towards the other.' `Thank you. or capricious. The relations between them did not look wilful. `and we did know yesterday. Rosa dear. with some effort: `Of course I know that this has been in both our minds. `That sprung up between us. Rosa. is there? Because.
My life is not so busy as yours. Eddy. Surely it not enough that you should think of me only as other people did. But he is a good. Rosa dear. and he didn't understand me. in his superiority to her share of woman's wit. `Your guardian has spoken to me too.' `Don't let us come to that. now.can always like me now. poor boy). very sorry!' Her full heart broke into tears again. how seriously we ought to consider. He had always patronised her. or a worry to you. very hard. Eddy. You liked me. brother. the difference between us was. and why discuss or dispute it?' It was new and strange to him to have himself presented to himself so clearly. instead of dismissing it. in a glass of her holding up. And he put before me so kindly. and let me us. but I hesitated and failed. Eddy. I tried to hint to him that I was not quite settled in my mind.' said Rosa. Eddy? And if I had . that is just how it was with us. and you had grown used to me. and they walked by the river-side together. when all at once my guardian came down. and I have not so many things to think of. Unless it was. but say they do. `You liked me very well. Was that but another instance of something radically amiss in the terms on which they had been gliding towards a life-long bondage? `All this that I say of you is true of me as well. for O. And if I seemed to come to it easily just now. my generous us sit down. and I beg your pardon for it. for I shall not be a drag upon you. and then flashed with the bright little induction: `Well. that I resolved to speak to you the next moment we were alone and grave. why should I tell her of it?' `And that made you more serious about it. didn't you? It was to be. you see. it was very. in our circumstances. didn't it. upon yourself. because I came to it all at once. Only. seeking the ring. Rosa. and your sister will not tease or trifle with you. or I shall want more pardoning than I like to think of. and had grown used to the idea of our being married. it?' boy. He put his arm about her waist. I am very. I often did when I was not your sister. Rosa. didn't you? little thing?' `Everybody thinks that. `And that is just what I mean. for I have considered about were here last time. but he checked it. and yet so strongly.' His right hand was in his breast. to prepare for my leaving the Nuns' House. and I cried about it very much too (though that was not your fault. you are too hard. I think I know.' `No. as he thought: `If I am to take it back. It was not enough. I saw him before I left London. and O. don't think it was so really. that by little and little there crept into my mind a habit of thinking about it.' `Do out was was they?' She knitted her brow musingly for a moment. indeed. on these ruins. And I can always like you now. good man. Let tell you how it was with it very much since you You thought I was a nice The point was not to be got over. You accepted the situation as an inevitable kind of thing. So I thought about it very much. you thought. I might not be bold enough to say it.
I came intending to do it. to her. confused. Rosa. I should have spoken.' added Rosa.not spoken to you. and he'll put the whole thing feelingly to Jack.' `Don't say you mean so coldly or unkindly. ruminating. you would have spoken to me? I hope you can tell me so? I don't like it to be _all_ my doing. The news is sure to overset him. he relates what we have agreed upon. Rosa.' She nodded twice or thrice. and he states our case better than we could. if I should write and ask him. to have so little to do with it. `The dear girls will be dreadfully disappointed. `How shall I tell Jack?' said Edwin. with the dewdrops glistening in her bright eyes. I dine with the dear fellow to-morrow and next dayÐChristmas Eve and Christmas DayÐbut it would never do to spoil his feast-days. and that evasively and hurriedly: Why should she? She had not thought about it. It must be broken to him. and breathed quickly.' `I mean so sensibly and delicately.' `That's my dear brother!' She kissed his hand in a little rapture. before the town-crier knows it. I should have put everything before you. because it will be sudden to _him_. He seemed. But it appeared as though she would have instantly recalled it. Would you like to leave it to him?' `A bright idea!' cried Edwin. if she could. as I have. please. I am going to do so. How on earth shall this be broken to Jack?' `He must be told.' `Yes. I suppose?' said Rosa. you know. But she uttered no sound. `My dear Rosa! who ought to be in our confidence. if not Jack?' `My guardian promised to come down. That's it! I am not a coward. for she looked down. though it _is_ so much better for us. Eddy. But I never could have spoken to you as you have spoken to me. `They have looked forward to it so. he has already spoken feelingly to me. He has already spoken feelingly to you. `My dear child! can you suppose that any one so wrapped up in anotherÐMrs. he goes to Jack. laughing. he must have seen her singular emotion. with a start. if you can help it.' said Edwin Drood. If he had been less occupied with the thought. `You don't doubt its being a blow to Jack. and moddley-coddleys in the merest trifles. and her breathing was no slower. but to . He comes down. `I never thought of Jack. Tope's expression: not mineÐas Jack is in me. Rosa?' She merely replied. poor pets!' `Ah! but I fear it will be a worse disappointment to Jack. and her lips parted as if she would have assented. `I never thought of Jack!' Her swift and intent look at him as he said the words could no more be recalled than a flash of lightning can. He always worries about me. `The other trustee. Nothing more natural. so wisely and affectionately. could fail to be struck all of a heap by such a sudden and complete change in my life? I say sudden.
riveted to the foundations of heaven and earth. as the first preliminary. plans. sister Rosa. and exact. They walked on by the river. Could you possibly suppose for a moment. and again was checked by the consideration: `It is certain. and gifted with invincible force to hold and drag. there was one chain forged in the moment of that small conclusion. The poor dear girls should have their disappointment broken to them gently. he arrived at the conclusion. Let them lie unspoken of. and. He would restore them to her guardian when he came down. Edwin Drood's right hand closed again upon the ring in its little case. in no time: whereas with me Jack is always impulsive and hurried. no! you are not afraid of him!' cried Rosa. and could so quietly find itself alone in a new world to weave fresh wreaths of such flowers as it might prove to bear. he in his turn would restore them to the cabinet from which he had unwillingly taken them. they would be disregarded.' she felt comforted and protected by the interposition of Mr. in the vast iron-works of time and circumstance.' `No. WhichÐand this is the secret I was going to tell youÐis another reason for your guardian's making the communication. or fitÐI saw him in it onceÐand I don't know but that so great a surprise. being valuable. then why should I tell her of it?' That pretty sympathetic nature which could be so sorry for him in the blight of their childish hopes of happiness together. they were sold into circulation again. that I was literally afraid of the dear fond fellow? What I mean is. precise. but I am as sorry as if I had meant to do it. Perhaps from her own very different point of view of `Jack.tell you a secret.' `Most unintentionally. what do you see from the turret?' said Edwin. Grewgious. even in advance of the reappearance of Mr. It should be made clear in all quarters that she and Edwin were the best of friends. I may say. Grewgious between herself and him. He would quicken his departure from England. Let them be. at least as long as Helena remained. `Why. until. Let them be. that he will talk Jack's thoughts into shape. and. sister Rosa. in his breast. like old letters or old vows. and are so much brittle dust. from any loose way of speaking of mine. Let them be. Among the mighty store of wonderful chains that are for ever forging. or other records of old aspirations come to nothing. He is so steady. Miss Twinkleton should be confided in by Rosa.' Rosa seemed convinced. that he is subject to a kind of paroxysm. the old world's flowers being withered. that I am to give it back to him. And now. and to what purpose? Why should it be? They were but a sign of broken joys and baseless projects. coming upon him direct from me whom he is so wrapped up in. I am a little afraid of Jack. hopes. `My dear girl!' `You frightened me. might bring it on perhaps. would be grieved by those sorrowful jewels. in their very beauty they were (as the unlikeliest of men had said) almost a cruel satire on the loves. However distinctly or indistinctly he entertained these thoughts. They began to speak of their separate plans. of humanity. almost womanish. and there. day and night. which are able to forecast nothing. and clasping her hands. rallying her. to repeat their former round. now. There had . turning white. and she would remain where she was.
Ðfor they were old already. she asked: `Has he followed us? You can look without seeming to. as she had never raised it in the old days. Rosa?' `Yes. Is he behind?' `No. when they turned to leave its margin. I am afraid he will be .' said Edwin. `God bless you. and led her away. and the rooks hovered above them with hoarse cries. once there. that she intended through her guardian to withdraw herself immediately from the tuition of her music-master. and let me be by myself. The dear. and hurried on until they had passed under the gatehouse into the street. please take me home. Poor fellow! he little thinks we have parted. even now?' `And shall be far. as we took leave of each other. He saw us.never been so serene an understanding between them since they were first affianced. Yes. `Didn't you see Jack?' `No! Where?' `Under the trees. on his. in a low voice. And yet there was one reservation on each side. frosty day declined as they walked and spoke together. on hers. The moaning water cast its seaweed duskily at their feet.' Still there was that lingering tenderness in their hearts towards the old positions they were relinquishing. The sun dipped in the river far behind them. and Rosa raised her face to his. they stopped as by consent. as their walk drew to a close. `and I will but see your guardian when he comes. dear! Good-bye!' `God bless you. darker splashes in the darkening air.' `We know we are better so. This will be a blow to him.' `Don't look round. and then go before they speak together. where they had last sat together. `Now.' he cautioned her. as he drew her arm through his. It will be better done without my being by. Rosa. Don't you think so?' `Yes. sympathetic old fellow likes to keep us in sight. When they came among the elm-trees by the Cathedral. that he did already entertain some wandering speculations whether it might ever come to pass that he would know more of Miss Landless. Eddy. that they prolonged their parting. far better so by-and-by. and the old city lay red before them. without resting. The bright. `I will prepare Jack for my flitting soon. I am much afraid!' She hurried on. dear! Good-bye!' They kissed each other fervently.' `We know we have done right. he is! He has just passed out under the gateway.
In short. and a new grand comic Christmas pantomime is to be produced at the Theatre: the latter heralded by the portrait of Signor Jacksonini the clown. A few strange faces in the streets. once the faces of Cloisterham children. evinced in an immense bunch of mistletoe hanging in the greengrocer's shop doorway. it has happened in their dying hours afar off. every one of them in love with one of Miss Twinkleton's young ladies (who knows nothing about it). To these. How does each one of the three get through the day? * * * * * . she gave him one last.bitterly disappointed!' She pulled hurriedly at the handle of the hoarse old bell. candied peel. and only the handmaidens flutter occasionally in the windows of the latter. Lavish profusion is in the shops: particularly in the articles of currants. wide. than when dividing the representation with Miss Twinkleton's young ladies. now the faces of men and women who come back from the outer world at long intervals to find the city wonderfully shrunken in size. Before going in. within the limits of decorum. spices. terms one shilling per member. as if she would have asked him with imploring emphasis: `O! don't you understand?' And out of that look he vanished from her view. are like voices of their nursery time. raisins. more skittish when thus intrusted with the concrete representation of their sex. It is noticed. Three are to meet at the gatehouse to-night. The Wax-Work which made so deep an impression on the reflective mind of the Emperor of China is to be seen by particular desire during Christmas Week only. half strange and half familiar. and the cawing of the rooks from the Cathedral tower. that one would rather called it a Twenty-fourth Cake or a Forty-eighth CakeÐto be raffled for at the pastrycook's. Cloisterham is up and doing: though from this description the High School and Miss Twinkleton's are to be excluded. that these damsels become. wondering look. Public amusements are not wanting. and Mrs. that they have imagined their chamber-floor to be strewn with the autumnal leaves fallen from the elm-trees in the Close: so have the rustling sounds and fresh scents of their earliest impressions revived when the circle of their lives was very nearly traced. and almost as miserably. Mr. saying `How do you do to-morrow?' quite as large as life. and moist sugar. as if it had not washed by any means well in the meanwhile. and the beginning and the end were drawing close together. CHAPTER XIVÐWHEN SHALL THESE THREE MEET AGAIN? Christmas Eve in Cloisterham. An unusual air of gallantry and dissipation is abroad. a few other faces. as if they were sticking them into the coat-button-holes of the Dean and Chapter. and the gate soon opened. by the bye. on the premises of the bankrupt livery-stable-keeper up the lane. To such as these. the striking of the Cathedral clock. Red berries shine here and there in the lattices of Minor Canon Corner. Seasonable tokens are about. and a poor little Twelfth Cake. From the former establishment the scholars have gone home. Tope are daintily sticking sprigs of holly into the carvings and sconces of the Cathedral stalls. culminating in the figure of a HarlequinÐsuch a very poor little Twelfth Cake.
and we will have a few score miles together. I have not lived in a walking country. He also purchased. This knapsack is new. and loses not a moment in joining him.' says Mr. By this time his arrangements are complete. save such memoranda as bear directly on his studies. coming out of his bedroom upon the same storyÐwhen he turns back again for his walking-stick. and walk towards the upper inland country. Crisparkle. and asks him with a smile how he chooses a stick? `Really I don't know that I understand the subject. and leaves no note or scrap of paper undestroyed. and has met the Minor Canon on the staircase.' `I shall know better. He makes a clean sweep of all untidy accumulations. throwing himself into pedestrian form. puts all his drawers in order. Neville repairs to the Nuns' House.Neville Landless. as we dine early. takes it from him. and he bought it in the High Street yesterday.' he answers. `Get into a little training. with a concentrated air. and requests that Miss Landless may be informed that her brother is there.' Mr. when they have walked some distance and are turning. at the same time and at the same place. He then sets himself to clearing his table. CrisparkleÐwhose fresh nature is by no means insensible to the charms of a holidayÐreads and writes in his quiet room. His sister is at least as mindful of the obligation they have taken on themselves as he can be. selects a few articles of ordinary wearÐamong them. sir?' `Rest upon?' repeats Mr. Mr. with the knapsack.' `To rest upon in a long walk. `I am not going to tread upon forbidden ground. He waits at the gate. `I chose it for its weight. sees it in his hand on his immediately reappearing. expressing (not without intention) absolute confidence and ease. Helena. for he is on his parole not to put himself in Rosa's way. swings it. thinking he will carry it now.' . until it is two hours past noon. He dresses for going out. sir. Neville. Crisparkle gives him a bright nod and a cheerful good-bye. `You don't rest upon it. change of stout shoes and socks for walkingÐand packs these in a knapsack. by appointment.' says Neville. avoid lingering there. you merely balance with it. and is in the act of goingÐindeed has left his room. and lays it by. Crisparkle. a heavy walking-stick. he turns to his wardrobe. He tries this. who has paused on the staircase. Do you come back before dinner?' `I think not. Crisparkle. on a window-seat. strong in the handle for the grip of the hand. They meet affectionately. `you will understand in another moment that I cannot help referring toÐwhat shall I say?Ðmy infatuation. I should leave you nowhere now. you know. poises it. _much_ too heavy. This done. and iron-shod. and to tearing up and burning his stray papers.' `Much too heavy.' `True. with practice. to arranging his books. though absolved from his books for the time by Mr. not even crossing the threshold.
she would do so. But we took a moonlight walk last Monday night. I hope) to-morrow morning. and intend taking myself out of everybody's way (my own included. but I am conscious of unsettling and interfering with other people. He yielded to my view of the matter. you say?' `Entirely. and heard with approval. Early enough to be not only out of the streets. even if there were any one but you to bear me company. I really do feel hopeful of bracing exercise and wholesome fatigue. I am not sure but that at first he was inclined to think it rather a moody scheme.' `And going quite alone?' `I am much better without company. Crisparkle allows such things their full weight in the preservation of his own sound mind in his own sound body.' `Mr. and an unfavourable reputation has preceded me with such another person. and I represented the case to him as it really is. What I have laid much greater stress upon at the same time is. Mr. out of her own mind. when the good people go to church. our engaging guardian excepted. Neville? You know that I can hear nothing. you. and that could do no good.' `Yes.`Had you not better avoid it. I showed him that I do want to conquer myself. it is surely better that I should be away from here just now. Crisparkle entirely agrees. You know that Mr.' `When to come back?' `In a fortnight. and it is easy to understand what an irksome clog I must be upon the hospitalities of her orderly houseÐespecially at this time of yearÐwhen I must be kept asunder from this person. and that. A fortnight hence. this evening well got over. what Mr.' `Well. I could hardly help meeting certain people walking together here.' Helena thinks it over. but out of hearing of the bells. I can hear so much. Crisparkle has heard. and that his just spirit is not likely to maintain one set of natural laws for himself and another for me. might be dining cheerfully in Minor Canon Corner to-morrow? Indeed it probably would be so. the weather being bright and hard. and thinks well of it. than here. to talk it over at leisure. I am not only unsettled and unhappy myself. and there is such a reason for my not being brought into contact with that person. but still I have put it. I can see too well that I am not high in the old lady's opinion. How do I know that. and one that might do a brooding mind harm. my dear. and so on. and that a little change and absence may enable me to come through it the better. Crisparkle. and when it again arises for the last time. I have put this very gently to Mr. andÐandÐthe rest of that former party.' `You can hear. with his full consent. and so. for the time. I am going on a walking expedition. when convinced that I was honestly in earnest. that chance will probably be over. but she does originally. think well . for you know his self-denying ways. my dear Helena. why. I start to-morrow morning. and is certainly not the way to forget. that I am engaged in a miserable struggle with myself. but for my unfortunate presence. Farther. Crisparkle doing so. I can again go away. it is this. So.
dear! What do you mean?' `Helena. Something of deeper moment than he had thought. is followed by a revulsion. for going away solitary on the great Christmas festival. `I wish I were not going to this dinner. and gives it back to him. asking what wood it is? Iron-wood. Travel like a pilgrim. she makes the same remark as Mr. at the gate of the Nuns' House. But I don't like it. She is inclined to pity him. `I wish I felt as sure of everything else. she cheeringly represents to him. She does not immediately enter. Perhaps. I don't know. the having done so with success. Twice he passes the gatehouse. and here is my staff!' He hands it to her. Though the image of Miss Landless still hovers in the background of his mind. And so _he_ goes up the postern stair. when they have parted. Does he send clothes on in advance of him? `My dear Helena.' `How soon it will be over!' he repeats gloomily. no. but it can only last a moment. I only know that I don't like it. reluctant to enter. poor fellow. that it is very heavy. has roused his spirits. as I feel of myself. He scarcely speaks again. and the city-lights begin to spring up before them.of it. and ready for strapping on. the having to carry his case with her.' `Dear Neville.' he answers her. `Yes. My walletÐor my knapsackÐis packed. but remains looking after him along the street. He is quite sure of himself. the pretty little . He will write to her? He will write to her every alternate day. with a rapid turn he hurries in. but she feels it much more to the purpose to encourage him. and therefore to present it in its brightest aspect. and says that the wind is rising. What a strange dead weight there is in the air!' She calls his attention to those copperous clouds beyond the river. At length. Helena. until he takes leave of her. Up to this point he has been extremely cheerful. and tell her all his adventures. `How strangely you speak. and in the silence of his own chamber he wept for it last night. Crisparkle. as a healthy project. Perhaps. And she does encourage him. has gone out of his life. * * * * * Edwin Drood passes a solitary day. with wallet and staff. As the day closes in. the Cathedral clock chiming one quarter. is it worth while to care much about it? Think how soon it will be over.' There may be a moment's awkwardness. he grows depressed. denoting a sincere endeavour and an active attempt at self-correction.
and goes out. and his shirt-pin. thinking: `Dear old Jack! If I were to make an extra crease in my neckcloth. his watch and chain. He will soon be far away. several gentlemen have preferred it to any other kind of memento. if he had set a higher value on her. and will depart immediately after having seen him. if. It is with some misgiving of his own unworthiness that he thinks of her. which were his father's. when changing their condition. A ring of a very responsible appearance. The jeweller is knowing on the subject of a bracelet. all the old landmarks. in fact. He recalls the time when Rosa and he walked here or there.affectionate creature. Edwin tells the tempter that he wears no jewellery but his watch and chain. which he begs leave to submit. and his shirt-pin. Drood. full of the dignity of being engaged. occupies its stronghold. he turns into the jeweller's shop. Finding that his watch has stopped. to perfection. mere children. with a pitying sadness. And still. sir. Mr. to pass the time until the dinner-hour. for all this. but is far more pensive with him than angry. Let me recommend you not to let it run down. has fault to find with him. for it was a look of astonished and keen inquiry. as if he had not used it well.' Still (the jeweller considers) that might not apply to all times. The rings are as coldly viewed as the bracelet. he would think it worth noticing!' He strolls about and about. especially if of a rather diminutive style of beauty. namely. he thinks. `Twenty minutes past two. Finding the bracelet but coldly looked at. now. As he only waits for Mr. and though there is a sharp heartache in all this. `for Mr. He decides that he cannot understand it. so much firmer and wiser than he had supposed. in a general and quite aimless way. though it was remarkably expressive. instead of accepting his lot in life as an inheritance of course. he remarksÐa very chaste signetÐwhich gentlemen are much given to purchasing. here is a style of ring. It somehow happens that Cloisterham seems reproachful to him to-day. Jasper dropped in for a watch-glass the other day. if he had been more in earnest some time ago. `That I was aware of. I showed these articles to him. remarking that if he _should_ wish to make a present to a gentleman relative. to have it wound and set. he takes a sauntering leave of the ancient city and its neighbourhood. and may never see them again. I set your watch at. It would suit (he considers) a young bride. Poor youth! Poor youth! .' Edwin takes his watch. on any particular occasionÐBut he said with a smile that he had an inventory in his mind of all the jewellery his gentleman relative ever wore. the jeweller invites attention to a tray of rings for gentlemen. the vanity and caprice of youth sustain that handsome figure of Miss Landless in the background of his mind. With the date of their wedding-day engraved inside. and down into their twilight depths? Scarcely that. His wonted carelessness is replaced by a wistful looking at. Did it mean that she saw below the surface of his thoughts. and of what they might have been to one another. though applying to the present time.' is the jeweller's reply. Grewgious now. Poor children! he thinks. puts it on. That was a curious look of Rosa's when they parted at the gate. and dwelling upon. he had studied the right way to its appreciation and enhancement. and.
As dusk draws on, he paces the Monks' Vineyard. He has walked to and fro, full half an hour by the Cathedral chimes, and it has closed in dark, before he becomes quite aware of a woman crouching on the ground near a wicket gate in a corner. The gate commands a cross bye-path, little used in the gloaming; and the figure must have been there all the time, though he has but gradually and lately made it out. He strikes into that path, lamp near it, he sees that her weazen chin is resting staringÐwith an unwinking, and walks up to the wicket. By the light of a the woman is of a haggard appearance, and that on her hands, and that her eyes are blind sort of steadfastnessÐbefore her.
Always kindly, but moved to be unusually kind this evening, and having bestowed kind words on most of the children and aged people he has met, he at once bends down, and speaks to this woman. `Are you ill?' `No, deary,' she answers, without looking at him, and with no departure from her strange blind stare. `Are you blind?' `No, deary.' `Are you lost, homeless, faint? What is the matter, that you stay here in the cold so long, without moving?' By slow and stiff efforts, she appears to contract her vision until it can rest upon him; and then a curious film passes over her, and she begins to shake. He straightens himself, recoils a step, and looks down at her in a dread amazement; for he seems to know her. `Good Heaven!' he thinks, next moment. `Like Jack that night!' As he looks down at her, she looks up at him, and whimpers: `My lungs is weakly; my lungs is dreffle bad. Poor me, poor me, my cough is rattling dry!' and coughs in confirmation horribly. `Where do you come from?' `Come from London, deary.' (Her cough still rending her.) `Where are you going to?' `Back to London, deary. I came here, looking for a needle in a haystack, and I ain't found it. Look'ee, deary; give me three-and-sixpence, and don't you be afeard for me. I'll get back to London then, and trouble no one. I'm in a business.ÐAh, me! It's slack, it's slack, and times is very bad!Ðbut I can make a shift to live by it.' `Do you eat opium?' `Smokes it,' she replies with difficulty, still racked by her cough. `Give me three-and-sixpence, and I'll lay it out well, and get back. If you don't give me three-and-sixpence, don't give me a brass farden. And if you do give me three-and-sixpence, deary, I'll tell you something.'
He counts the money from his pocket, and puts it in her hand. She instantly clutches it tight, and rises to her feet with a croaking laugh of satisfaction. `Bless ye! Hark'ee, dear genl'mn. What's your Chris'en name?' `Edwin.' `Edwin, Edwin, Edwin,' she repeats, trailing off into a drowsy repetition of the word; and then asks suddenly: `Is the short of that name Eddy?' `It is sometimes called so,' he replies, with the colour starting to his face. `Don't sweethearts call it so?' she asks, pondering. `How should I know?' `Haven't you a sweetheart, upon your soul?' `None.' She is moving away, with another `Bless ye, and thank'ee, deary!' when he adds: `You were to tell me something; you may as well do so.' `So I was, so I was. Well, then. Whisper. You be thankful that your name ain't Ned.' He looks at her quite steadily, as he asks: `Why?' `Because it's a bad name to have just now.' `How a bad name?' `A threatened name. A dangerous name.' `The proverb says that threatened men live long,' he tells her, lightly. `Then NedÐso threatened is he, wherever he may be while I am a-talking to you, dearyÐshould live to all eternity!' replies the woman. She has leaned forward to say it in his ear, with her forefinger shaking before his eyes, and now huddles herself together, and with another `Bless ye, and thank'ee!' goes away in the direction of the Travellers' Lodging House. This is not an inspiriting close to a dull day. Alone, in a sequestered place, surrounded by vestiges of old time and decay, it rather has a tendency to call a shudder into being. He makes for the better-lighted streets, and resolves as he walks on to say nothing of this to-night, but to mention it to Jack (who alone calls him Ned), as an odd coincidence, to-morrow; of course only as a coincidence, and not as anything better worth remembering. Still, it holds to him, as many things much better worth remembering never did. He has another mile or so, to linger out before the dinner-hour; and, when he walks over the bridge and by the river, the woman's words are in the rising wind, in the angry sky, in the troubled water, in the flickering lights. There is some solemn echo of them even in the Cathedral chime, which strikes a sudden surprise to his heart as
he turns in under the archway of the gatehouse. And so _he_ goes up the postern stair. * * * * * John Jasper passes a more agreeable and cheerful day than either of his guests. Having no music-lessons to give in the holiday season, his time is his own, but for the Cathedral services. He is early among the shopkeepers, ordering little table luxuries that his nephew likes. His nephew will not be with him long, he tells his provision-dealers, and so must be petted and made much of. While out on his hospitable preparations, he looks in on Mr. Sapsea; and mentions that dear Ned, and that inflammable young spark of Mr. Crisparkle's, are to dine at the gatehouse to-day, and make up their difference. Mr. Sapsea is by no means friendly towards the inflammable young spark. He says that his complexion is `Un-English.' And when Mr. Sapsea has once declared anything to be Un-English, he considers that thing everlastingly sunk in the bottomless pit. John Jasper is truly sorry to hear Mr. Sapsea speak thus, for he knows right well that Mr. Sapsea never speaks without a meaning, and that he has a subtle trick of being right. Mr. Sapsea (by a very remarkable coincidence) is of exactly that opinion. Mr. Jasper is in beautiful voice this day. In the pathetic supplication to have his heart inclined to keep this law, he quite astonishes his fellows by his melodious power. He has never sung difficult music with such skill and harmony, as in this day's Anthem. His nervous temperament is occasionally prone to take difficult music a little too quickly; to-day, his time is perfect. These results are probably attained through a grand composure of the spirits. The mere mechanism of his throat is a little tender, for he wears, both with his singing-robe and with his ordinary dress, a large black scarf of strong close-woven silk, slung loosely round his neck. But his composure is so noticeable, that Mr. Crisparkle speaks of it as they come out from Vespers. `I must thank you, Jasper, for the pleasure with which I have heard you to-day. Beautiful! Delightful! You could not have so outdone yourself, I hope, without being wonderfully well.' `I _am_ wonderfully well.' `Nothing unequal,' says the Minor Canon, with a smooth motion of his hand: `nothing unsteady, nothing forced, nothing avoided; all thoroughly done in a masterly manner, with perfect self-command.' `Thank you. I hope so, if it is not too much to say.' `One would think, Jasper, you had been trying a new medicine for that occasional indisposition of yours.' `No, really? That's well observed; for I have.' `Then stick to it, my good fellow,' says Mr. Crisparkle, clapping him on the shoulder with friendly encouragement, `stick to it.' `I will.'
mind and body.' says Mr. when the book is full. `on all accounts. that I should make you an antidote to those black humours. Neville . Crisparkle brightens greatly as he thus begins.' says Mr. So I shall burn the evidence of my case.' `Because youÐ?' Mr. and you said you hoped I would consign them to the flames. Because I feel that I have been out of sorts. which I think you will not be displeased to hear. I will walk round to the Corner with you. and I want to say a word to you. Mr. You said I had been exaggerative. bilious. Crisparkle. at least I know he left.' `With the best reason in the world! I mean to burn this year's Diary at the year's end. naturally. I made a great deal of a very little. with a smile. `I couldn't see it then. `than I could have hoped. I have got over that mope.' Mr. Crisparkle pursues. whereas I am a muddy.' cries Mr. `You had but little reason to hope that I should become more like yourself. solitary. and in a few moments returns.' Mr.' Mr. stopping at the steps of his own door to shake hands.' returns Jasper. opening the entrance-door with his key. indeed. and I think he has not come back. moping weed. `I said. `that he left some time ago. but I am in a healthier state now.' `Thank you again. and you always are. Crisparkle's face falls.' `And I still hope so. whatever it may be. So I have. That was my case with the idea in question. because I _was_ out of sorts.' said Jasper. `and getting his nerves. of my black humours. or his stomach. `to hear you say it!' `A man leading a monotonous life. You won't come in?' `My company wait. as clear as crystal.`I congratulate you. and he shakes his head deploringly. and never change. and I acknowledge it with genuine pleasure. you know. Jasper. Neville has left for my place? If not.' `I think. that's the fact. As he thought.' `What is it?' `Well. gloomy. You are always training yourself to be. Crisparkle's brightened face brightens still more. if you don't object. and begin the next volume with a clearer vision.' `It does me good. But I'll inquire. as he remembers now. We were speaking. The Minor Canon disappears. Crisparkle. Mr.' `Why. as they come out of the Cathedral. I have plenty of time before my company come. out of order. `You anticipate me. Crisparkle. Neville has not come back. brain-oppressed.' Jasper proceeds. the other evening. he and I may walk round together. dwells upon an idea until it loses its proportions. while you ask if Mr.' `This is better. Shall I wait. However.
It comes on to blow a boisterous gale. and to one another. like a wounded monster dying.' returns Mr. it drops and sinks. rolled up. his face is knitted and stern. Softened sounds and hum of traffic pass it and flow on irregularly into the lonely Precincts. but very little else goes by. by flying dust from the earth. It is then seen that the hands of the Cathedral clock are torn off. it begins to lull. and bang it in a loop upon his arm. and at full daylight it is dead. And so _he_ goes up the postern stair. that lead from the roof has been stripped away. and blown into the . the red light burns steadily. The Precincts are never particularly well lighted. and as if nothing could hurry or retard him. and great ragged fragments from the rooks' nests up in the tower. the storm goes thundering along them. and a rushing fall. he pauses for an instant in the shelter to pull off that great black scarf. when the streets are empty. and people hold to posts and corners. save violent rushes of wind. but increase in frequency and fury until at midnight. Arriving thus under the arched entrance of his dwelling. with occasional wild charges. Chimneys topple in the streets. The trees themselves so toss and creak. The darkness is augmented and confused. It still seems as if a false note were not within his power to-night. as this tangible part of the darkness madly whirls about. But it immediately clears. they are unusually dark to-night. and laughs good-night! He retraces his steps to the Cathedral door. * * * * * The red light burns steadily all the evening in the lighthouse on the margin of the tide of busy life. All through the night the wind blows. when there is barely enough light in the east to dim the stars. For that brief time. Crisparkle. `Bad manners in a host!' says Jasper. Nothing is steady but the red light. and bringing the glass rattling to the ground). `My company will be there before me! What will you bet that I don't find my company embracing?' `I will betÐor I would. He sings. if ever I did bet. as if warning the people to get up and fly with it.said he would probably go straight to the gatehouse. rather than have the roofs brought down upon their brains. as he resumes his singing. and tearing at all the shutters. to keep themselves upon their feet. that they seem in peril of being torn out of the earth: while ever and again a crack. in a low voice and with delicate expression. But early in the morning. dry twigs from the trees. and his way. denote that some large branch has yielded to the storm. and turns down past it to the gatehouse.' Jasper nods. Still. From that time. rattling at all the latches. `that your company will have a gay entertainer this evening. Not such power of wind has blown for many a winter night. and abates not. but the strong blasts of wind blowing out many of the lamps (in some instances shattering the frames too. as he walks along. The violent rushes abate not.
. it is necessary to send up workmen. in the bar. that when the church-bells began to ring in Cloisterham for morning service. Indeed. now. where the ground before the door was puddled with damp hoofs and trodden straw.' `Left this morning early? Let me in! let me in!' There is no more looking up at the tower. as a cool establishment on the top of a hill. he stopped at the next roadside tavern to refresh. in the present case. led a public life of lying about. with Mr. in company with a mouldy tablecloth and a green-handled knife. Crisparkle. half-dressed. Visitors in want of breakfastÐunless they were horses or cattle. that it took a long time to get the wagon into the track of tea and toast and bacon. hardly kept its painted promise of providing good entertainment for Man and Beast. for which class of guests there was preparation enough in the way of water-trough and hayÐwere so unusual at the sign of The Tilted Wagon. Call Mr. sitting in a sanded parlour. was not critical.Close. led by Durdles. All the assembled eyes are turned on Mr. having set forth on a crust of bread. CHAPTER XVÐIMPEACHED Neville Landless had started so early and walked at so good a pace. He went down to the river last night. where everything to drink was drunk out of mugs. where the pale-faced bread shed tears of crumb over its shipwreck in another canoe. where a scolding landlady slapped a moist baby (with one red sock on and one wanting). he was eight miles away. wondering in how long a time after he had gone. where the cheese was cast aground upon a shelf. Jasper. all these things considered. white. This cluster is suddenly broken and put aside by the hands of Mr. and has not been back. to ascertain the extent of the damage done. Tope and a crowd of early idlers gather down in Minor Canon Corner. As he wanted his breakfast by that time. The Tilted Wagon. panting. The Tilted Wagon. Jasper. all the gazing eyes are brought down to the earth by his loudly inquiring of Mr. early. Neville. Neville in the interval. However. but took what entertainment he could get. Is he not with you?' `No. in a sort of cast-iron canoe. half washed and half dried. and that some stones have been displaced upon the summit of the great tower. Man. while Mr. and everything else was suggestive of a rhyme to mugs. the sneezy fire of damp fagots would begin to make somebody else warm. Christmas morning though it be. at an open window: `Where is my nephew?' `He has not been here. and clinging to the rail before the Minor Canon's house. and went on again after a longer rest than he needed. go aloft. Neville!' `He left this morning. shading their eyes and watching for their appearance up there. to look at the storm. where the family linen. These.
' he went on angrily. `If eight men. himself included. and they all stopped. and dexterously closed with him and went down with him. He resumed his way. which led across the slope of a breezy heath. whichever of you skulkers gave it. set upon one. and quickening his pace. he shot on to pass the four ahead. the four in the rear came closing up.' They were all standing still. or two men. by the Lord. the man took his knee from Neville's . and this order was maintained. as they struggled together on the grass. But their manner was very curious. Let him alone. `Better be quiet. `I will not submit to be penned in between four men there. I wish to pass. As they were coming up at a faster pace than his. he stood aside. hesitating whether to pursue the road. He looked at the four behind him. `Why do you attend upon me in this way?' he asked the whole body.He stopped at some quarter of a mile from the house. when he became aware of some other pedestrians behind him. `It's good advice. He stopped. the rise being steep. to let them pass. he did not see which.' he proceeded.' said one of the number. or to follow a cart track between two high hedgerows. constantly looking back. `Who said so?' Nobody replied. as a last test. And. and he looked at the four before him. The four in advance went on. and four men there. and I mean to pass. and loitered as intending to follow him when he should go on. He was labouring along. and evidently struck into the road again by-and-by. against one of the high banks.' After a little rolling about. but not before the heavy stick had descended smartly. They all returned his look. The remainder of the party (half-a-dozen perhaps) turned. When they all ranged out from the narrow track upon the open slope of the heath. there was no longer room to doubt that he was beset by these fellows. and he's got a weight strapped to his back besides. I'll manage him. and the way worn into deep ruts. in a close scuffle which caused the faces of both to be besmeared with blood. growing more enraged. `Let him be!' said this man in a suppressed voice. The largest and strongest man of the number changed swiftly to the side on which he came up. if I am interrupted any farther!' Shouldering his heavy stick. or four men. `the one has no chance but to set his mark upon some of them. and went back at a great rate. and pursued it with some toil.' `Better be quiet?' repeated Neville. Only four of them passed. those four in front. `Are you a pack of thieves?' `Don't answer him. He decided in favour of this latter track. Other four slackened speed. `Fair play! His is the build of a girl to mine. I'll do it. let him diverge as he would to either side.
but I seem mad.ÐWipe his face. see how it's a-trickling down him!' When his face was cleansed. sir? What is the matter? I feel as if I had lost my senses!' cried Neville.' said the man. and let's be moving!' Utterly bewildered.' `Not to be found!' cried Neville. `because you were the last person in his company. Jasper. until they came again into the high road. and into the midst of a little group of people. Crisparkle. Crisparkle. collect your thoughts. you are confounded. Landless. You'll find a friend waiting for you. `you know better than that at midday. `Permit me. it is of great importance that you should collect your thoughts.' said Mr. and he is not to be found. and rose. and appealing to Jasper. he went on. sir. `As to our being a pack of thieves. Landless.' `I will try. The men who had turned back were among the group. Mr. if you want it. aghast. Jasper and Mr. wildly.' `You left Mr. Mr. saying: `There! Now take him arm-in-arm. don't talk. anyhow. We wouldn't have touched you if you hadn't forced us. as in a dream. Joe. stay. `Stay. driver of the Cloisterham omnibus. as an act of deference to that gentleman. Neville. with his hand to his confused head. and its central figures were Mr. You went down to the river together?' . somebody else.' retorted Jasper. `Where is my nephew?' asked Mr. somebody.' said Mr. `the hour Mr. as he spat out some blood.' `At what hour?' `Was it at twelve o'clock?' asked Neville. Neville stared around him and said not a word.chest. whom he had seen but once. the group closing in around him. Jasper has already named to me. We're going to take you round to the high road. `And what I recommend you for the present. Neville recognised in the speaker. `Why do you ask me?' `I ask you. is. `Where is your nephew?' repeated Neville. and you'll find help enough against thieves there. any two of you!' It was immediately done. and there released him. Jasper last night with Edwin Drood?' `Yes. and that on the day of his arrival. who held his arms in theirs. at the high roadÐgone ahead by the other way when we split into two partiesÐand you had much better say nothing till you come up with him. Bring that stick along. Neville's conductors took him up to the Minor Canon. Jasper. attend to me. `Quite right. Mr. Crisparkle. `What is all this. and wiped more from his face. Walking between his two conductors.
`had a struggle for the stick just now. and he carried it last night. `And here are the same stains upon this stick!' said Jasper. unless Mr. in a low. Crisparkle. on Mr. and at Mr.' the Minor Canon continued. I should say not more. Crisparkle of the circumstances under which they desired to make a voluntary statement before him. To whom Mr. Crisparkle's manner directly appealed to him to take some part in the discussion. There was no intelligible likelihood of his having returned to the river.`Undoubtedly. `I know the stick to be his. What was I to suppose. sir. who had been intensely watching Neville. What does this mean?' `In the name of God. and he took leave of me at the door. Crisparkle. and that the struggle had taken place. and you may see the same marks on him. say what it means. while they both hazarded some explanatory conjectures. Sapsea's penetration. Jasper walked on the other side of Neville. He said that he was going straight back. Sapsea could suggest one. Neville. because Mr. he assented with a stern nod. Sapsea's parlour. sir. but he spake no word until they stood in Mr. Mr. looking around him. and then he would defer. Mr. taking it from the hand of the man who held it.' `What followed? How long did you stay there?' `About ten minutes. Crisparkle more than once repeated his former questions. and never quitted that position.' said Mr. distinct. Sapsea being informed by Mr.' `Did he say that he was going down to the river again?' `No. pointing out his late adversary. Jasper broke silence by declaring that he placed his whole reliance. and no appeal would move his fixed face.' The bystanders looked at one another.' `Mr. while Mr. Landless will walk at my side. and it was suggested by the Minor Canon that they might do well in calling on the Mayor at once. and been accidentally . Neville!' urged Mr. when I found myself molested by eight people? Could I dream of the true reason when they would give me none at all?' They admitted that they had thought it discreet to be silent. Jasper. When they drew near to the city. We then walked together to your house. And yet the very men who had seen it looked darkly at the smears which the bright cold air had already dried. said. and the others. Neville!' They set forth on the walk back. and while Neville repeated his former answers. with one exception. `Come.' said Neville. also. humanly speaking. To see the action of the wind there. `of course you will be glad to come back to clear yourself?' `Of course. He was silent. straggled after them at various distances. suspicious voice: `What are those stains upon his dress?' All eyes were turned towards the blood upon his clothes. Crisparkle. He was obstinately silent. There was no conceivable reason why his nephew should have suddenly absconded. `That man and I. `We must return.
and lurid with fires. where solitary watermarks and signals of strange shapes showed like spectres. to take pity on that loving kinsman's sore bereavement and distress. with barge and pole. into which the tide washed as it changed. with jack-boots. Mr. Each was bowed down and broken. Mr. but Mr. that its banks should be rigidly examined. spade. and he might have gone so far as to do it but for the indignant protest of the Minor Canon: who undertook for the young man's remaining in his own house. far-off creeks. he wandered into a denser haze and maze of nonsense than even a mayor might have been expected to disport himself in. Sapsea. and that placards and advertisements should be widely circulated imploring Edwin Drood. He washed his hands as clean as he could of all horrible suspicions. for this was exactly his meaning (though he had said nothing about it). But to no purpose. Mr. he would defer. or John Jasper. upon the muddy and rushy shore. and drag and net. and now ashore among the osiers. With the earliest light of the next morning. His own state of mind. that particulars of the disappearance should be sent to all outlying places and to London. hatchet. Sapsea to suggest that the river should be dragged. and all imaginable appliances. It would be difficult to determine which was the more oppressed with horror and amazement: Neville Landless. once more. for still no trace of Edwin Drood revisited the light of the sun. Now. unless it should appear likely to Mr. unless it should appear to Mr. But that Jasper's position forced him to be active. remote shingly causeways near the sea. or tramping amidst mud and stakes and jagged stones in low-lying places. in barge and boat. men were at work upon the river. Even at night. there would have been nothing to choose between them. in short (and here his eyes rested full on Neville's countenance). rope. Having made this grand point. but no trace of Edwin Drood revisited the light of the sun. under circumstances of grave suspicion. he went home exhausted. Setting his watches for that night again. Sapsea was perfectly understood. and came out of it with the brilliant discovery that to take the life of a fellow-creature was to take something that didn't belong to you. and being produced by his own hands. and lonely points off which there was a race of water. the search went on. listening to the lapping of the stream. an Un-English complexion. He wavered whether or no he should at once issue his warrant for the committal of Neville Landless to jail. dogs. so that vigilant eyes should be kept on every change of tide. All the livelong day the search went on.drowned in the dark. All that day. if for any unknown reason he had withdrawn himself from his uncle's home and society. and looking out for any burden it might bear. and measures were taken towards all these ends immediately. Jasper then understood Mr. had their knots of watchers. and other menÐmost of whom volunteered for the serviceÐwere examining the banks. Sapsea's was. and labouring under dismal apprehensions. Sapsea that some such were inseparable from his last companion before his disappearance (not on good terms with previously). whenever demanded. while Neville's forced him to be passive. Unkempt and . John Jasper worked and toiled. he being distracted with doubts. and then again he would defer. Sapsea expressed his opinion that the case had a dark look. and somehow inform him that he was yet alive. again. upon the river. and then. was not to be safely trusted. the river was specked with lanterns. had their unwonted flaring cressets and rough-coated figures when the next day dawned.
he had but just dropped into his easy-chair. Grewgious. Grewgious smoothing his head again. It is of my ward. Grewgious moved his eyes from the companion's face. I thought you _had_ made up your mind. and the cool.' Jasper. and now dropped them again as he drooped. At least. I cannot make up my mind. fire to his exasperating. and with much of his clothing torn to rags. over one side of his easy-chair. as slow manner in which.disordered.' said Mr. In his eyes to say: `The . turned wearily in his chair. Grewgious has his suspicions] `What is her state?' `Defiance of all suspicion. and again looking at the fire. `Mind. I have a communication to make that will surprise you. `I don't know what to think. and unbounded faith in her brother.' pursued Mr.ÐI have just left Miss Landless. in a faint. Grewgious. `it is not of her that I came to speak. `Poor little thing! You may imagine her condition.' `Poor thing!' `However. I warn you. Jasper merely opened his suspected young man's. Grewgious. Grewgious. Grewgious smoothed his head and face. with a groaning sigh. `But as you spoke of him as the suspected young man.' [Picture: Mr. Mr. becoming upright in his chair. might at any other time have been depression and exhaustion. fatigued voice. and stood looking at the fire. when Mr. `Whose?' The curtness of the counter-question.' said Mr. with a compressed and determined mouth. `Shall I put it off till to-morrow?' said Mr. provokingly slowly and internally.' Jasper had merely lifted up his heavy eyes to say it. `This is strange news. that I think it will surprise you!' More attention and concentration came into John Jasper's eyes as they caught sight of Mr. worn out. as before. it has surprised me. as he put it.' `Have you seen his sister?' inquired Jasper.' `Nor I. but now. Grewgious stood before him. Grewgious. `To be sure. after a time.' said Mr. `Strange and fearful news. Mr. Grewgious.' `Do you suspect him?' asked Mr. `What is it?' demanded Jasper. bedaubed with mud that had dried upon him. `How is your ward?' asked Jasper.
in the easy-chair. Grewgious saw a ghastly figure rise. both in their present and their future lives. Grewgious heard a terrible shriek. Grewgious.' `What is it?' demanded Jasper once more. or say rather as brother and sister. he opened and shut the palms of his hands as he warmed them. as affectionate friends. clutch its hair with its hands. `I have now said all I have to say: except that this young couple parted. and their intended. when I should come down to speak to you. Grewgious saw a lead-coloured face in the easy-chair. and that one your nephew. they agreed to dissolve their existing.' Mr. and looked down at it. as if of steel. After some innocent and generous talk. though so long betrothed. and looking fixedly at him sideways. for ever and ever. that in the tenderness of your affection for him you would be bitterly disappointed by so wide a departure from his projected life. that they would be happier and better. `This young couple formed at length the healthy resolution of interchanging their discoveries. saw nothing but a heap of torn and miry clothes upon the floor. he might have thought he had never seen the face. But for the hands. and turn with a writhing action from him. and saw no ghastly figure. relations. my ward. Not changing his action even then. and lift its outspread hands towards its head. that it never occurred to me. and so long recognising their betrothal. forbore to tell you the secret. I think).' Mr.he kept his eyes on the fire: `I might have known it sooner. They met for that purpose. though not without tears and sorrow. on the evening when you last saw them together. I took all for granted. and two quivering white lips. and he is gone. openly. went on to reply. Mr. Grewgious saw a staring white face.' Mr. from the easy-chair. `One of this young couple. than as husband and wife. I speak to you. fearful. open-mouthed. and left it to be disclosed by me. the lost youth and Miss Rosa. and he would be gone. sensibly. Grewgious saw the ghastly figure throw back its head. sitting or standing. she gave me the opening. and saw two muddy hands gripping its sides. however. but I am such an exceedingly Angular man. alternately opening and shutting the palms of his hands as he warmed them at the fire. and never changing either his action or his look in all that followed. . and tenderly. `This young couple.' Mr. and so near being marriedÐ' Mr. firmly. for a few days. `ÐThis young couple came gradually to the discovery (made on both sides pretty equally. and on its surface dreadful starting drops or bubbles.
and you not breakfasted. `I couldn't originate the faintest approach to an observation on any subject whatever. you know. suggesting that he ate and drank to fortify himself against any other failure of the spirits. in reply to some invitation to discourse. and his body overtaxed by fatigue. Grewgious in the meantime sat upright. Tope.' said Jasper. Tope would have found highly mystifying. `and the jelly that I had ready for you.' said Mrs. sir. and no wonder!' `A man. or anything or nothing.' answered Mr. I thank you. Jasper both ate and drank almost voraciously.' said the tearful Mrs.' answered Mr. and which Mrs. and this good gentleman belike will stop and see you take it. I thank you. His visitor. and that you wouldn't put your lips to at noon. Combined with the hurry in his mode of doing it. and you must have a wing of the roast fowl that has been put back twenty times if it's been put back once. sir. `You will take something with me?' said Jasper. with no expression in his face. when he was helped into his easy-chair. so . as the cloth was laid. `There! You've come to nicely now. Grewgious again. Grewgious. when he had pushed away his plate and glass.' `Not at all. he found himself being tended by Mr. Tope. Grewgious. `You must take some wine. but that her attention was divided by the service of the table.CHAPTER XVIÐDEVOTED When John Jasper recovered from his fit or swoon. pretty plainly adding the unspoken clause: `I don't. and his mind cruelly tormented. with his usual air of repeating a lesson. whom his visitor had summoned for the purpose.' `Do you know. wooden of aspect. and had sat meditating for a few minutes: `do you know that I find some crumbs of comfort in the communication with which you have so much amazed me?' `_Do_ you?' returned Mr. sat stiffly in a chair. and Mrs. with his hands upon his knees. was an evident indifference to the taste of what he took. I thank you. though I warned you what would come of it. It shall all be on table in five minutes. Grewgious. Grewgious.' answered Mr.' `I fear I have alarmed you?' Jasper apologised faintly. `cannot have his rest broken. `Not at all. which might mean yes. I thank you!' `After recovering from the shock of a piece of news of my dear boy.' said Mr.' This good gentleman replied with a snort. I thank you. `you were thoroughly worn out. watching his recovery. Tope. `You are too considerate. Mr. and a hard kind of imperturbably polite protest all over him: as though he would have said. far more than to gratify his palate. `I couldn't get a morsel down my throat. without being thoroughly worn out. or no.
overpowering as it was at firstÐshowing me that my own dear boy had had a great disappointing reservation from me. as he did so. finding himself in this new position. tell me so. and terrible distrusts they have been. and have to account for themselves to the idle and impertinent. and his marriage close at hand. he might have foreseen the inferences that I should draw. he avoided the awkwardness. but admit it to be a reasonable hope. pondering still. and been long unheard of. rather than face a seven days' wonder. Mr. if your doing so has awakened a new train of thought in my perplexed mind. and shorten my painÐis there not. dryly. Grewgious could not but assent to this.' said Mr. `I have had my distrusts. who so fondly loved him. and could have. or is there. hope that. Jasper repeated: `I begin to believe it possible that he may have disappeared of his own .' said Mr. Grewgious could not but assent to this. in this quarter. `that the dear lost boy had withheld anything from meÐmost of all. such a leading matter as thisÐwhat gleam of light was there for me in the whole black sky? When I supposed that his intended wife was here. `And even as to me. it reasonably follows that. is in itself a sort of reason for his going away. brightening with hope: `he knew that you were coming to me. with which it would load him. and the other.' said Jasper. and after having had time to think of it. with ardour. or is thereÐif I deceive myself. and.' Mr. and that. `but your disclosure. Grant that he did foresee them. still pursuing the new track.entirely unexpected. no suspicion. in a manner that would be so unaccountable. I begin to believe it possible:' here he clasped his hands: `that he may have disappeared from among us of his own accord. `When I had. It does not make his mysterious departure the less cruel to me. Crisparkle came in at the moment. and cruel? But now that I know what you have told me. pondering. Grewgious. capricious.' pursued Jasper. how could I entertain the possibility of his voluntarily leaving this place. is there no little chink through which day pierces? Supposing him to have disappeared of his own act. vanishes!'Ð Once more. eagerly following the new track. Grewgious. he knew that you were intrusted to tell me what you have told me.' `I shall be glad to pick up your crumbs. is not his disappearance more accountable and less cruel? The fact of his having just parted from your ward. and becoming sensitively alive to the awkward burden of explanation. `Is there not. and so destructive of all the castles I had built for him. have taken themselves away. kindles hope within me. To whom Mr. yes. `Such a thing has been. and that he may yet be alive and well.' said Mr.' Mr. and took to flight?' `Such a thing might be.' continued Jasper.' `I believe such things have happened. from the same premises. You do not extinguish it when I state it. Grewgious. Music Master. but it relieves it of cruelty to her. I have read of cases in which people. it is true. and even the cruelty to meÐand who am I!ÐJohn Jasper.
the two points of a second strong outbreak of temper against Edwin Drood on the part of Neville. and yet so many little circumstances combined so wofully against him. as one placed in authority by the revelation he had brought to bear on the mystery (and surpassingly Angular Mr. Addressing Mr. to his own certain knowledge. Grewgious should now know likewiseÐthat I took a great prepossession against Mr. would not be tantamount to a piecing together of falsehood in the place of truth. We all know that their first meeting was unfortunately very far from amicable. here was a model before him. of his mad violence. flamed up in Neville's breast against him. avowed that his confidence in that young gentleman had been formed. and of the passion of jealousy having. the good Minor Canon's mind would have been in a state of preparation to receive them. in spite of his confidential knowledge that his temper was of the hottest and fiercest. `I stated to Mr. `You knowÐand Mr. and inquiring: `Why so?' Mr. and the fact seemed to him to present the question in a new light. that I had dark forebodings against him. Grewgious became when he found himself in that unexpected position). that he dreaded to add two more to their cumulative weight.' Mr. and may yet be alive and well. He hesitated no longer. on my dear boy's behalf. at this time. when we waited on him. in spite of its having been. much to its distress.' said Jasper: as he really had done: `that there was no quarrel or difference between the two young men at their last meeting.' `I pray to Heaven it may turn out so!' exclaimed Mr.' This fairness troubled the Minor Canon much. Crisparkle taking a seat. He felt that he was not as open in his own dealing. which may possibly have induced him to absent himself. but all went smoothly and quietly when they were last together at my house. He charged against himself reproachfully that he had suppressed. sooner or later. be informed of a part of it. Mr. You know that I even entered in my Diary. and showed the entry to you. as exculpatory of his unfortunate pupil. Crisparkle bore his testimony to Mr. He was convinced of Neville's innocence of any part in the ugly disappearance. and kept in ignorance of another part of it. did really attach great importance to the lost young man's having been. Grewgious. and. Mr. whether his volunteering to tell these two fragments of truth.accord. Jasper repeated the arguments he had just set forth. Jasper's strict sense of justice. now that I know there was a special reason for his being depressed: a reason. extremely apprehensive. expressing his absolute confidence in the complete clearance of his pupil from the least taint of suspicion. through any suppression of mine. He shall not. before this mysterious occurrence took place. moreover. But he. However. My dear boy was not in his usual spirits. so far. too. If they had been less plausible than they were. I wish him to be good enough to understand that the communication he has made to me has hopefully influenced my mind. `_I_ pray to Heaven it may turn out so!' repeated Jasper. arising out of his furious conduct on that first occasion. He was among the truest of men. but he had been balancing in his mind. he was depressedÐI noticed thatÐand I am bound henceforth to dwell upon the circumstance the more. . profoundly impressed against young Landless. Sapsea. Neville Landless. Crisparkle. so immediately before his disappearance. You know that I came to you. placed in a new and embarrassing relation towards every one acquainted with his projects and affairs. Grewgious ought to be possessed of the whole case.
that he might have absconded of his own wild will. Crisparkle had a strange idea that something unusual hung about the place. and he was back again at sunrise. was derived from the sound of the falling water close at hand. and little could be seen of it. by the circumstance of his romantically supposing himself to be enamoured of the same young lady. No search had been made up here. leading to the dreadful inference that he had been made away with.and that it was directly incensed against Mr. It turned him paler. and peered at its well-known posts and timbers. Jasper's nephew. with its usual sound on a cold starlight night. it fell out that Mr. It was starlight. and very much troubled on behalf of the young man whom he held as a kind of prisoner in his own house. The Weir ran through his broken sleep. He got closer to the Weir. The water came over the Weir. He listened again. or taking heed of the objects he passed. Jasper was proof even against this unlooked-for declaration. at that time of the night of Christmas Eve. `How did I come here!' was his first thought. he strained those hawk's eyes of his for the correction of his sight. was clearly discernible in its minutest details. but he repeated that he would cling to the hope he had derived from Mr. He walked to Cloisterham Weir. The whole composition before him. He often did so. The Weir was full two miles above the spot to which the young men had repaired to watch the storm. he stood intently listening to the water. Then. He reasoned with himself: What was it? Where was it? Put it to the proof. A familiar passage in his reading. all layÐboth when the tide ebbed. all night. and the likeliest places for the discovery of a body. `Why did I come here!' was his second. and his sense of hearing again checked the water coming over the Weir. He had surveyed it closely for some . and that if no trace of his dear boy were found. rose so unbidden to his ear. that he put it from him with his hand. The sanguine reaction manifest in Mr. It was a bright frosty morning. took a memorable night walk. as if it were tangible. But he resolved that he would come back early in the morning. as he stopped. going away from this conference still very uneasy in his mind. when he stood where he had stood last night. Crisparkle. yet Mr. might of itself give the place this haunted air. that his first consciousness of being near the Weir. with its usual sound on a cold starlight night. he would cherish unto the last stretch of possibility the idea. Now. if a fatal accident had happened under such circumstances. Which sense did it address? No sense reported anything unusual there. Nothing in the least unusual was remotely shadowed forth. But the preoccupation of his mind so hindered him from planning any walk. Grewgious. and when it flowed againÐbetween that spot and the sea. Knowing very well that the mystery with which his mind was occupied. and consequently there was nothing remarkable in his footsteps tending that way. for the tide had been running strongly down. about airy tongues that syllable men's names.
He had armed himself with an offensive weapon for the fatal night. and dived and dived and dived.minutes. the watch and shirt-pin were identified. he only found a shirt-pin sticking in some mud and ooze. they might have been wholly caused as he represented. when they were attracted keenly to one spot. His notion was. on the very afternoon of the disappearance. and rearranged all his possessions.' These dropping shots from the blunderbusses of blunderheadedness might not have hit him in a vital place. he took from them. he would be in the daily commission of murder. also. climbed it. His hands began plucking off his coat. and so forth. always calling themselves Me. He turned his back upon the Weir.) He had repeatedly said he would have Mr. Before coming to England he had caused to be whipped to death sundry `Natives'Ðnomadic persons. For it struck him that at that spotÐa corner of the WeirÐsomething glistened. He had notoriously threatened the lost young man. encamping now in Asia. he threw off his clothes. and dived off. in the words of BENTHAM. according to the showing of his own faithful friend and tutor who strove so hard for him. a cause of bitter animosity (created by himself. caught among their interstices by its chain. He knew every hole and corner of all the depths. though it was but such a speck in the landscape. He had been brought down to Cloisterham. He could not lose it now. that he would find the body. where he is the cause of the greatest danger to the smallest number. which did not move and come over with the glistening water-drops. (Those original expressions were Mr. by an eminent Philanthropist. that but for his poor sister. he plunged into the icy water. It fascinated his sight. taking Neville Landless with him. and had. and always reading tracts of the obscurest meaning. but they might not. He was of that vindictive and violent nature. Climbing the timbers. He had repeatedly said he would have everybody's life. and why? Because that Philanthropist had expressly declared: `I owe it to my fellow-creatures that he should be. and stated by himself). With these discoveries he returned to Cloisterham. against that ill-starred fellow. He had been found with traces of blood on him. Crisparkle's grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. now in the West Indies. but remained stationary. truly. Crisparkle's life. The watch found at the Weir . On a search-warrant being issued for the examination of his room. Jasper was sent for. Sapsea's. Mr. and at the earth. after making preparations for departure. He brought the watch to the bank. and he concentrated his vision upon it. He assured himself of this. went straight to the Mayor. and looked far away at the sky. and everybody else Massa or Missie (according to sex). and out of whose sight he was never to be trusted. it was discovered that he had destroyed all his papers. clothes. He had nearly brought Mrs. and. It caught his sight again immediately. and become in effect the last man. But he had to stand against a trained and well-directed fire of arms of precision too. now in Africa. and the wildest frenzy and fatuity of evil report rose against him. D. bearing engraved upon its back E. until he could bear the cold no more. Neville was detained. swam to the Weir again. and then looked again at that one spot. from London. a gold watch. and swam for the spot. in broken English. who alone had influence over him. and now at the North PoleÐvaguely supposed in Cloisterham to be always black. and was about to withdraw his eyes. always of great virtue. but always accurately understanding them in the purest mother tongue. and he had gone off early in the morning.
in company with the last person seen with him. Jasper's house at midnight. Crisparkle. `Very much so. This young man must not take sanctuary with us. was rendered additionally improbable on the showing of the young lady from whom he had so lately parted. and so artfully disfigured. and the search was pressed on every hand. Mr. Then. before being cast into the water. would have settled the point. planned with her. Neville must leave the place. and Jasper laboured night and day. rather than upon himself. and that it had been thrown away after being retained some hours. Those things would be the watch and shirt-pin. Crisparkle. and the most easily recognisable. `human justice may err. but it must act according to its lights. This would justify the hypothesis that the watch was taken from him not long after he left Mr. and with general trepidation occasioned by their having such an inmate.was challenged by the jeweller as one he had wound and set for Edwin Drood. when interrogated? That he had. of depriving this young man of the great advantages of your counsel and instruction. it at length became necessary to release the person suspected of having made away with him. sir.' the Dean assented. Neville was set at large. obviously such criminating evidence had better take its chance of being found anywhere. Why thrown away? If he had been murdered. As to his opportunities of casting them into the river. that he would await the arrival of her guardian.' returned the prudent Dean. Crisparkle. Even had it not been so. what did she say. I merely confer with you. Neville was detained. and who could say how unwillingly. on the painful necessity you find yourself under. assuredly the murderer would seek to remove from the body the most lasting. expressly and enthusiastically. his enforced pupil had gone to it? The more his case was looked into. for. Crisparkle represented. be it observed. or both. he had been seen by many persons. very little could be made of that in young Landless's favour. As to the choice of the spot. as that the murderer hoped identification to be impossible.' `You mean that he must leave my house. he disappeared before that gentleman appeared. The days of taking sanctuary are past. No discovery being made. Even the broad suggestion that the lost young man had absconded. Even had that not been so. which proved the lost man to be dead. But nothing more was found. and it was the jeweller's positive opinion that it had never been re-wound. . a consequence ensued which Mr. For. the weaker it became in every point.' Mr. sir?' `Mr. things upon it. they were easy. for it distinctly appeared that the meeting originated. the authority to which the Minor Canon deferred officially.' quoth the Dean. wandering about on that side of the cityÐindeed on all sides of itÐin a miserable and seemingly half-distracted manner. or concealed. and that it had been urged on by Mr. On the suspicions thus urged and supported. not with him.' `It is very lamentable. `Mr. the best known. Crisparkle had too well foreseen. or in his possession. but with Mr. for the place shunned him and cast him out. if he were the object of these suspicions. Concerning the reconciliatory nature of the appointed meeting between the two young men. or in what ill-conditioned mood. with great earnestness and sorrow. and re-detained. and it had run down. the dear old china shepherdess would have worried herself to death with fears for her son. And yet. Grewgious. Crisparkle. at twenty minutes past two on that same afternoon. `I claim no authority in your house. except from something that he wore.
Mr. No doubt. emphatically. Crisparkle faltered. generally. or could. I don't think. that he will reappear here. It was not until then that John Jasper silently resumed his place in the choir. sir. `And yet. That I will fasten the crime of the murder of my dear dead boy upon the murderer. with a blight upon his name and fame. and with an impressive look. and all his worst misgivings had come back.' `I hope you do not object. `to be partisans. whenever any new suspicion may be awakened. no doubt. but I am sensible thatÐ' `Just so. Crisparkle bowed again. nodding his head smoothly. State it? Ye-e-es! But emphatically? No-o-o. I give to the winds.' returned the Dean. nevertheless. That I devote myself to his destruction. I _think_ not. `It does not become us. All the delusive hopes I had founded on his separation from his betrothed wife.' Mr. Haggard and red-eyed. handed this entry to Mr.' pursued the Dean. `I would not say so. Crisparkle.' returned the Dean. perhaps. sir. his sanguine mood was gone. That I never will relax in my secrecy or in my search. A day or two afterwards. The discovery of the watch and shirt-pin convinces me that he was murdered that night. in a more confidential tone. generally. We clergy keep our hearts warm and our heads cool. Enough of suspicion attaches to him toÐno. `As you unfortunately find it to be. keeping our hearts warm and our heads cool. That I nevermore will discuss this mystery with any human creature until I hold the clue to it in my hand. he took his Diary from a pocket of his coat. and without one spoken word. Not generally.' So Minor Canon Row knew Neville Landless no more. Crisparkle bowed submissively: `It is hard to prejudge his case. or any new circumstance may come to light in this extraordinary matter?' `Not at all. Perfectly. And. while unrobing. and that his jewellery was taken from him to prevent identification by its means.' . Mr. I now swear. do you know. `there is nothing else to be done. as your good sense has discovered. and we hold a judicious middle course. As you say. and he went whithersoever he would. They perish before this fatal discovery. There is no alternative. we clergy need do nothing emphatically. and record the oath on this page. to my having stated in public.' interposed the Dean. and slightly glancing around him.`And if it be a necessityÐ' Mr. sir. his hopes plainly had deserted him.' with a very nice and neat emphasis on those two words: `I _don't think_ I would state it emphatically. Crisparkle. Not partisans. Mr.' `We-e-ell!' said the Dean. turned the leaves. In point of fact.' `I am entirely satisfied of his perfect innocence. I think I would not say so. Crisparkle to read: `My dear boy is murdered.
and be Philanthropists. Crisparkle had known professors of the Noble Art of fisticuffs. . and other Professors were backing this or that Heavy-Weight as good for such or such speech-making hits. who in days of yore superintended the formation of the magic circle with the ropes and stakes. that Mr. On his at length responding. their fighting code stood in great need of revision. the Philanthropists were remarkably favoured. Crisparkle recognised (in a suit of black) the counterpart of a deceased benefactor of his species. He had now an opportunity of observing that as to the phrenological formation of the backs of their heads. if in earnest) gathered these into a basket and walked off with them. a propensity to `pitch into' your fellow-creatures. like a schoolmaster issuing orders to a boy of whom he had a bad opinion. `Sir. and used worse language. he was shown by a miserably shabby and underpaid stipendiary Philanthropist (who could hardly have done worse if he had taken service with a declared enemy of the human race) to Mr. both in face and figure. and never giving anything to anybody. Crisparkle seated himself. that the intended Resolutions might have been Rounds. PROFESSIONAL AND UNPROFESSIONAL Full half a year had come and gone. an eminent public character. Honeythunder's room. and presenting.' Mr. In the development of all those organs which constitute. Mr.' said Mr. Honeythunder. Thirdly. always. Honeythunder. Mr. In an official manager of these displays much celebrated for his platform tactics. or attend. Secondly. in his tremendous voice. hit him anywhere and anyhow. another shabby stipendiary Philanthropist (highly disinterested. stamp upon him. on errands of antagonistically snatching something from somebody. at the same time watching the crowd which came and went by.CHAPTER XVIIÐPHILANTHROPY. There were only three conditions of resemblance wanting between these Professors and those. the Philanthropists had not the good temper of the Pugilists. stump up instantly. kick him. In these last particulars the Professors of the Noble Art were much nobler than the Professors of Philanthropy. the Professing Philanthropists were uncommonly like the Pugilists. until he could have audience of Mr. Mr. There were several Professors passing in and out. or go to the Devil. with exactly the aggressive air upon them of being ready for a turn-up with any Novice who might happen to be on hand. Mr. as empowering them not only to bore their man to the ropes. Crisparkle well remembered in the circles of the Fancy. and Mr. gouge him. Firstly. `sit down. and maul him behind his back without mercy. and had attended two or three of their gloved gatherings. Crisparkle was so completely lost in musing on these similarities and dissimilarities. as it seemed. Honeythunder having signed the remaining few score of a few thousand circulars. Preparations were in progress for a moral little Mill somewhere on the rural circuit. the Philanthropists were in very bad training: much too fleshy. also to hit him when he was down. but to bore him to the confines of distraction. In his college days of athletic exercises. Crisparkle sat in a waiting-room in the London chief offices of the Haven of Philanthropy. a superabundance of what is known to Pugilistic Experts as Suet Pudding. calling upon a corresponding number of families without means to come forward. that his name was called before he heard it. so very much after the manner of the sporting publicans. once known to fame as Frosty-faced Fogo.
turning his chair half round towards him when they were alone.' `Do we?' returned the Minor Canon. as the Brotherhood in public meeting assembled would infallibly have done on this cue. `Be so good as to explain what you mean by those very unjustifiable expressions. Honeythunder.' pursued the Minor Canon as before: `what you suppose to be my views on that subject?' `By George.' retorted Mr. `and I candidly tell you that I didn't expect it.' Here he lowered heavily at Mr. sir. `to be browbeaten. sir. no one can possibly know that better than I do. as if he added. Honeythunder. and his brows knitted.' said Mr.' returned the Minor Canon very quietly.' returned the Philanthropist. in a kind of boisterous reverie. you know. Crisparkle. and squaring his arms with his hands on his knees. with his platform folding of his arms. sir.' said the Minor Canon.' `Murder!' proceeded Mr. what views _have_ you set up as mine?' `Here is a manÐand a young man. `We do.' `I don't sit here.' `Might I ask you. Crisparkle: `they are best known to yourself.`Now.' said Mr.' said the Minor Canon: `what are your views on that subject?' `That human life is a thing to be held sacred. Mr. and his platform nod of abhorrent reflection after each short sentiment of a word. Crisparkle again. Pray. sir.' Instead of instantly leaping into his chair and cheering himself hoarse. Honeythunder. I repudiate with a shudder the red hand when it is offered me. in his most offensive manner. as if that made the matter infinitely worse. I am going to make short work of _you_: `Now. we entertain different views. and he could have easily borne the loss of an old one. sir!' returned the Philanthropist. But you began by saying that we took different views. `But I interrupt your explanation. sir? `A murderer. What do you call that?' `Murder. you and I. `swept off the face of the earth by a deed of violence. Mr. Crisparkle.' said the Minor Canon.' `Readily admitted.' `As the only other person present. `Bloodshed! Abel! Cain! I hold no terms with Cain. as he frowned on Mr. of the sanctity of human life. sir?' `Might I ask you. Therefore (or you could not say so) you must have set up some views as mine. squaring his arms still more. Honeythunder. Crisparkle merely reversed the quiet crossing of his . Mr. `What do you call the doer of that deed. raising his voice to a roar. `I am glad to hear you admit so much.
Crisparkle. shaking his head in a threatening manner. and to Mr. Honeythunder. `And they also say. Crisparkle to task for having distinctly asserted that they said: You may do a little murder. Honeythunder. no murder.' said Mr. platformally pausing as if he took Mr. you were better employed. I say no more of that. to say to you that I _know_ I was in the full possession and understanding of Mr. taking up the papers referred to: `my being better or worse employed than I am at present is a matter of taste and opinion. I befriend him. Neville.' Good fellow! manly fellow! And he was so modest. shaking his head again.' with another nod. and there is a statement of the balance which you have undertaken to receive.' with a nod. too.' `Ay. NO murder. nor no woman'sÐso gained. `Bet-ter em-ployed!' with another and the three nods added up.' `The Commandments say. Neville's mind and heart at the time of this occurrence. He was simply and staunchly . `Mr. Feeling that certainty. without in the least colouring or concealing what was to be deplored in him and required to be corrected. There was no more self-assertion in the Minor Canon than in the schoolboy who had stood in the breezy playing-fields keeping a wicket. and said mildly: `Don't let me interrupt your explanationÐwhen you begin it. and which you cannot receive too soon. Honeythunder. but with perfect command of himself.' observed Mr. I will befriend him. Crisparkle rose.' he said. You might think me better employed in enrolling myself a member of your Society. `It would have been better for you if you had done that long ago!' `I think otherwise. Neville's sister (and in a much lower degree to myself).' `Or. Crisparkle. sir. and that. `Enough!' bellowed Mr. sir!' proceeded Mr.legs. as a man and a Minor Canon. I should be so ashamed of myself for my meanness. `Better employed. that no man's good opinionÐno. who are desolate and oppressed.' said Mr. Honeythunder. `However. I feel certain that his tale is true. And let me tell you. and I being released from a trust which I cannot contemplate without a thrill of horror. indeed.' `I may regard my profession from a point of view which teaches me that its first duty is towards those who are in necessity and tribulation. Honeythunder. I wish that. As long as that certainty shall last. you shall bear no false witness. and then leave off. `E-e-nough! My late wards being now of age. Mr. there are the accounts which you have undertaken to accept on their behalf. And if any consideration could shake me in this resolve. with a solemnity and severity that would have brought the house down at a meeting. as I have quite clearly satisfied myself that it is no part of my profession to make professions. a little heated in the face. But I owe it to Mr. could compensate me for the loss of my own. `I might think one of your profession better employed in devoting himself to the discovery and punishment of guilt than in leaving that duty to be undertaken by a layman. sir!' retorted Mr.
that because I will not bow down to a false God of your making. at a loss to imagine. your platform resource of representing me as . ever is. paid to you for your pupil. smiling innocently. Crisparkle eyed him with a just indignation. we must bear in mind. sir. So all true souls ever are. sir. sir.' `Tcha!' ejaculated Mr. without noticing the interruption. Honeythunder. There is nothing little to the really great in spirit.' returned the professional Philanthropist. Crisparkle. But you have given me such a specimen of both.' said Mr. `that in my desire to clear one man I should lightly criminate another! I accuse no one. Honeythunder with great disgust. I decline to believe it. `I don't go about measuring people for caps. another timeÐtaking me as representing your opponent in other casesÐyou set up a platform credulity. `And. you are not a disinterested witness. Crisparkle. Crisparkle returned. They are detestable. `Perhaps I expect to retain it still?' Mr. and the restraints that should belong to gentlemen. You assume a great crime to have been committed by one whom I. they can put 'em on and wear 'em. If people find I have any about me that fit 'em.' `How am I an interested one?' inquired Mr. but am its aider and abettor! So. a moved and seconded and carried-unanimously profession of faith in some ridiculous delusion or mischievous imposition. for this was by no means the principle on which the Philanthropic Brotherhood usually proceeded. getting up and thrusting his hands down into his trousers-pockets.' repeated Mr. `There was a certain stipend. what is your platform resource? Instantly to turn upon me. Again.' Mr.' `They don't suit _you_. sir. `Heaven forbid. That's their look out: not mine. and having numerous reasons on my side. `Then who do you make out did the deed?' asked Mr. I dare say. turning on him abruptly. coarsely. I hoped when I came in here that I might be under no necessity of commenting on the introduction of platform manners or platform manúuvres among the decent forbearances of private life. I deny the true God! Another time you make the platform discovery that War is a calamity. They violate equally the justice that should belong to Christians. `detestable. and took him to task thus: `Mr. `do you mean that too?' `Well. acquainted with the attendant circumstances.' `They are. that I should be a fit subject for both if I remained silent respecting them. Honeythunder. charging that I have no sense of the enormity of the crime itself. enlightened. and you propose to abolish it by a string of twisted resolutions tossed into the air like the tail of a kite. which may have warped your judgment a bit.true to his duty alike in the large case and in the small. Because I differ from you on that vital point. Crisparkle.' said Mr. and ever will be. devoutly believe to be innocent of it. and you fall back upon your platform resource of proclaiming that I believe nothing. I do not admit the discovery to be yours in the least. Honeythunder. if they like. So every true soul ever was. and I have not a grain of faith in your remedy.
Therefore it is. I claim consideration for the comfort. carried into private life. Everything expressed the abode of a poor student. and Mr. Grewgious. and made an imperfect sort of music in it that would have been melody in the country. `They brighten at the sight of you. you would punish the sober for the drunken. cumbrous rusty locks and grates. even in public life. but soon fell into his regular brisk pace. sir!' exclaimed the Philanthropist. and stood beside the table of Neville Landless.' returned Neville. which had a penthouse to itself thrust out among the tiles. He took himself to Staple Inn. Honeythunder in the late little lively affair.' He walked out of the Haven at a great rate. slowly mouldering withal. some of the deluded sparrows of the place rheumatically hopped. slowly releasing the hand he had taken in his. and you presently make platform proclamation that I have a depraved desire to turn Heaven's creatures into swine and wild beasts! In all such cases your movers. and your seconders. that I consider the platform a sufficiently bad example and a sufficiently bad school. or that he combined the three characters. and to glow with the belief that he had trimmed the Philanthropic Jacket pretty handsomely. Honeythunder.' `These are strong words. Mr. in another of your undiscriminating platform rushes. wondering what the china shepherdess would have said if she had seen him pounding Mr. habitually attributing the lowest and basest motives with the utmost recklessness (let me call your attention to a recent instance in yourself for which you should blush). or all Debtor side and no Creditor. and heavy wooden bins and beams. and soon had a smile upon his face as he went along. and on the cracked and smoke-blackened parapet beyond. and there was a play of living leaves at hand that changed the air.revelling in the horrors of a battle-field like a fiend incarnate! Another time. Crisparkle had just enough of harmless vanity to hope that he had hit hard. Crisparkle. Yet the sunlight shone in at the ugly garret-window. Crisparkle.' `I wish your eyes were not quite so large and not quite so bright. it becomes an unendurable nuisance. Their sloping ceilings. For Mr. run amuck like so many mad Malays. Mr. The rooms were sparely furnished. and he had the haggard face of a prisoner.' said Mr. and refreshment of the sober. `How goes it. had a prisonous look. Crisparkle had been either chooser. and so were they. `If you were to . That Mr. like little feathered cripples who had left their crutches in their nests.' said the Minor Canon. Full many a creaking stair he climbed before he reached some attic rooms in a corner. and working away. T. turned the latch of their unbolted door. and your supportersÐyour regular Professors of all degrees. but not to P. but hold that. `Good morning. J. He was much worn. or donor of the books. but with good store of books. convenience. Neville?' `I am in good heart. and quoting figures which you know to be as wilfully onesided as a statement of any complicated account that should be all Creditor side and no Debtor. lender. An air of retreat and solitude hung about the rooms and about their inhabitant. `I hope so. might have been easily seen in the friendly beam of his eyes upon them as he entered.
fall away from me. Crisparkle. indicating his own healthy cheek by way of pattern.' `It will right you at last. compassionately. I feel marked and tainted. they would soon be dull enough. `I would have done so. `I never said it was unreasonable. `I want more sun to shine upon you. but the thing is not to be thought of.' `And you must expect no miracle to help you. never thought so. as I did.' `Rally. Crisparkle turned him with his face a little more towards the light. The ordinary fulness of time and circumstances is all I have to trust to. and (it may be) feeling that the broad hand upon his shoulder was not then quite as steady as its own natural strength had rendered it when it first touched him just now. for it would look like guilt.' `So I believe. sir. and am doing famously. if my pulse had stopped.' But perceiving that the despondent mood into which he was falling cast a shadow on the Minor Canon. for the same reason. but I cannot bear it yet. and stood looking down at him. I feel as if your touch would make it beat again. that I might not touch them or come near them.' said Neville. and the better sort of people silently giving me too much room to pass.' Mr. those averted eyes. yet. If I could have gone to some distant place. But as you wisely pointed out to me. But I should like you to do it. But I cannot yet. and I take courage from it. `But I _have_ rallied. if you had seen.' `My poor fellow!' said the Minor Canon. I may become so.' said Neville. If you had gone through those Cloisterham streets as I did. `No. Hiding and escaping would be the construction in either case. Neville!' `If I were dying. as he replied in a lowered voice: `I am not hardy enough for that. I feel as if a word from you would rally me. and I hope I may live to know it. in a tone so purely sympathetic that the young man caught his hand. Neville. I know that. Neville.' Mr. I can't do that. you wouldn't think it quite unreasonable that I cannot go about in the daylight. It seems a little hard to be so tied to a stake. Neville.' `And that would give me the strongest motive to do it. `I want to see a ruddier touch here. Crisparkle laid a hand upon his shoulder. rally!' urged the other. he brightened and said: .' Neville drooped suddenly. `Fight for it. I might have found relief in that. `If I could have changed my name. and innocent. I cannot persuade myself that the eyes of even the stream of strangers I pass in this vast city look at me without suspicion. in a stimulating tone. but I don't complain. even when I go outÐas I do onlyÐat night. But the darkness covers me then.' he said.' said Mr.
' said Mr. sense. anyhow! and you know.' sighed Neville. and wait to be righted! Else I might have proved the proverb. and looking down upon the patch of garden. and courage wanted here. they stood leaning on the window-sill. But they were as serviceable as they were precious to Neville Landless. What I would emphasise is.' `You have only to remember.' `And yet. Such a good friend and helper!' He took the fortifying hand from his shoulder. and only to be compassed at intervals of many weeks. `you will cease to be alone.' They were silent for a little while. and kissed it.' returned Neville. you told me that your sister had risen out of the disadvantages of your past lives as superior to you as the tower of Cloisterham Cathedral is higher than the chimneys of Minor Canon Corner. Mr. No matter what I think it now.' said the Minor Canon. specially. and was soon immersed in their interleaved and annotated passages. Crisparkle?' The Minor Canon answered: `Your late guardian is aÐa most unreasonable person. Crisparkle beamed at the books. Neville. and then Mr. and advising.' `Under _all_ heads that are included in the composition of a fine . and that of course I am guiding myself by the advice of such a friend and helper. `that the surroundings are so dull and unwomanly. the steed starves!' He opened some books as he said it. and there are womanly feeling. and that Helena can have no suitable friend or society here. The Minor Canon's Cathedral duties made these visits of his difficult to accomplish. `I gather from your silence on the subject that my late guardian is adverse. Crisparkle. `There is duty to be done here. When they had got through such studies as they had in hand. that while the grass grows. that under the head of Pride your sister is a great and opportune example to you. Not to mention that you have advised me to study for the difficult profession of the law. or the _re_verse. Mr. Crisparkle. `this seems an uncongenial place to bring my sister to.`Excellent circumstances for study. what need I have of study in all ways. expounding.' explained Neville. half wearily and half cheerily. `while I wait to be learned. `When we first spoke together. and will have a devoted companion. while Mr. but not so brightly as when he had entered.' said Mr.' `I meant. `that you are here yourself. _per_verse. and that she has to draw you into the sunlight. correcting. and it signifies nothing to any reasonable person whether he is _ad_verse. Mr. Crisparkle. Crisparkle began anew. Do you remember that?' `Right well!' `I was inclined to think it at the time an enthusiastic flight. `Next week. Crisparkle sat beside him.' `Well for me that I have enough with economy to live upon.' `I don't think so.
`And how did you leave Mr. `I am glad you approve of them. She can dominate it even when it is wounded through her sympathy with you. Grewgious as an act of courtesy. when it is quite dark? Mind! it is not I who wait for darkness. Crisparkle said he had a moment's call to make on Mr. Grewgious. Your sister has learnt how to govern what is proud in her nature. perhaps?' . but is a sustained confidence in you and in the truth. only one hinge in his whole body. `And where did you leave Mr. No doubt her life is darkened by the cloud that darkens yours. Another and weaker kind of pride might sink broken-hearted. `And when did you leave Mr. and would run across to that gentleman's chambers. himself and his legs on the window-seat. Mr.' said Neville. reverend sir?' said Mr. Crisparkle had left him at Cloisterham. Crisparkle had left him pretty well. but never such a pride as hers: which knows no shrinking.' `Say so. Mr. and rejoin Neville on his own doorstep. Crisparkle stoutly. Grewgious. Grewgious.' As Mr.' answered Mr. bolt upright as usual. So it will be with her to the end. `It is growing dark. sat taking his wine in the dusk at his open window. reverend sir?' That morning. Grewgious had to turn his eye up considerably before he could see the chambers. and be a truly brave man. But Mr. Will you go my way with me. `And how is your charge getting on over the way in the set that I had the pleasure of recommending to you as vacant and eligible?' Mr.character. Jasper. No doubt she has suffered deeply in those same streets where you suffered deeply. `Umps!' said Mr. Grewgious. Crisparkle replied suitably. his wineglass and decanter on the round table at his elbow. and can get no mastery over her. but take this one.' Neville replied. she has faced malignity and follyÐfor youÐas only a brave nature well directed can. if he would come down there to meet him. that he would accompany him directly. the phrase was to be taken figuratively and not literally. which were as cordially declined as made. `I will do all I can to imitate her. But bending her pride into a grand composure that is not haughty or aggressive. Jasper. Every day and hour of her life since Edwin Drood's disappearance. reverend sir?' said Mr. `Do so. reverend sir?' Mr. `because I entertain a sort of fancy for having him under my eye. with abundant offers of hospitality. she is.' The pale cheek beside him flushed under the comparison. Grewgious.' said Mr. as she is a truly brave woman. like a bootjack. and the hint implied in it. `He didn't say he was coming. Jasper. she has won her way through those streets until she passes along them as high in the general respect as any one who treads them. `How do you do.
' `You are right!' cried Mr. Crisparkle's mind with the force of a strong recoil. `Umps!' said Mr. Crisparkle to get home. Grewgious.' said Mr. so much more outside the window than inside. whatever he might do. in fact. Grewgious. Coming to the top. when Mr. It was midnight when he returned from his solitary expedition and climbed his staircase. more after the manner of a venturesome glazier than an amateur ordinarily careful of his neck. Grewgious musingly still. Crisparkle. for instance?' said Mr. who had asked all these questions. and to take no notice of our local friend?' said Mr. with a significant need complied. Crisparkle warmly.' `Because here he is. Grewgious. . Crisparkle. Grewgious. Neville to walk the streets. `but would expose him to the torment of a perpetually reviving suspicion. make a wide round of the city in the friendly darkness. does he?' Mr. and he asked Mr. and parted at the yet unfinished and undeveloped railway station: Mr. `Do I see him waiting for you?' `No doubt you do. and will cast your eye at the second-floor landing window in yonder house. do you know?' Mr. Grewgious musingly. turning his face so abruptly that his head nearly came into collision with Mr. and rejoining Neville. They dined together.`Coming where?' `Anywhere.' said Mr. and to go out to join him. as to suggest the thought that he must have come up by the water-spout instead of the stairs. Crisparkle was craning towards the window. in the gloom of the room. and to go the way that you were going.' `Ay!' said Mr. it gave him a passing chill of surprise (there being no rooms but his up there) to find a stranger sitting on the window-sill. `No. `I entertain a sort of fancy for having _him_ under my eye to-night. cross the bridges. Crisparkle's: `what should you say that our local friend was up to?' The last passage he had been shown in the Diary returned on Mr. The night was hot. Grewgious if he thought it possible that Neville was to be harassed by the keeping of a watch upon him? `A watch?' repeated Mr. Grewgious added: `If you will kindly step round here behind me. and tire himself out. `And he don't look agreeable. or wherever he might go. `Ay!' `Which would not only of itself haunt and torture his life. with his preoccupied glance directed out at window. I think you will hardly fail to see a slinking individual in whom I recognise our local friend. went away with him.' `Then _would_ you have the goodness to excuse my getting up to see you out. Then he added. and the windows of the staircase were all wide open.
In fact. `Runners. with a young face. but with an older figure in its robustness and its breadth of shoulder.' `Thank you. so extremely sunburnt that the contrast between his brown visage and the white forehead shaded out of doors by his hat.' `Not at all. and was First Lieutenant when I quitted it. and a prepossessing address. I came here some nine months before you. But having noticed (excuse me) that you generally walk out at night. and laughing teeth. I had had one crop before you came. corresponding set. say a man of eight-and-twenty. would have been almost ludicrous but for his broad temples. and draw back again when they wanted watering or gardening. `the beans.' `I should not have thought so.' said the visitor. `I have noticed (excuse me) that you shut yourself up a good deal. he spoke: `I beg your pardon. clustering brown hair.' `You are very kind.' returned Neville. `Pray walk in. If you would like a little more of it. Next door at the back. Tartar. being an idle man. I presume?' `Well. I am always afraid of inconveniencing busy men. and that you seem to like my garden aloft here. And I have some boxes. next door. and shove on again when they were ship-shape.' `O. `And the mignonette and wall-flower?' `The same. A handsome gentleman. I ought to apologise for looking in so late. I was bred in the Royal Navy. I thought I should inconvenience you least by awaiting your return. `Scarlet.' he said. I had had twelve or fifteen years of knocking about first. seeming to make sure of his identity from the action. I .' Neville was quite at a loss. and the visitor sat down. and resigned my commission. which the runners would take to directly.' said the visitor.' said he. I accepted the fortune.The stranger said nothing until Neville put his key in his door. and the glimpses of white throat below the neckerchief. so I venture to ask it. that I could shove on along the gutter (with a boathook I have by me) to your windows. coming from the window with a frank and smiling air. I couldn't take this liberty without asking your permission. so that they would cause you no trouble. bright blue eyes. But.' Neville lighted his candles. `Ðmy name is Tartar. `I have noticed. or at the utmost thirty. I could throw out a few lines and stays between my windows and yours. from your appearance.' Neville inclined his head.' `Lately.' `No? I take it as a compliment. an uncle disappointed in the service leaving me his property on condition that I left the Navy. then. both of mignonette and wall-flower.
as if he were going aloft with a whole watch in an emergency. is your health at all affected?' `I have undergone some mental distress.' cried Neville. coolly looking about him on the housetop. and you have been looking on. May I take this short cut home. Those lines and stays shall be rigged before you turn out in the morning. happened at the moment to have Neville's chambers under his eye for the last time that night. having served last in a little corvette. in this state of existenceÐand few languages can be read until their alphabets . and that he thankfully accepted the kind proposal.' Mr. for it will give me something more to do. Tartar. On Neville's opening it. if we could. With the greatest delicacy he shifted his ground to the windows again. I hope.chose this place. and say good-night?' `Mr.' said the Lieutenant. but none of us so much as know our letters in the stars yetÐor seem likely to do it. `which has stood me in the stead of illness. having been accustomed to a very short allowance of land all my life. `However. it has merely been to present myself to you naturally. Besides. May I ask. not even a light in the windows. It is not my way. Tartar? You'll be dashed to pieces!' `All well!' said the Lieutenant. for that is far from my intention. `All taut and trim here. he immediately sprang out. `For Heaven's sake. Fortunately his eye was on the front of the house and not the back.' said the Lieutenant. his bedroom window-blind held aside with his hand.' said Mr. And you are not to suppose that it will entail any interruption or intrusion on you. and asked if he could look at one of them.' said Neville. as if he would have read in them something that was hidden from him. and were setting a bright example. confused. Tartar!' urged Neville. it will be a charity. `I am very glad to take your windows in tow. or this remarkable appearance and disappearance might have broken his rest as a phenomenon. But Mr. Tartar. Grewgious.' Whimsically as this was said. it would never do for a man who had been aboard ship from his boyhood to turn luxurious all at once. his gaze wandered from the windows to the stars. If you will allow me to take the liberty I have described. Besides. and `gone below.' Neville replied that he was greatly obliged. `Pray! It makes me giddy to see you!' But Mr. I knew I should feel more at home where I had a constant opportunity of knocking my head against the ceiling. there was a touch of merry earnestness in it that made it doubly whimsical. again.' `Pardon me. Grewgious seeing nothing there. `I have talked quite enough about myself. Many of us would. by beginning in boxes. I have thought you (excuse me) rather too studious and delicate. had already dipped through his scuttle of scarlet runners without breaking a leaf. `don't do that! Where are you going Mr. `From what I have seen of you when I have been gardening at mine. with a wave of his hand and the deftness of a cat. because. I thought I'd feel my way to the command of a landed estate.
and he shook it. and inconvenient. `I suppose. a white-haired personage. Tope?' inquired Dick Datchery. `Anything Cathedraly. and never been put up again. Tope's window-bill. might shake his before a single buffer might be . eh?' The waiter had no doubt of it. Tope had indeed once upon a time let lodgings herself or offered to let them. What do you see written there?' The waiter read: `Datchery.' replied the waiter. sir. as he rubbed his chin with his hand. Hang it up again. now. and pint of sherry.' `We have a good choice of inconvenient lodgings in the town. something odd and out of the way.' Mr. and his shock of white waiter. architectural. and absorbed the whole of the information.' said the gentleman. The waiter explained that he was the Verger. however particular you might be. but that as nobody had ever taken them. `Dick Datchery. he had something of a military air. Both announcements were made in the coffee-room of the Crozier. veal cutlet. `that a fair lodging for found in these parts. `Mr. And the waiter (business being chronically slack at the Crozier) represented all whom it might or might not concern. I don't want it.' `Now you know my name.' he said. Being buttoned up in a tightish blue surtout. brightening. Mrs.are mastered. as a Newfoundland dog sitting down to dinner. and he farther announced that he had a mind to take a lodging in the picturesque old city for a month or two. and that Mrs. with black eyebrows. with a buff waistcoat and gray trousers. Datchery suggested. But a architectural lodging!' That seemed to trouble the waiter's head. long a Cloisterham Institution. I think. but he announced himself at the Crozier (the orthodox hotel. waiting for his fried sole. `Take my hat down for a moment from that peg. `indeed. shaking his shock of hair. had disappeared. This gentleman's white head was unusually large. will you? No. with modest confidence in its resources that way. I have no doubt that we could suit you that far. `Something old. to all whom it might or might not concern. probably had tumbled down one day. something venerable.' said the gentleman. `would be the likeliest party to inform in that line. I was saying something old is what I should prefer.' `Who is Mr. Tope. where he put up with a portmanteau) as an idle dog who lived upon his means. hair was unusually thick and ample. look into it. CHAPTER XVIIIÐA SETTLER IN CLOISTERHAM At about this time a stranger appeared in Cloisterham. by the stranger as he stood with his back to the empty fireplace.' said the waiter. with a view of settling down there altogether.
and bringing it down. he soon became bewildered. like the children in the game of hot boiled beans and very good butter. I tell yer. `Lookie yonder. `after dinner.' returned the sportsman. and the waiter's directions being fatally precise. He was getting very cold indeed when he came upon a fragment of burial-ground in which an unhappy sheep was grazing. and I giv' 'im a shy as a Widdy-warning to 'im not to go a-bruisin' 'is master's mutton any more. when Topeseses is t'other side the Kinfreederal. with a general impression on his mind that Mrs.' `Come on. it ain't. and sallied out for it. Unhappy. he was warm in his search when he saw the Tower. Tope.' `Stay there then.`I'll call on Mrs.' .' `Come here. `and made a dint in his wool. and cold when he didn't see it. not if I knows it. not the side where Jarsper's door is. I see 'im do it. t'other side. pointing. That's Jarsper's. and I ain't a-goin' no nearer 'IM. and I'll give you something.' `Ow can I stay here and show you which is Topeseses. and over the crossings. the boy led the way. because a hideous small boy was stoning it through the railings. Tope's was somewhere very near it. with a second look of some interest. and show me which is Mr. and was much excited by the benevolent sportsmanlike purpose of breaking its other three legs. then. I'll come when yer can ketch me. `'It 'im agin!' cried the boy.' So when he had done his dinner. Datchery. and round ever so many comers? Stoo-pid! Ya-a-ah!' `Show me where it is.' This brisk dialogue concluded. and not by `Im.' `I won't. Wait till I set a jolly good flint a-flyin' at the back o' 'is jolly old 'ed some day! Now look t'other side the harch. and had already lamed it in one leg. whenever he could catch a glimpse of it.' `Why not?' `'Cos I ain't a-goin' to be lifted off my legs and 'ave my braces bust and be choked. `'E went and lamed isself. `Yes. `Don't you see you have lamed him?' `Yer lie.' `Indeed?' said Mr.' `Let him be!' said Mr. Datchery. But the Crozier being an hotel of a most retiring disposition.' said Mr. he was duly directed to the spot. Datchery. Tope's. You see that there winder and door?' `That's Tope's?' `Yer lie. and that. and by-and-by stopped at some distance from an arched passage. as the poor creature leaped. and went boggling about and about the Cathedral Tower.
down two steps.' `What is your name. Tope's official dwelling. Travellers' Twopenny. Mr. He agreed. was of very modest proportions. Datchery had heard something of what had occurred there last winter? Mr.' The boy instantly darted off with the shilling. there's a low door. Datchery. and money down. however. and partook of the character of a cool dungeon. with a groined roof. That's Topeseses with 'is name on a hoval plate. on . Datchery had as confused a knowledge of the event in question. give us 'old. Mr. because I have no sixpence in my pocket. on condition that reference was permitted him to Mr. than to have been designed beforehand with any reference to them. So the next time you meet me you shall do something else for me. but stopped at a safe distance. Mrs. o' that side. Tope. Its ancient walls were massive. producing a shilling. and Mrs. to pay me. and would have light enough. The poor dear gentleman was very solitary and very sad. and in the thickness of the walls. and swarthy as to their illumination by natural light. as in a separate residence.' `All right. Mr. Datchery should repent. of which on the other side of the gateway. close as to their atmosphere. on the happy chance of his being uneasy in his mind about it. `You owe me half of this. was more appreciative. and where do you live?' `Deputy.' `Good. See here. Tope had so long offered to an unappreciative city.' `A little way in. with another groined roof: their windows small. but she had no doubt he would `speak for her. Datchery. Tope's attendance on that gentleman). and its rooms rather seemed to have been dug out of them. to take the lodging then and there. I never seen yer. possession to be had next evening.`I see.' Perhaps Mr. Jasper as occupying the gatehouse. He found that if he sat with the main door open he would enjoy the passing society of all comers to and fro by the gateway. Datchery. He found that if Mr. lest Mr. 'cross the green.' `I tell you you owe me half of this. to goad him with a demon dance expressive of its irrevocability. and everything as quaintly inconvenient as he could desire. The main door opened at once on a chamber of no describable shape. which in its turn opened on another chamber of no describable shape. he would be alone. Jasper's (hence Mrs.' `Yer lie! I don't owe yer nothing. therefore. seemed quite resigned. Tope said. communicating by an upper stair with Mr. He found the rent moderate. living overhead. and betook himself whither he had been directed.' said Mr. taking off his hat to give that shock of white hair of his another shake. to the surprise and inconvenience of a limited public of pedestrians in a narrow way. used for their own egress and ingress a little side stair that came plump into the Precincts by a door opening outward. These two chambers. were the apartments which Mrs. the Verger's hole-in-the-wall was an appanage or subsidiary part.
Datchery. `of which they may indeed be proud. The Mayor he was not to be regarded in the light of were great friends. as he well could have.' said Mr. bowing. Tope said. Mr. with condescension. Sapsea.' said Mr. `That is enough. Jasper speak for Mrs. Datchery. and an ecclesiastical city. sir?' suggested Mr. as a general remark. was invited was there. as to render it difficult for a buffer of an easy temper to preserve the circumstances of the several cases unmixed in his mind. and Mrs. Datchery.' `Retired from the Army. as he addressed himself equally to both gentlemen.' `Very good people.trying to recall it. Very respectful. sir. He begged Mrs. I would ask His Honour (if I might be permitted) whether there are not many objects of great interest in the city which is under his beneficent sway?' `We are. `inspires me with a desire to know more of the city.' returned Mr.' returned Mr. `places me under an infinite obligation.' `The Worshipful the Mayor. Sapsea. Sapsea. with a low bow. Datchery. Datchery. Tope's pardon when she found it incumbent on her to correct him in every detail of his summary of the facts. `an ancient city. `Navy.' said Mr. Sapsea. but pleaded that he was merely a single buffer getting through life upon his means as idly as he could.' `Diplomacy is a fine profession. Jasper could answer for that without the slightest hesitation. who had to ascend the postern staircase. `His Honour the Mayor does me too much credit. making a leg with his hat under his arm. Datchery. and that so many people were so constantly making away with so many other people. . I beg to ask if the Tope family are quite respectable?' Mr. Mr. sir?' suggested Mr. and confirms me in my inclination to end my days in the city. as it becomes such a city to be.' added Mr. Sapsea. But as a buffer living on his means. and we uphold and maintain our glorious privileges. Very well behaved. sir. Jasper.' said Mr. but company. will testify in their behalf. sir.' `The Worshipful the Mayor gives them a character.' said Mr. `His Honour the Mayor does me too much credit. Tope. Tope. Mr. and not personally interesting to anybody but myself. `I beg pardon.' repeated Mr. We are a constitutional city. `My friend the Mayor. I am sure. `Very good opinions. as he and Mr. and having an idea of doing it in this lovely place in peace and quiet. Datchery. `Again. `a selfish precaution on my part. presenting Mr.' `His Honour. for remaining span of life. Datchery. Much approved by the Dean and Chapter.' said Mr. Mr. Jasper proving willing to sent up his card. Datchery with a courtly motion of his hand towards that potentate.' said Mr. `whose recommendation is actually much more important to a stranger than that of an obscure person like myself.
not to say a grand. Immoral. A strong arm and a long arm.' `Not at all. Sapsea.' `Would His Honour allow me to inquire whether there are strong suspicions of any one?' `More than suspicions. `But proof. sir. Datchery. Datchery.' said Mr.' said Mr. `whether that gentleman we have just left is the gentleman of whom I have heard in the neighbourhood as being much afflicted by the loss of a nephew. could not be induced to go out of the room before the Worshipful. sir.' `His Honour. of my hotel. `reminds me of the nature of the law. and his shock of white hair streaming in the evening breeze. `His Honour the Mayor will bear with me. `Might I ask His Honour. what I call the secrets of the prison-house.' said Mr.' pompously went on the Mayor. proof must be built up stone by stone. and have forgotten the humble claims upon my own.' `Only think now!' cried Mr. `even a diplomatic bird must fall to such a gun. Jasper.' returned Mr. Datchery. `I am returning home.' As Mr. `the arm of the law is a strong arm. that Mr. sir.`There. I shall be glad to point it out. `the secrets of the prison-house is the term I used on the bench.' `How forcible!ÐAnd yet. That is the may I put it. if for a moment I have been deluded into occupying his time. she must be immorally certainÐlegally. `But I crave pardon. with an ingenious smile and bow. Sapsea found particularly recognisant of his merits and position. and concentrating his life on avenging the loss?' `That is the gentleman.' said Mr.' `His Honour the Mayor. again. `all but certainties. His Honour the Mayor is too many for me. that is. Here was a gentleman of a great. It is not enough that justice should be morally certain. sir.' said Mr. `As I say. Datchery. Datchery. I confess. `is more than kind and gracious. really setting a fine example how to behave to a Mayor. Datchery. Datchery. How true!' `As I say. . the Worshipful led the way down-stairs. accustomed to rank and dignity. how true!' murmured Mr. Datchery following with his hat under his arm. the end crowns the work. when he had made his acknowledgments to Mr.' `And what other term than His Honour's would express it?' said Mr. John Jasper.' Now this was very soothing. and a long arm. Datchery. sir. There was something in that third-person style of being spoken to.' said Mr. the Crozier. Mr. and if you would like to take the exterior of our Cathedral in your way. Datchery. `And without betraying. Sapsea.' said Mr. address.' said the Mayor. Sapsea.
Sapsea. he led the way by the churchyard. Datchery had walked with his hat under his arm. The best judges are pleased to admire it. one of our Cloisterham worthies. `_that_ is one of our small lions. betraying them. whom Mr. Sapsea's epitaph. I may say. with anything but the look of a loyal subject of the mayoralty. knowing the iron will of the gentleman we have just left (I take the bold step of calling it iron. sir. and Mr. appearing to descend from an elevation to remember it all of a sudden. ªMister Sapsea is his name.' `You surely don't speak for yourself. and where. Durdles. sir. I predict to you. difficult to turn with elegance. The Cathedral disposed of. in spite of his intention to end his days in Cloisterham. Datchery. and stopped to extol the beauty of the eveningÐby chanceÐin the immediate vicinity of Mrs. Durdles a gentleman who is going to settle here. Durdles! This is the mason. and the strong arm will strike. Datchery became so ecstatic over Mr.' said Mr. and when. I say. I am not a judge of it myself. not sorry to show him a bright example of behaviour to superiors. but for the slouching towards them of its material producer and perpetuator. for it is a little work of my own. `any more than for His Honour.' `I wouldn't do it if I was him. he would have transcribed it into his pocket-book on the spot. when Mr. I assure you. magnificently plying: `I shall not mind it.' said Mr. . as if the workmen had made mistakes in his absence.' entreated Mr. Sapsea pointed it out as if he himself had invented and built it: there were a few details indeed of which he did not approve.ÐThis is our Cathedral. everybody here knows Durdles. Durdles.' `His Honour is very good. Mr. `Ah. The partiality of our people has made it so. Sapsea's composition. Sapsea now touched it. Datchery. Datchery admired the Cathedral. and strangers have been seen taking a copy of it now and then. But it was troublesome to turn.' returned Mr. but I do it for coolness. and therefore his probably having in reserve many opportunities of copying it.' All this time Mr. sir. that in this case the long arm will reach. `His Honour the Mayor. Until which. Mr. Then Mr. Sapsea hailed. and he clapped his hand up to his head as if with some vague expectation of finding another hat upon it.' said Durdles. on account of its strength). `We're a heavy lot. that. and the best among our townsmen own to being a little vain of it. but those he glossed over.' growled Durdles. `Pray be covered. `And by the by.' `Who's His Honour?' demanded Durdles. sir. `and it'll be time enough for me to Honour him when I am. Datchery.`Without.' Mr. and his white hair streaming. Sapsea. like Apollo shooting down from Olympus to pick up his forgotten lyre. He had an odd momentary appearance upon him of having forgotten his hat.' `I never was brought afore him.
what do you owe me?' `A job. I have had a rather busy afternoon!' CHAPTER XIXÐSHADOW ON THE SUN-DIAL Again Miss Twinkleton has delivered her valedictory address. Durdles. Master Deputy. that the Cathedral and the monastery-ruin show as if their strong walls were transparent. Datchery upon that. and your works. lounge about on cool door-steps. trying to mend their unmendable shoes. with many ceremonies.º' Here. A soft glow seems to shine from within them. with a piercing broadside of whistle through the whole gap in his mouth. even then the Worshipper carried his hat under his arm. and requested to have the sum of threepence instantly `chucked' to him by Mr. The Worshipful and the Worshipper then passed on together until they parted. The Cloisterham gardens blush with ripening fruit. Aukshneer's his occupation. Helena Landless has left the Nuns' House to attend her brother's fortunes. Datchery to himself that night. at the Worshipful's door. rather than upon them from without. so very dusty are they. time is when wayfarers.' returned Durdles. Mr. as lawful wages overdue. slowly found and counted out the money. Mr. Cloisterham's his dwelling-place. Deputy (preceded by a flying oyster-shell) appeared upon the scene. whom he had been vainly seeking up and down. `I suppose a curious stranger might come to see you. Time was when travel-stained pilgrims rode in clattering parties through the city's welcome shades.' `I shall come. pursuits. as he looked at his white hair in the gas-lighted looking-glass over the coffee-room chimneypiece at the Crozier. as a receipt in full for all arrears. `Any gentleman is welcome to come and see me any evening if he brings liquor for two with him. of an easy temper.' Deputy. or giving them to the . he'll be doubly welcome. and shook it out: `For a single buffer. Sapsea informed the new settler of Durdles's habits. and again the young ladies have departed to their several homes. with a penny between his teeth and certain halfpence in his hands. with the accompaniments of white-wine and pound-cake. at any odd time?' said Mr. living idly on his means. with his bundle under his arm. While that gentleman. and gave his streaming white hair to the breeze. abode. Cloisterham is so bright and sunny in these summer days. `or if he likes to make it twice two. Durdles's house when I want to go there.' `Mind you pay me honestly with the job of showing me Mr. vanished. and pretty Rosa is alone.England is his nation. Durdles. leading a gipsy life between haymaking time and harvest. and reputation. Said Mr. such is their mellowness as they look forth on the hot corn-fields and the smoking roads that distantly wind among them. and looking as if they were just made of the dust of the earth.
She hangs her garden-hat on her arm. he could have done no better. which she knows he is closely watching. and seeking others in the bundles that they carry. Such is the wild idea that flutters through her mind. She feels that she would even then go back. and she can be seen as well as heard there. Jasper in the garden. He would begin by touching her hand. save where its quaint old garden opens to the west between the boughs of trees. Jasper desires to see her. to be summoned back to my duty near you. On the afternoon of such a day. she answers: `Duty. She cannot look up at him for abhorrence. `I have been waiting. Perhaps he has chosen it.' he begins. The maid replies. and draws her hand back. though her own see nothing but the grass. It was not so at first. She has never seen him since the fatal night. asserts its hold upon her. and sits down. She feels the intention. why. That he said he knew she was at home. She cannot resist. as dead. she adds in the next breath. that she will come to Mr. that Mr. helplessly. `O why. when the last Cathedral service is done. Jasper never asked the question. on the garden-seat beside the sun-dial. `What shall I do! what shall I do!' thinks Rosa. did you say I was at home!' cried Rosa. into the shape of some other hesitating reply. clasping her hands. and then he was present in gloomy watchfulness. and mourned for. She shudders at the thought of being shut up with him in the house. but that he draws her feet towards him. If he had chosen his time for finding her at a disadvantage. the Cloisterham police meanwhile looking askant from their beats with suspicion. Helena Landless is gone. and then into none. Possessed by a kind of desperation. but many of its windows command the garden. The moment she sees him from the porch.city kennels as a hopeless job. along with their yet unused sickles swathed in bands of straw. At all the more public pumps there is much cooling of bare feet. His eyes are then fixed upon her. Mrs.' After several times forming her lips. and once more fry themselves on the simmering high-roads. Tisher is absent on leave. but she has perceived that he is dressed in deep mourning. that Mr. and begged she might be told that he asked to see her. to her terror. the old horrible feeling of being compelled by him. `for some time. except when she was questioned before the Mayor. and when that side of the High Street on which the Nuns' House stands is in grateful shade. So is she. together with much bubbling and gurgling of drinking with hand to spout on the part of these Bedouins. with her head bent. Miss Twinkleton (in her amateur state of existence) has contributed herself and a veal pie to a picnic. and manifest impatience that the intruders should depart from within the civic bounds. why. she knows. leaning on the sun-dial. sir?' . and can shriek in the free air and run away. but the lost has long been given up. as representing his lost nephew and burning to avenge him. a servant informs Rosa. and goes out.
' `I did love him!' cried Rosa. with a flash of anger. unhappily. and surely that's not fair when you forbid me to question you. `Then. and that I was determined to stand by my resolution. When will you resume?' `Never. and the fire and animation it brings with it. affront. `The politeness was my guardian's. too self-conscious and self-satisfied (I'll draw no parallel between him and you in that respect) to love as he should have loved. `I will not question you any more. `Yes. or as any one in his place would have lovedÐmust have loved!' She sits in the same still attitude.' he tells her in a low voice. In shrinking from it. Nevertheless. but not quiteÐnot quite in the right way. I will not answer any more. I was told by your guardian that you discontinued it under the shock that we have all felt so acutely. I told him that I was resolved to leave off. that even as her spirit rises. `You must do so now. was to be politely told that you abandoned it altogether?' he suggested. she shrinks into her seat again. `Yes. much as she did that night at the piano. to be told that you discontinued your study with me.' cries Rosa.' `Not left off. with sudden spirit. And I beg not to be questioned any more about it. Much as my dear boy was.' `And you still are?' `I still am. you see.' `Never? You could have done no more if you had loved my dear boy. Discontinued. sir. rising. but shrinking a little more. or do more harm to others than you can ever set right. not mine. Dearest Rosa! Charming Rosa!' She starts up again. sir. shall I say? Not in the intended and expected way. At all events.' `I have left off that study. serving you as your faithful music-master. `We must sometimes act in opposition to our wishes. presently. and she struggles with a sense of shame.' She is so conscious of his looking at her with a gloating admiration of the touch of anger on her.' `What harm?' `Presently. it falls again. This time he does touch her with his outstretched hand. I have that in my power. .' says Rosa. since you object to it so much. and fear. You question _me_. sir. I think. I will confessÐ' `I do not wish to hear you.`The duty of teaching you. I will answer the question presently.
has stopped her. I loved you madly. she sits down on the seat again. it will be enough You are more beautiful in anger than in repose. `I will not touch you again. even when he gave me the picture of your lovely face so carelessly traduced by him. and seek protection within the house. I loved you madly. even when I strove to make him more ardently devoted to you. and I will do it!' . or wandering through Paradises and Hells of visions into which I rushed. carrying your image in my arms. darkly threatening what would follow if she went. Did I not?' This lie. in the wakeful misery of the night. I loved you madly. and there will be no mighty wonder in your music-master's leaning idly against a pedestal and speaking with you. to keep the truth from him. is more than Rosa can endure. and I will tell you. give me yourself and that enchanting for me. you sweet witch. I hid my secret loyally. and that you forced me. `Rosa. as though he invited her to enter it. Stay. Sit down. or do more harm than can ever be undone. he stretches out his hand towards the porch. `I endured it all in silence.This time menacing. he returns. while the mere words in which it is told are so true. which I feigned to hang always in my sight for his sake. that you must stay and hear me. I loved you madly.' he says. `I do not forget how many windows command a view of us. I loved you madly. so gross.' If anything could make his words more hideous to her than they are in themselves. give me yourself and your hatred. glancing towards them. good. You know that you made my life unhappy by your pursuit of me. sir. bad man!' His preservation of his easy attitude rendering his working features and his convulsive hands absolutely diabolical. She answers with kindling indignation: `You were as false throughout. Go. you rare charmer. as you are now. You were false to him. love. But his face looks so wicked and as he stands leaning against the sun-dial-setting. `I told you. and her face flames. even when I thought his happiness in having you for his wife was certain. his black horror as he does not touch her. even when my dear boy was affianced to you. You know that you made me afraid to open his generous eyes. You asked me what harm.' Impatient tears rise to the eyes of the trembling little beauty. for his own trusting. it would be the contrast between the violence of his look and delivery. remembering all that has happened. but worshipped in torment for years. or so long as I supposed you to be his. my beloved. Looking at him with the expression of the instant frozen on her face. in the distasteful work of the day. good sake. girded by sordid realities.' She would have gone once moreÐwas all but goneÐand once more his face. daily and hourly. and our shares in it. and the composure of his assumed attitude. that you were a bad. give me rage. I will come no nearer to you than I am. Sit down. as it were. with a fierce extreme of admiration: `How beautiful you are! I don't ask you for your yourself and that pretty scorn. So long as you were his. but as she again rises to leave him in indignation. mark upon the very face of dayÐthat her flight is arrested by she looks at him.
Crisparkle. for I am willing to renounce the second object that has arisen in my life to divide it with you. `Even him. though innocent of its meaning. and it is slowly winding as I speak. I might have swept even him from your side. Crisparkle knows under my hand that I have devoted myself to the murderer's discovery and destruction. `I have made my confession that my love is mad. You care for her peace of mind?' `I love her dearly. be he whom he might. when you favoured him. Young Landless stands in deadly peril either way.' Rosa pleads with him.' he repeats. I love her dearly. and that I determined to discuss the mystery with no one until I should hold the clue in which to entangle the murderer as in a net. or that Mr. `that I favour Mr. Judge for yourself whether any other admirer shall love you and live. It is so mad. and I reserve it. as though he had turned her faint. if you believe in the criminality of Mr. More madly now than ever. that had the ties between me and my dear lost boy been one silken thread less strong. sharpened. `I was going to show you how madly I love you. It was hawked through the late inquiries by Mr. sir. That is an inexpiable offence in my eyes. and henceforth to have no object in existence but you only.' [Picture: Jasper's sacrifices] `Your belief. `My belief is my own. Landless has ever in any way addressed himself to me. I have since worked patiently to wind and wind it round him. and he dies. turning paler. The same Mr. is not Mr.' `What do you mean. Her panting breathing comes and goes as if it would choke her.' . Miss Landless has become your bosom friend. whose life is in my hand.Again Rosa quails before his threatening face.' Rosa retorts. however slight its evidence before. Landless. that young Landless had confessed to him that he was a rival of my lost boy. that directed. Crisparkle's belief. worshipped of my soul! Circumstances may accumulate so strongly _even against an innocent man_. but with a repressive hand upon her bosom. sir?' `I mean to show you how mad my love is. and pointed. `Yes. Landless. even him! Rosa.' `If you really suppose.' `You care for her good name?' `I have said. you see me and you hear me.' He puts that from him with a slighting action of his hand and a curled lip. they may slay him. One wanting link discovered by perseverance against a guilty man. you are wrong.' A film comes over the eyes she raises for an instant. she remains. proves his guilt. and he is a good man. and she remains.
`I love you. I am the worst of men. There is the desolation of my heart and my soul. so additionally terrifies her as to break the spell that has held her to the spot. if it be good. pushing back her hair. There is my peace. but in an instant he is at her side. as though he cast down something precious. I will simply make statements. `Rosa. No one should come between us. as certainly as night follows day. dear one!' `You dare propose to me toÐ' `Darling. love you! If you were to cast me off nowÐbut you will notÐyou would never be rid of me. which I could fall down among the vilest ashes and kiss. Stamp them into the dust. or it will bring down the blow. but the sacrifices that I lay at those dear feet.' he observes with a smile. There is my fidelity to my dear boy after death. `Not a word of this to any one. She swiftly moves towards the porch. and you do care for her peace of mind. I am walking calmly beside you to the house. now reaching its full height. as though she were trying to piece together what it is his deep purpose to present to her only in fragments. I . `Reckon up nothing at this moment.' She moves her hand once more. You do care for your bosom friend's good name.' Rosa puts her hands to her temples. angel. love you. Then remove the shadow of the gallows from her. I am self-repressed again. I shall not strike too soon. I shall wait for some encouragement and hope. `There is my past and my present wasted life. there is my despair. and I am a forsworn man for your sake. Let me have hope and favour. and put upon my head as a poor savage might. Another sign that you attend to me. Give me a sign that you attend to me. so that you take me. and. Crush them!' With another repetition of the action. and speaking in her ear.`I am unconsciously. looks wildly and abhorrently at him. as he folds his hands upon the sun-dial and leans his chin upon them. I am the best. If it be bad to idolise you. My love for you is above all other love. so that his talk would seem from the windows (faces occasionally come and go there) to be of the airiest and playfullestÐ`I am unconsciously giving offence by questioning again. Stop there. Spurn it!' With a similar action. `There are my labours in the cause of a just vengeance for six toiling months. and not put questions.' She slightly and constrainedly moves her hand. `There is the inexpiable offence against my adoration of you. I dare propose to you. and my truth to you is above all other truth. Tread upon it!' With an action of his hands. therefore. were it even mortally hating me!' The frightful vehemence of the man.
and the hot and stifling air has overset the pretty dear: no wonder. She had asked herself the question. if they were a pretence? Would he have ranged them with his desolate heart and soul. seeing that a slight mistake on her part. Did the suspicion come of her previous recoiling from him before the fact? And if so. CHAPTER XXÐA FLIGHT Rosa no sooner came to herself than the whole of the late interview was before her. the more alarming her responsibility appeared. Rosa faints in going up-stairs. all that he had said by the sun-dial in the garden. . to do. that she must fly from this terrible man. consistently with his whole public course since the finding of the watch and shirt-pin. he might have swept `even him' away from her side. A thunderstorm is coming on. as if the lightest shadow of the idea of founding murder on such an idle vanity were a crime almost as great. and his unceasing pursuit of the inquiry how he came by his death. and now losing it. Was that like his having really done so? He had spoken of laying his six months' labours in the cause of a just vengeance at her feet. and how could she go? She had never breathed her dread of him to any one but Helena. was his fidelity to his dear boy after death. `What motive could he have. wholly unexpressed suspicion tossed in it. If she went to Helena. his wasted life. and now sinking into the deep. that no one appeared able to suspect the possibility of foul play at his hands. according to my accusation?' She was ashamed to answer in her mind. Sapsea's father opposite. the maids say. If he were afraid of the crime being traced out. with that violence of passion. `Am I so wicked in my thoughts as to conceive a wickedness that others cannot imagine?' Then she had considered. The more fearful he appeared to her excited memory and imagination. Jasper's self-absorption in his nephew when he was alive. and that she knew he had the will. and is carefully carried to her room and laid down on her bed.would pursue you to the death. that very act might bring down the irreparable mischief that he threatened he had the power. and she had not had a moment's unconsciousness of it. and goes away with no greater show of agitation than is visible in the effigy of Mr. `The motive of gaining _me_!' And covered her face. might let his malevolence loose on Helena's brother. A half-formed. he quietly pulls off his hat as a parting salute. and told her what had passed. He had persisted in treating the disappearance as murder.' The handmaid coming out to open the gate for him. Rosa's mind throughout the last six months had been stormily confused. But where could she take refuge. she was at a frightened loss to know: the only one clear thought in her mind was. if he were dead. his peace and his despair? The very first sacrifice that he represented himself as making for her. would he not rather encourage the idea of a voluntary disappearance? He had even declared that if the ties between him and his nephew had been less strong. were themes so rife in the place. either in action or delay. Would he have done that. What to do. they have felt their own knees all of a tremble all day long. was not that a proof of its baselessness? Then she had reflected. She ran over in her mind again. It even seemed as if it had pursued her into her insensibility. now heaving itself up. now gaining palpability.
was so strong upon herÐthe feeling of not being safe from him. She determined to go to her guardian. The feeling she had imparted to Helena on the night of their first confidence. But knowing all its ways and windings very well. even now. Miss. though it would have been better (she considered now) if she could have restrained herself from so giving it. Glancing out at window. going off.' In less than another minute she was on her road to the railway. which its own professed students perpetually misread. the sight of the sun-dial on which he had leaned when he declared himself. Afraid of him as the bright and delicate little creature was. But where was she to go? Anywhere beyond his reach. if you please. Joe waited on her when she got there. She had constantly assured her of her full belief in her brother's innocence.Surely these facts were strong against a fancy that scarcely dared to hint itself. her spirit swelled at the thought of his knowing it from her own lips. and nothing more. It was the first time she had ever been even in Cloisterham High Street alone. and to go immediately. She wrote a hurried note to Miss Twinkleton. the poor girl (for what could she know of the criminal intellect. And yet he was so terrible a man! In short. was no reply to the question. for all was well with her. and of the solid walls of the old convent being powerless to keep out his ghostly following of herÐthat no reasoning of her own could calm her terrors. She hurried a few quite useless articles into a very little bag. The assurance she had given her odious suitor was strictly true. Joe?' `It shall be done. `Stop and take me. and must be fled from. `Can you go round when you get back. as though he had invested it with some awful quality from his own nature. I am obliged to go to London. turned her cold. put her safely into the railway carriage. and of her sympathy with him in his misery. and handed in the very little bag after her. also. Joe. Crisparkle in regard of Rosa. She had been Helena's stay and comfort during the whole time. nor had Helena ever spoken one word of his avowal to Mr. that she felt as if he had power to bind her by a spell. at that very moment. under Joe's protection. as she rose to dress. left the note in a conspicuous place. and made her shrink from it. to her. But she had never seen him since the disappearance. she hurried straight to the corner from which the omnibus departed. The fascination of repulsion had been upon her so long. Somewhere must be thought of. though as a part of the interest of the case it was well known far and wide. and now culminated so darkly. and went out. entreating the good lady not to be uneasy. which she must on no account endeavour to lift. hundredweights heavy. and tell Miss Twinkleton that you saw me safely off. saying that she had sudden reason for wishing to see her guardian promptly.' . and had gone to him. It was. softly closing the gate after her. He was Helena's unfortunate brother. as though it were some enormous trunk. instead of identifying it as a horrible wonder apart) could get by no road to any other conclusion than that he _was_ a terrible man. because they persist in trying to reconcile it with the average intellect of average men.
and no big drum beat dull care away. through deserts of gritty streets. how Mr. T. but it did not enliven the case. and down below lay the gritty streets with their yet un-needed lamps a-glow. they only seemed to evoke echoes from brick surfaces.'s doorsteps. So Rosa went further in. T. by a watchman. J. Grewgious. more and more as they accumulated. and where many other people walked with a miserably monotonous noise of shuffling of feet on hot paving-stones. the doubts usual in such cases began to arise. Whether this was not a wild proceeding. if she could now go back. But as the evening grew darker and darker. and. what might become of her. they seemed to have cracked their hearts and souls in pining for the country.' said the watchman. summer night. and the great city impended nearer and nearer. how she would act if he were absent. Like the chapel bells that were also going here and there. and saw her guardian sitting on a window-seat at an open window. how if she had but waited and taken counsel first. pointing further in. wondering what P.' This was all Rosa knew of her destination. Her jingling conveyance stopped at last at a fast-closed gateway. but it was enough to send her rattling away again in a cab. Rosa was at leisure to resume the thoughts which her personal hurry had checked. light. had done with his street-door. Rosa drew nearer to him in the twilight of the room. supported her for a time against her fears. Guided by the painted name of Mr. Grewgious might regard it. with a shaded lamp placed far from him on a table in a corner. `Hiram Grewgious. Grewgious lives there. when the clocks were striking ten. and was much afraid of housebreakers. alone. Staple Inn. As to the flat wind-instruments. whether she should find him at the journey's end. The indignant thought that his declaration of love soiled her. in a place so strange and crowded. which appeared to belong to somebody who had gone to bed very early. discharging her conveyance. very little bag and all. `Does Mr. and Mr. where many people crowded at the corner of courts and byways to get some air. and he . Grewgious's door-handle yielding to her touch. At length the train came into London over the housetops. on a hot. London. and dust from everything. please. timidly knocked at this gateway. and where all the people and all their surroundings were so gritty and so shabby! There was music playing here and there. Miss. Rosa. that she could only be cleansed from the stain of its impurity by appealing to the honest and true. No barrel-organ mended the matter. a multitude of such uneasy speculations disturbed her. J. after all.' `Yes. she would not do it thankfully. Joe.`With my love. whether. she went up-stairs and softly tapped and tapped several times. He saw her. But no one answering. Now that she was whirling away for London in real earnest. only thought it. and confirmed her in her hasty resolution. she went in. Esquire. stood on P. MissÐand I wouldn't mind having it myself!' But Joe did not articulate the last clause. Grewgious live here?' `Mr. and was let in.
knowing him only on the surface. `Came alone! Why didn't you write to me to come and fetch you?' `I had no time. Grewgious.' he went on.' cried Mr. and a stamp of her little foot. on one knee before her.' `Lord bless me!' ejaculated Mr. if you will?' `I will. tea. sooth to say. poor fellow. and you shall have everything that an unlimited head chambermaidÐby which expression I mean a head chambermaid not limited as to outlayÐcan procure. quite beside himself. Grewgious. Yet who. he helped her to remove her hat. candidly. or supper? And what will you take next? Shall it be breakfast. what has brought you here? Who has brought you here?' `No one. Grewgious? `Your rest too must be provided for. Grewgious. what.' said Mr. I took a sudden resolution. dinner. poor Eddy!' `Ah. Perhaps you brought a canary-bird?' . poor fellow!' `His uncle has made love to me. or supper?' The respectful tenderness with which. plunged about the room. or I might do it again. and I have come to you to protect me and all of us from him. `I shudder with horror of him. I came alone. my dear?' `Yes. but you will be glad to know I feel better. tea. lunch. Your toilet must be provided for. in an undertone: `Good Heaven!' Rosa fell upon his neck. and then he said. soothingly. Poor. would have expected chivalryÐand of the true sort. I cannot bear it. it required hard looking at to be seen at all in a dimly lighted room: `and is it your property. You must be refreshed and cheered. lunch. Mr. my dear. was quite a chivalrous sight. `though admirably calculated to contain a day's provision for a canary-bird. at once with a burst of tears.' he added. Grewgious. Is that a bag?' he looked hard at it. I brought it with me. He stopped and said. what. my child! I thought you were your mother!ÐBut what. What did you take last? Was it breakfast. Tell me no more just now. too.said. `Damn him! ªConfound his politics! Frustrate his knavish tricks! On Thee his hopes to fix? Damn him again!º' After this most extraordinary outburst. and disentangle her pretty hair from it. not the spuriousÐfrom Mr. or combative denunciation. with tears.' `It is not an extensive bag. with a sudden rush of amazing energy. dinner.' said Rosa. wiping his face: `I beg your pardon. returning her embrace: `My child. `and you shall have the prettiest chamber in Furnival's. to all appearance undecided whether he was in a fit of loyal enthusiasm. `has happened? My dear. sir.
with which I have business relations. `Ahem! Let's talk!' `Do you always live here. putting the lamp upon it. Grewgious. papers it. `Ah me! Ah me!' As there was something mournful in his sigh. Mr. Have a nice meals. my clerk. my dear.' said Mr. `Yes. `what a new sensation for a poor old Angular bachelor.Rosa smiled and shook her head. `If you had. he is off duty here. eggs. Grewgious.' `He must be very fond of you. in touching him with her tea-cup. ran across to Furnival's without his hat. after office hours. `Lord bless my soul. `and nail outside and pit must be admitted to case with so many of jumble of all Rosa thanked him. altogether. sir?' asked Rosa. Grewgious. poor fellow. Rosa. that whitewashes it. You see. and the board was spread. but said she could only take a cup of tea.' Mr. Grewgious. `But I doubt if he is. and taking his seat opposite Rosa. he should have been made welcome.' said Mr.' returned Mr. he goes his way. whose execution be not quite equal to their intention. `Thank you. and makes it Glorious!' said Mr.' said Rosa. he is discontented. and frizzled ham. Which is the us! You didn't say what meal. and in again. `Misplaced. In fact.' `And always alone?' `Always alone. But it would be extremely difficult to replace Mr. my dear. Grewgious. Grewgious. decorates it with gilding. with great mystery. salted fish. and a firm down-stairs. Not particularly so. after considering the matter. lend me a substitute. Bazzard. `He bears up against it with commendable fortitude if he is. ventured to touch him with her small hand too. to give his various directions. Grewgious.' `_He_ doesn't live here?' `No.' said I think he would have been pleased to be hung upon a himself against our Staple sparrows. after several times running out. to be sure!' [Picture: Mr. . paints it. Grewgious experiences a new sensation] Rosa's expressive little eyebrows asked him what he meant? `The sensation of having a sweet young presence in the place.' `Why isn't he contented?' was the natural inquiry. just at present. to mention such supplementary items as marmalade. watercresses. And soon afterwards they were realised in practice. my dear.' cried Mr. except that I have daily company in a gentleman by the name of Bazzard.
Bazzard would have a sense of my inferiority to himself under any circumstances.' Rosa appeared to consider what she would do if the awkward supposititious case were hers. I should be under the necessity of resuming the block. `the singular number. If I was under sentence of decapitation. `A tragedy.' `Not a bad one. passing his hand under his chin. and begging the executioner to proceed to extremities. imparted his secret. and her mind reverting to Jasper. sir?' asked Rosa.' Mr. of bringing it out. you know. Grewgious shook his head seriously. `How came you to be his master. you know.' Rosa looked reflective.' said Mr. as if he felt the offence to be a little too much.Ðmeaning. and moreover it is Mr. So the son. Grewgious suddenly jerked out of himself for the second time: `Let's talk. sir?' said Rosa. `Consequently. that I feel I must impart it in inviolable confidence. `No. and why are they!' `Now. and every agricultural implement available for assaulting purposes. and nodded her head slowly. but when I am his master. `Let's talk. `So misplaced. and this extremity. `will hear. Bazzard. Grewgious. And he feels (though he doesn't mention it) that I have reason to be. `And nobody. the case is greatly aggravated. Grewgious had by this time grown so very mysterious.' said Mr. being a Norfolk farmer.' said Mr. Grewgious. and that it would put him in peril of . on the slightest hint of his son's having written a play. though of his own committing. Grewgious. as who should say. a pitch-fork. We were speaking of Mr. with her eyebrows again in action.' said Mr. `that I feel constantly apologetic towards him.' Mr.' said Mr. Grewgious. What do you think Mr. and was about to be instantly decapitated.' pursued Mr.' Rosa seemed much relieved. that Rosa did not know how to go on. bringing to me the father's rent (which I receive). Mr. and an express arrived with a pardon for the condemned convict Grewgious if he wrote a play. Grewgious in the same tone.' Mr. Bazzard's father. It's a secret. Grewgious went on. Bazzard has done?' `O dear!' cried Rosa. in a solemn whisper. `Such things are. `nothing dreadful. `_I_ couldn't write a play. I hope?' `He has written a play. would have furiously laid about him with a flail. While she was thinking about it Mr. Grewgious. `A question that naturally follows. and pointed out that he was determined to pursue his genius. Bazzard's secret. innocently.Rosa's eyebrows resumed their inquisitive and perplexed expression. `Mr. on any account whatever. but the sweet presence at my table makes me so unusually expansive. drawing her chair a little nearer.
I reflect beforehand: ªPerhaps he may not like this. that he feels the degradation. `He is very short with me sometimes. `See.' It was not hard to divine that Mr. `Clearly narrated.' smoothing his head again. and that he was not formed for it. you know. he sat grave. `Which again. It is called The Thorn of Anxiety.º and so we get on very well. When Rosa had finished. my dear. my dear. I may digest it the better.' was his only remark at last. Mr. and then I feel that he is meditating. and who will never have one dedicated to him with the most complimentary congratulations on the high position he has taken in the eyes of posterity!º Very trying. who have also written tragedies. Grewgious. `for starvation. It was impossible to deny the position.' `Is the tragedy named. Grewgious. I never had a play dedicated to _me_!' Rosa looked at him as if she would have liked him to be the recipient of a thousand dedications. my dear. and he feels it very much. Grewgious. Now.' `I may go to Helena to-morrow?' asked Rosa. ªThis blockhead is my master! A fellow who couldn't write a tragedy on pain of death. Bazzard. clearly put away here. my dear. Grewgious often smoothed his head while it was in progress.' said Mr. `I didn't quite mean that. in giving him directions.' taking her to the open window. However. `And now. as for the gratification of his own tendency to be social and communicative. Bazzard hopesÐand I hopeÐthat it will come out at last.' `For pursuing his genius. But Mr.' he said at this point. I hope.starvation. `it has a dreadfully appropriate name. Bazzard has become acquainted with. naturally. Mr. which likewise nobody will on any account whatever hear of bringing out. There are some other geniuses that Mr. at least quite as much for the recreation of his ward's mind from the subject that had driven her there. and these choice spirits dedicate their plays to one another in a highly panegyrical manner. sir?' asked Rosa. Indeed.' said Mr. `Strictly between ourselves.' `I am glad he is grateful.' Rosa. silent. sir?' `No. Bazzard became my clerk.' answered Mr. if I sleep on it to-night. gave him a faithful account of the interview. very trying. `if you are not too tired to tell me more of what passed to-dayÐbut only if you feel quite ableÐI should be glad to hear it. and begged to be told a second time those parts which bore on Helena and Neville. I mean. `where they live! The dark windows over yonder. better than I could have expected.º or ªHe might take it ill if I asked that. Bazzard has been the subject of one of these dedications. rubs against the grain of Mr. Grewgious had related the Bazzard history thus fully. `and. Bazzard then pointed out that it was desirable that I should stand between him and a fate so perfectly unsuited to his formation. and Mr. and meditative for a while. that Mr. composed now. In that way Mr. Bazzard was not formed to be starved.' said Rosa. .
with some solicitude. The Unlimited had laid in everything omitted from the very little bag (that is to say.' said Mr.' With that Mr. he seemed to think the last-named protection all sufficient. `Miss Twinkleton was so uneasy.' `There is a stout gate of iron bars to keep him out. and _I_ live over the way!' In the stoutness of his knight-errantry. to quiet her. in case she should wish it exchanged for another. a crown will be ready for the messenger. Grewgious. I hope you don't feel very strange indeed. and had it on his mind that she might tumble out. he walked up and down outside the iron gate for the best part of an hour. With Mr. `I mean. in such a state of wonder.' he answered doubtfully. who had come at one plunge out of the river at Cloisterham. CHAPTER XXIÐA RECOGNITION Nothing occurred in the night to flutter the tired dove. and Rosa tripped down the great many stairs again. occasionally looking in between the bars. infinitely gratified. compact.' In the same spirit. Grewgious. and the dove arose refreshed. Miss Rosa. Grewgious. and graceful little sitting-room (appropriate to your figure). In the same spirit he said to the gate-porter as he went out. and into Furnival's Inn. `it is I who thank you for your charming confidence and for your charming company. Grewgious helped her to get her hat on again.' Rosa replied. you may be sure that the stairs are fire-proof. almost gay. and specially watched and lighted. I volunteered on this service by the very first train to be . Grewgious. to thank her guardian for his thoughtful and affectionate care of her. everything she could possibly need).' said Mr. Crisparkle. in this strange place. he would remain below. my dear. clean.' said Mr. I feel so safe!' `Yes.`I should like to sleep on that question to-night. came Mr.' he explained to her.' `I did not mean that. `If some one staying in the hotel should wish to send across the road to me in the night. comfortable. or should find that there was anything she wanted. `Not at all. `and came round to Ma and me with your note. he confided her to the Unlimited head chambermaid. Rosa's room was airy. `and Furnival's is fire-proof. and said that while she went up to see her room. smiling. when the clock struck ten in the morning. as if he had laid a dove in a high roost in a cage of lions. and led her by the hand (with a certain stately awkwardness. I feel so safe from him. `and that any outbreak of the devouring element would be perceived and suppressed by the watchmen. as if he were going to walk a minuet) across Holborn. Your breakfast will be provided for you in a neat. and I will come to you at ten o'clock in the morning. and hung upon his arm the very little bag that was of no earthly use. that.' `O no. At the hotel door. for you must need it. `But let me take you to your own rest.
And it was particularly kind of him to come. `but Minor Canon Corner was so near himÐ' `I understand. Crisparkle.' `You are sure not with black hair?' asked Rosa.' said Mr.' `True. `No. If even Mr.' `If Miss Rosa will allow me. `what is to be done for Helena and her brother?' `Why really.' `I did think of you. Grewgious. Crisparkle. not to close up any direction.' asked Rosa. Miss.' said Mr. he begged pardon for being mistaken. The gentleman came in. one never knows in what direction a way out may chance to open. Of course I should have written it to him immediately. Grewgious. Who else am I?' Mr. apologised.' said Mr. but his coming was most opportune. There I saw you. in such a case.' `Perhaps. if you don't object. `but is engaged just now.' said Mr. taking courage. is undecided. retreating on her guardian. gradually . with habitual caution. `I am in great perplexity. and smilingly asked the unexpected question: `Who am I?' `You are the gentleman I saw smoking under the trees in Staple Inn. and came to your guardian. `Quite sure of that. It was quite natural. but now I think it best that you did _as_ you did. If no such gentleman were there. Brown hair and blue eyes. a few minutes ago. `Such a gentleman is here. I wished at the time that you had come to me. `it might be well to see him.' Rosa told him. turned to Mr.caught in the morning. if any such gentleman were there. Grewgious.' `I have told Mr. with a frank but modest grace. for he had but just gone. `all that you told me last night. my dear. and been authorised to present herselfÐannouncing that a gentleman wished for a word with another gentleman named Crisparkle. then? Let the gentleman come in. Crisparkle concentrated his attention on a handsome face. more of a brown gentleman. Crisparkle. Crisparkle. I could relate an anecdote in point. When one is in a difficulty or at a loss.' hinted Mr. reverend sir. whose head is much longer than mine. for not finding Mr. and the ghost of some departed boy seemed to rise. Miss. and who is a whole night's cogitation in advance of me. It is a business principle of mine. but that it would be premature. but to keep an eye on every direction that may present itself.' `Is it a dark gentleman?' interposed Rosa.' `Have you settled. Crisparkle alone. Crisparkle. much sunburnt. appealing to them both. what must I be!' The Unlimited here put her head in at the doorÐafter having rapped.
with his right thumb on his left. I hope you were not inconvenienced by swallowing too much water.' returned Mr. Crisparkle. `Imagine. with glistening eyes: `Miss Rosa Bud and Mr. Grewgious. said: `What will you have for breakfast this morning? You are out of jam. and striking out for the shore with me like a water-giant!' `Imagine my not letting him sink. `You saved me from drowning!' said Mr. you know!' said Mr. Crisparkle. and did me more good than all the masters put together.' `I am right so far. `Might you happen to know the name of . when he was the smallest of juniors. Grewgious knew what he said. as I was his fag!' said Mr. `My old fag!' said Mr. catching me. I believe I have had the pleasure of seeing Mr. imagine Mr.' said Mr. How have you been since?' It was by no means apparent that Mr. `You are right so far. Crisparkle. `Tick that off. had but sent such courage and skill to her poor mother's aid! And he to have been so slight and young then! `I don't wish to be complimented upon it. a big heavy senior. Tartar's name as tenant of the top set in the house next the top set in the corner?' `Yes. sir. `for an honour I truly esteem it. so unexpected and unaccountable that they all stared at him. Crisparkle. an irrational impulse seized me to pick him up. and looking joyfully each into the other's face. after taking a jog-trot or two across the room.' exclaimed Mr. Tartar. Tartar. `Give me another instant! Tartar!' The two shook hands with the greatest heartiness. advancing with extended hand. I hope you didn't take cold. `But the truth being that he was my best protector and friend. and smiling again. Crisparkle. Tartar. raising his right hand. doubtful whether he was choking or had the crampÐ`I _think_ I have an idea. and then went the wonderful lengthÐfor EnglishmenÐof laying their hands each on the other's shoulders. though it was very apparent that he meant to say something highly friendly and appreciative. The gentleman saw a struggling recollection lighten up the Minor Canon's features. Grewgious. but I think I have an idea. `After which you took to swimming. Tartar.and dimly. `Amen!' said Mr. Rosa thought. Grewgious. `God bless my soul!' said Mr. Tartar. And then they fell to shaking hands most heartily again.' `Hem! Permit me. I am proud to make your acquaintance.' Mr. sir.' which he did.' said Mr. I thank you. Grewgious announced. Tartar. to have the honour.' `Wait a moment!' cried Mr. diving for me. If Heaven. by the hair of the head. in the room. `My old master!' said Mr. or go down with him.
or to concern himself with comers and goers to other sets of chambers: unless. from his own previous knowledge. `I _have_ an idea!' They complied. Grewgious. smiling. `Landless. who had been very attentive. to lose nothing of his face. `As I have no doubt I should. He reporting. and again coming back. Crisparkle.your neighbour in the top set on the other side of the party-wall?' coming very close to Mr.' `I begin to understand to what you tend. taking another trot. with the kind permission of my reverend friend) sneaks to and fro. indeed. with his usual manner of having got the statement by heart. the identity of the parties. Tartar. `if I understood them. and Mr. Grewgious. Tartar?' `I thought he seemed to be a young fellow in a poor way. sir?' `Slight. in the person of a watchman. When not doing so himself.' `Fair and softly. if our local friend should have any informant on the spot. Grewgious.' `Would you have the kindness to take seats?' said Mr. and on the part of the fair member of the present company. `I cannot as yet make up my mind whether it is prudent to hold open communication under present circumstances. Crisparkle. but some. to extend my flower-garden to his windows. and I asked his leaveÐonly within a day or soÐto share my flowers up there with him. or such-like hanger-on of Staple. thus stated his idea. Now.' said . I have reason to know that a local friend of ours (on whom I beg to bestow a passing but a hearty malediction. that is to say. On the other hand. who comes and goes there. and then coming back. Miss Rosa very naturally wishes to see her friend Miss Helena. and what has been threatened. seated in the centre. Am I agreed with generally in the views I take?' `I entirely coincide with them. sir.' added Mr. if you will favour us with your permission. I suppose. Neville or Miss Helena.' said Mr.' said Mr. porter. it is tolerably clear that such informant can only be set to watch the chambers in the occupation of Mr. Tartar. Nobody can be set to watch all Staple. through her) should privately know from Miss Rosa's lips what has occurred.' `Tick that off. Tartar none the less readily.' `Tick that off. `we shall fully confide in you directly. Mr. to our local friend. taking another trot. he may have some informant skulking about. for being all abroad.' said Mr.' said Mr. Grewgious. mine. in his shortness of sight. our local friend would supply for himself. and dodges up and down.' `I needn't repeat that I know nothing yet of the why and wherefore. `No personal knowledge. and it would seem important that at least Miss Helena (if not her brother too. `Nature of knowledge. Neville. `and highly approve of your caution. with Mr. Mr. with his hands upon his knees.' said Mr. Grewgious.
`You see. `It was not so powerful or so sun-browned when it saved Mr. You have it. Tartar told her he had been a sailor. Crisparkle walked. `Not frightened?' `No. `now we have all got the idea. and out and in alone. Mr.' said Rosa. `When are you going to sea again?' asked Rosa. Crisparkle took the opportunity of giving Mr.Mr.' said Mr. `but I also understand to what you tend. as they went along. and you communicate with her freely. in front. you go up with those gentlemen to Mr. my dear?' asked Mr. Tartar's way. Crisparkle and Mr. you go over to Staple with Mr. glancing at it. smoothing his head triumphantly. Grewgious. Tartar gave his arm to Rosa. or you signify to Miss Helena that you are close by. Grewgious. Grewgious being of opinion that she could not do better. `in Mr. and Mr. . the opportunity was quite long enough. Mr. not quite knowing what to say about that. you wait for Miss Helena's appearance there.' `I am very much afraid I shall beÐ' `Be what. and no spy can be the wiser. as the hat happened to require a little extra fitting on.' `I protest to you. if your voice sounds in it only once. roving everywhere for years and years.' `There!' cried Mr. Tartar.' said Rosa. cast down her eyes. `that I shall think the better of it for evermore. Mr.' Rosa. Tartar's flower-garden. blushing a little as Mr. `Poor. miles and miles without resting. Tartar waved his right hand as he bent his head down over Rosa. Tartar's rooms. We seem to be appropriating Mr. `but it must have been very steady and determined even then.' Mr. Grewgious. my dear?' `I think I have. shyly. so let me say at once that my chambers are freely at your disposal. Tartar a summary of the distresses of Neville and his sister. in my usual way.' returned that gentleman. as she hesitated. talking in an animated way. you look into Mr. Grewgious. `I going in and out. `Never!' Rosa wondered what the girls would say if they could see her crossing the wide street on the sailor's arm. Tartar's residence so very coolly.' thought Rosa. contrasted with the strong figure that could have caught her up and carried her out of any danger. she withdrew for the purpose. not that. Crisparkle. poor Eddy!' thought Rosa. detached. and turning to Mr. And she fancied that the passers-by must think her very little and very helpless. Tartar. Tartar looked quickly towards her. dutifully asked if she should put her hat on? Mr.
fitted all about with lockers and drawers. she found that he seemed to be thinking something about _them_. This a little confused Rosebud. locker. and to watch it without flinching. and drawer were equally within reach. or memorials of coral reef. repolished. Every inch of brass-work in Mr. grasses. and get all sail upon her! Mr. or middle-sized. bracket. The floors were scrubbed to that extent.She was thinking further. that his far-seeing blue eyes looked as if they had been used to watch danger afar off. May it flourish for ever! CHAPTER XXIIÐA GRITTY STATE OF THINGS COMES ON Mr. nor spatter soiled the purity of any of Mr. and gone out of the land for good. men. his brushes had theirs. that the flower-garden might have appertained to stern-windows afloat. nor spot. and the whole concern might have bowled away gallantly with all on board. and may account for her never afterwards quite knowing how she ascended (with his help) to his garden in the air. and providing some snug inches of stowage for something that would have exactly fitted nowhere else. Tartar's flower-garden as only a sailor can rig it. and seemed to get into a marvellous country that came into sudden bloom like the country on the summit of the magic bean-stalk. small. On this bright summer day. and there was a sea-going air upon the whole effect. the cleanest. Tartar had quarters of its own assigned to it: his maps and charts had their quarters. each was displayed in its especial place. No speck. that you might have supposed the London blacks emancipated for ever. his sleeping-chamber. and his nicely-balanced cot just stirred in the midst. look alive there. in constant readiness to obliterate stray finger-marks wherever any might become perceptible in Mr. Tartar had only clapped to his lips the speaking-trumpet that was slung in a corner. was like a seedsman's shop. his toilet implements were so arranged upon his dressing-table as that a toothpick of slovenly deportment could have been reported at a glance. Paint and varnish seemed to be kept somewhere out of sight. Tartar's chambers. seaweeds. Stuffed. it is only agreeable to find him riding it with a humorous . or otherwise preserved. No man-of-war was ever kept more spick and span from careless touch. his telescopes and other instruments had theirs. reptiles. Everything belonging to Mr. His gleaming little service of plate was so arranged upon his sideboard as that a slack salt-spoon would have instantly betrayed itself. his bath-room was like a dairy. Tartar's household gods. Everything was readily accessible. his boots had theirs. drawing nearer and nearer: when. Tartar doing the honours of this gallant craft was of a piece with the rest. large. and given hoarse orders to heave the anchor up. and the best-ordered chambers ever seen under the sun. hook. if Mr. and stars. birds. When a man rides an amiable hobby that shies at nothing and kicks nobody. moon. a neat awning was rigged over Mr. His sitting-room was like the admiral's cabin. happening to raise her own eyes. as if it breathed. articles of dress. his books had theirs. fishes. Shelf. dried. and each could have been displayed in no better place. according to their kind. till it shone like a brazen mirror. arms. and were equally contrived with a view to avoiding waste of room. So with the curiosities he had brought home from various voyages. Tartar's possession was polished and burnished. his clothes had theirs. his case-bottles had theirs. shells. Tartar's chambers were the neatest. so delightfully complete.
' said Rosa. Tartar with you now. Crisparkle to be saved. he delicately withdrew out of his admiral's cabin. `I should take more for granted if I were. J. Tartar more expressively. and half rejoicing in.' said Rosa. Are blushes among the fruits of the country of the magic bean-stalk? `_I_ am not dreaming. How do we come togetherÐor so near togetherÐso very unexpectedly?' Unexpectedly indeed. (More blushes in the bean-stalk country!) `Yes. `Yes. smiling. told in a hurry how they came to be together. `I don't understand.'s connection. that the sunburnt sailor showed to great advantage when. my darling!' `Why.' `It was very nice of Mr. Crisparkle. Crisparkle is here. in a slower and more thoughtful tone: `Is Mr. dearest?' `IÐI don't quite know. I mean. the inspection finished.' said Helena. `and. T. love.' Helena's dark eyes looked very earnestly at the bright face among the leaves. Crisparkle's life in it. and withal is perfectly fresh and genuine. `and he couldn't have shown his high opinion of Mr. and waving her free of his flower-garden with the hand that had had Mr. that it was charming to see and hear Mr. It is such a beautiful place!' . anyhow. So Rosa would have naturally thought (even if she hadn't been conducted over the ship with all the homage due to the First Lady of the Admiralty.' said Rosa with a blush.' returned Helena. waking. quickly putting in the correction. but it wasn't Crisparkle. because he has given up his rooms to meÐto us. it may be doubted whether he is ever seen to greater advantage than at such a time. `Helena! Helena Landless! Are you there?' `Who speaks to me? Not Rosa?' Then a second handsome face appearing. Tartar who saved him. Tartar half laughing at. When the man is a cordial and an earnest man by nature. dear?' `No. beseeching her to consider herself its Queen. But Rosa. or First Fairy of the Sea). with a mantling face. his various contrivances. in rapid conclusion. So Rosa would have naturally thought.sense of the droll side of the creature.' said Rosa. But it was Mr. among the dingy gables and chimney-pots of P. and all the why and wherefore of that matter. `And Mr. `unless I am dreaming!' Why with a blush? For their two faces were alone with the other flowers. and she asked. and the flowers that had sprung from the salt sea. could you believe it? long ago he saved his life!' `I could believe any such thing of Mr. how did you come here.
my darling.' pursued Helena. sedately. if he would spare a minute for the purpose. Helena resumed. and propounded the question. if he would even do so.' `O. I think he had better not know that you are so near.' said Helena.' Rosa subsided into her state-cabin.`Is it?' `It is like the inside of the most exquisite ship that ever sailed. `and you needn't disappear again for that. when Rosa emerged again with her report. that. `I suppose. that if you could steal a march upon a brigand or a wild beast. `Ask him whether it would be best to wait until any more maligning and pursuing of Neville on the part of this wretch shall disclose itself. and smelled the flowers. Thus advised. and he also held decidedly to the special case. during which she seemed (or it was Rosa's fancy) to compassionate somebody: `My poor Neville is reading in his own room. so far as to find out whether any such goes on darkly about us?' The Minor Canon found this point so difficult to give a confident opinion on. Helena acquiescing.' said Helena. Ask him whether I may tell Neville as much or as little of what you have told me as I think best. `I thank him very much. J. dear?' repeated Rosa. who in her turn reported to Helena. O yes.' `Something might come of it. `knows no one else here: he has not so much as exchanged a word with any one else here. considered thereupon. Ask Mr. But should she ask Mr. something might come of it. after a short pause of silence. Rosa?' she inquired. that John Jasper was a brigand and a wild beast in combination. `Something might?' . after two or three attempts and failures. Crisparkle? `I think your authority on the point as good as his. the sun being so very bright on this side just now. Rosa answered with a little nod. T. he suggested a reference to Mr. The Minor Canon was for the free exercise of Helena's judgment. Neville. doubtfully. Tartar's readiness to help us. and stated it. It is likeÐit is likeÐ' `Like a dream?' suggested Helena. almost daily.' Odd of Helena! `You see. surveying her friend's beauty with a highly perplexed face. Mr. Tartar would call to see him openly and often. Crisparkle came back again and reported to Rosa.'s. but I am not sure. She now steadily pursuing her train of thought at her window. If Mr. `that he must know by-and-by all you have told me. I think so too!' cried Rosa very readily. O yes! Rosa shyly thought so. Grewgious held decidedly to the general principle. Rosa shyly believed she could almost answer for it.' Helena pursued after more reflection. or to try to anticipate it: I mean. frequently. you had better do it. my dear. `We may count on Mr. Crisparkle's advice. he betook himself (with a most unsuccessful assumption of lounging indifference) across the quadrangle to P. Mr. Grewgious.
we might not only know the fact. and that Mr. with a half look back.' (It did seem likely. Crisparkle.' added Rosa. Don't be uneasy. and will part.' `O. love?' `Help making him malicious and revengeful. `Pray tell him so. I couldn't indeed. And immediately darted into her state-cabin again. I hear Neville moving too.' said Helena. dear. fromÐ' Rosa looked back again in a flutter. and dipped out again with more assurances from Mr. `that his enemy would in some way communicate with Mr. Presently her pretty face reappeared. I couldn't help it. sure. with a greatly heightened colour. `But tell me one thing before we part. `Yes. and in not a little confusion between the inside of the state-cabin and outÐhad declared his readiness to act as she had suggested. `we will be mindful of the caution that has restricted us to this interview for the present. Tartar. sure. and she said that she had told Mr. instead of supplying the name.' said Rosa. . and stood wavering in a divided state between Helena and him. and to enter on his task that very day.' `Help it. `Then where _are_ you going. but may sometimes present a very pleasant appearance. Are you going back?' `To Miss Twinkleton's?' asked Rosa. I suppose so. Crisparkle had fetched in Mr. Tartar what the terms of the communication were. after that dreadful interview!' said Rosa.' Again not a little confused between the Flower-garden and the Cabin. but might know from Mr. with indignation.' said Helena.' `I see!' cried Rosa. I could never go there any more. Rosa dipped in with her message. dearest Helena. does it not appear likely. darling. I couldn't hold any terms with him. `Yes.' `That's a great comfort to me! And you will tell your poor brother so. `but I would sooner see you dead at his wicked feet. Tartar. but my guardian will take care of me. Tell meÐthat you are sure.) `And I shall hear of my Rosebud from Mr. Tartar to warn him off from Neville? In which case. `I have settled nothing at all yet. and that Mr. darling. Tartar?' inquired Helena. I don't know. which proved that confusion is not always necessarily awkward. `I thank him from my heart. `And now. in case you want him. TartarÐ`who is waiting now. and if the purpose really is to isolate him from all friends and acquaintance and wear his daily life out grain by grain (which would seem to be the threat to you).`If Neville's movements are really watched. pretty one?' `Now I come to think of it. could I?' `You know how I love you. I shall be sure to be somewhere.' answered Helena.' said Helena.
Wonderful macaroons.' said Mr.' assented Rosa. `It has come into my thoughts. with his hard-hearted fleetness. as if that would be quite a superfluous entreaty. rising. took his departure. `Then let us. with the view of extending her connection. fireproof. In the meantime. Mr. `we might take a furnished lodging in town for a month. `that as the respected lady. until we have time in which to turn ourselves round. glittering liqueurs. strode on so fast. Let us set out in quest of adventures. for all the remaining evenings of my existence. and invite that lady to co-operate in our plan. Grewgious. and being available for interviews with metropolitan parents.' said Mr. Mr. The refection that Mr. and stare at it. and her friend's two hands were kissed to her. Grewgious's idea of looking at a furnished lodging was to get on the opposite side of the street to a house with a suitable bill in the window. will no doubt kindly see Miss Twinkleton.' said Mr. As Mr. willingly accepting the commission. `And now. occasionally repairs to London in the recess.' `I think that might smooth the way. and invite Miss Twinkleton to assume the charge of you in it for that period?' `And afterwards?' hinted Rosa.' Mr. what is to be done with you?' Rosa could only look apologetically sensible of being very much in her own way and in everybody else's. Grewgious. and look for a furnished lodging. was a dazzling enchanted repast. we might invite Miss Twinkleton to come and stay with you for a month?' `Stay where. was the only thing in the nature of a plan that occurred to her. but these are not fit surroundings for a young lady. magically-preserved tropical spices. and then work his way tortuously to the back of . about to return home immediately. Helena lovingly kissed her two hands to her friend. Crisparkle.' explained Mr. and then she saw a third hand (a brown one) appear among the flowers and leaves. up a good many stairs in Furnival's Inn for the rest of her life. Grewgious. and time. sir?' `Whether. Tartar produced in the Admiral's Cabin by merely touching the spring knob of a locker and the handle of a drawer. `we should be no worse off than we are now. and jellies of celestial tropical fruits. if anyÐwhether. Grewgious. `And afterwards. Tartar could not make time stand still. and help her friend out of sight. that Rosa was obliged to come down from the bean-stalk country to earth and her guardian's chambers. displayed themselves profusely at an instant's notice. `go and look for a furnished lodging. Miss Twinkleton. Crisparkle here. `what is to be done next? To put the same thought in another form. Nothing could be more acceptable to me than the sweet presence of last evening. Some passing idea of living.won't you? And you will give him my remembrance and my sympathy? And you will ask him not to hate me?' With a mournful shake of the head. my dear.' said Mr. Grewgious and his ward set forth on their expedition. But Mr. Grewgious.
Miss. becoming aspirational with excess of faintness. sir. Billickin. impressing Rosa into the conversation: `the back parlour being what I cling to and never part with.' Here Mrs.' said Mr. `There is this sitting-roomÐwhich. who had once solicited his influence in the lodger world. I will be candid. and it were not worth the outlay as a yearly tenant so to do. Bloomsbury Square. `if I was to tell you. `wish to find a genteel lodging for a month or so. and an overpowering personal candour. Billickin. and then not go in. `I hope I see you well. with the air of having been expressly brought-to for the purpose. not to abuse the moral power she held over . sir. Billickin put her hand to her heart.' said Mrs. Billickin. sir. far from it. were the distinguishing features of Mrs. She came languishing out of her own exclusive back parlour. no doubt. Billickin. Bazzard's. plucking up a little.' Mr. I _have_ apartments available. Grewgious. Mrs. The piping is carried above your jistes. `Well! The roof is all right. ma'am?' asked Mr. it is the front parlour. Grewgious. cooled a little. ma'am?' `Mr. to keep your slates tight. Billickin.' said Mr. and who lived in Southampton Street. Billickin. was BILLICKIN. Grewgious. from an accumulation of several swoons. sir. and there is two bedrooms at the top of the 'ouse with gas laid on.' returned Mrs. having been warm with Mr. No.' said Mrs. Billickin's organisation.' returned Mrs. recognising her visitor with a bend. At length he bethought himself of a widowed cousin. Billickin. To tame a certain severity apparent on the part of Mrs. with the same result. do your utmost. stated in uncompromising capitals of considerable size on a brass door-plate. be you what you may. call it what you will. I do not tell you that your bedroom floors is firm. but make similar trials of another house. quite well. Grewgious and Rosa exchanged looks of some dismay.' This with the air of adding: `Convey me to the stake. and stare at that. `Mr. `I am as well. `as I hever ham. `Thank you. as having eased it of a load. he must go right under your jistes. their progress was but slow. and yet not lucidly as to sex or condition.' `My ward and an elderly lady. divers times removed. I should put a deception upon you which I will not do.' `And now. Have you any apartments available. `I will not deceive you. but while I live. what apartments. And you. best or worst! I defy you.' said Mrs. cosily. Your slates WILL rattle loose at that elewation in windy weather. Grewgious. that to have nothink above you is to have a floor above you. though they had not the least idea what latent horrors this carriage of the piping might involve. for firm they are not. Grewgious. Personal faintness. This lady's name. Grewgious.the house. if you will. of Mr. that to make a firm job. The gas-fitter himself allowed. Grewgious. and it is best that it should be made known to you. try how you can. ma'am?' returned Mr.
' said Mrs.' Mrs. sir. Grewgious. The first and second floors is wacant.' replied Mrs. and far less a second. `And the second floor?' said Mr. sir. It do come in.' said Mr. She made various genteel pauses on the stairs for breath.' returned Mrs. ma'am?' `Yes. you can. sketched out a line or two of agreement. ªI do not understand you. Grewgious. what stain do I notice in the ceiling. `Have you any other apartments. there is the stairs. it is beyond your power. I will not be so underhand. and wherefore try?' Mrs. Billickin. and it do not come in. ma'am?' inquired her guardian. `you can. Miss. on finding the first satisfactory. and having been enrolled by her attendant. Billickin. for a stain I do consider it?º and for me to answer. comforting himself. Billickin. but the time will come. You ask me have I. ªMrs. You may lay dry there half your lifetime. Grewgious looked much disgraced by being prefigured in this pickle. `Consequent. `it is open as the day.him. you cannot do it.' Mr. as if the time had now come when a distinct understanding on a difficult point must be arrived at. You cannot. I have. Billickin. but still firmly in her incorruptible candour: `consequent it would be worse than of no use for me to trapse and travel up to the top of the 'ouse with you. Grewgious retired into a window with Rosa for a few words of consultation. that she could never go anywhere without being wrapped up). Unless your mind is prepared for the stairs. led the way.' returned Mrs. Billickin then sent into her back parlour for her shawl (it being a state fiction. and for you to say. I _do_ understand you before you pint it out. and then asking for pen and ink. and it is best that you should know it. `I have. Grewgious. and she had caught it in the act of taking wing. with much solemnity. `Mr. `the second floor is over this. and delivered a kind of Index to. ma'am?' he asked. In the meantime Mrs. Grewgious. Grewgious. and a solemn confidence established. `Can we see these rooms. sir. Billickin. `Mr.' proceeded Mrs. dating from immemorial antiquity. when a dripping sop would be no name for you. `Mr. Billickin. addressing Rosa reproachfully. Billickin.' `Come. Billickin put it very feelingly. It is the wet. it will lead to inevitable disappointment.' returned Mrs. Miss.' `Can we see that too.' replied Mrs. `pardon me. `Mr. come! There's nothing against _them_. sir. `place a first floor. and sweet rooms. Billickin took a seat. on the level footing `of a parlour. Grewgious. and my open and my honest answer air. as if Rosa had shown a headstrong determination to hold the untenable position. I will not disguise it from you. No. the .' That also proving satisfactory. turning upon him with ceremony. sir.º No. Billickin. more mildly. Mr. and clutched at her heart in the drawing-room as if it had very nearly got loose. or Abstract of.
Tartar walking up and down Furnival's Inn. `to take that advantage of your sex. `I was never up the river. and Rosa went back to Furnival's Inn on her guardian's arm. the weather being so delicious and the tide serving. so long I feel safe. `Five-and-forty shillings per week by the month certain at the time of year. Grewgious to rest content with any signature. Grewgious had his agreement-lines.' By this time Mr. tempted.' hinted Mr. two is kep'. Grewgious stared at Rosa. `and you'll have the goodness to sign it for yourself. and his earnest-money. the sign-manual BILLICKIN got appended to the document. Mr. Billickin. So long as this 'ouse is known indefinite as Billickin's. sir! You must excuse the Christian name. if you were not brought to it by inconsiderate example.' said Mrs. and advancing towards them! `It occurred to me. ready. And accordingly. Grewgious. but dirty shoes on fresh hearth-stoning was attributable.' said Mrs. near the street-door or down the airy. or _per_ the scuttle. besought Mr.' said Mrs. Mewses must exist. ma'am. and go from it I will not. James's Palace.general question. Grewgious.' Mr.' Rosa reddening as if she had made some most disgraceful attempt to overreach the good lady.' `I have not been up the river for this many a day. when Miss Twinkleton might be reasonably expected.' She emphasised the prepositions as marking a subtle but immense difference. if you please. Coals is either _by_ the fire.' he said. It is not Bond Street nor yet St. `and acts as such.' said Mr. Billickin. but it is not pretended that it is. Neither is it attempted to be deniedÐfor why should it?Ðthat the Arching leads to a mews. Details were then settled for taking possession on the next day but one. and sharing suspicions is apt to creep in. Words _has_ arisen as to tradesmen. you must excuse me. and unpleasantness takes place. But commit myself to a solitary female statement.' Mr. in a baronial way. `that we might go up the river. I have a boat of my own at the Temple Stairs. and what his weight and size.' `Mr. Grewgious stared at her. checking himself when he saw them coming. Behold Mr. they gets stole. `no. Billickin. Respecting attendance. no. at liberal wages.' added Rosa. and so long as it is a doubt with the riff-raff where Billickin may be hidin'. `I have signed it for the ladies. `The door-plate is used as a protection. . Christian and Surname. Miss! Nor would you for a moment wish. `Dogs is not viewed with favour. Billickin in a new burst of candour. Besides litter. Grewgious. `No. with a strong sense of injury.' said Mrs. Tartar. `is only reasonable to both parties. there. and no wish for a commission on your orders.
that. and then the tide obligingly turnedÐbeing devoted to that party alone for that day. the B. when a turn of Mr. Grewgious who was doing this much that he steered all wrong. I wonder?' Rosa thought next day. Forth from her back parlour issued the Billickin to receive Miss Twinkleton. the gritty stages would begin to set in at intervals and make themselves wearily known! Yet what did Rosa expect? Did she expect Miss Twinkleton? Miss Twinkleton duly came. now the Cloisterham school-days had glided past and gone. Mr. and its dark bridges spanned them as death spans life. Tartar talked as if he were doing nothing. and the boat bounded under them. and Mr. stretchers. according to opinionÐand his arms and breast tattooed all sorts of patterns. Grewgious tried what he could do. put all to rights! The tide bore them on in the gayest and most sparkling manner. Tartar and Lobley (Mr. Tartar's man) pulled a pair of oars. but what did that matter. being not assisted at all. doubled up with an oar under his chin. to Rosa who was really doing nothing. or a mere grin of Mr. failed to take in her personal identity with that clearness of perception which was due to its demands. The tide was running with them. Lobley's over the bow. Mr. and. it seemed. Then there was an interval of rest under boughs (such rest!) what time Mr. and a big red face. And when Miss Twinkleton. with a man-of-war's man's shirt onÐor off. [Picture: Up the river] `Cannot people get through life without gritty stages. the great black city cast its shadow on the waters. Resplendent in the bow of the boat. Stateliness mounted her gloomy throne upon the Billickin's brow in consequence. and was detached upon his present service. and to Mr. Lobley seemed to take it easily. and the everlastingly-green garden seemed to be left for everlasting. Tartar's boat was perfect. until they stopped to dine in some ever-lastingly-green garden. Rosa tried what she could do in the rowing way. and Mr. yet their oars bent as they pulled. Mr. He was the dead image of the sun in old woodcuts. danced the tight-rope the whole length of the boat like a man to whom shoes were a superstition and stockings slavery. with a candour so demonstrative as to be almost obtrusive. and came off splendidly. NO. The Billickin took it ill that Miss Twinkleton's mind. and musical ripplings. and so did Mr. having all Rosa's as well as her own. with tawny hair and whiskers. and everything had a strange and an uncomfortable appearance of seeming to wait for something that wouldn't come. Tartar's man had charge of this yacht. of which she had seventeen. needing no matter-of-fact identification here. and as they floated idly among some osier-beds. found it necessary to repudiate.' said she. and War was in the Billickin's eye from that fell moment. lying somewhere down by Greenhithe. the afternoon was charming. Mr. unregainable and far away. and then came the sweet return among delicious odours of limes in bloom. arranging cushions. and the like. Tartar's skilful wrist. being much assisted. Miss Twinkleton brought a quantity of luggage with her. his hair and whiskers answering for rays all around him. She began to think. `that the person of . particularly counted in the Billickin herself as number eleven. when the town was very gritty again. Lobley mopped. Tartar had a yacht. Tartar. all too soon. he was a shining sight. `Things cannot too soon be put upon the footing. He was a jolly-favoured man. and came off on his back. and.Within half an hour they were setting this matter right by going up the river. in agitation taking stock of her trunks and packages. being sorely disturbed by this luggage.
I am 'ily obleeged to you. Terrified by this alarming spectacle. whatever she. and gave directions for `a young man to be got in' to wrestle with the luggage. that I take the liberty to look in upon you to express a 'ope that your dinner was to your liking. Thus cast off. `for it is not my character to hide neither my motives nor my actions. When that gladiator had disappeared from the arena. `thank you.' observed the Billickin with a gush of candour. But the Billickin had somehow come to the knowledge that Miss Twinkleton kept a school.' soliloquised the Billickin.' said Miss Twinkleton with a gracious air. was easy. and from what you may call messing to what you may call method.' said the B. ladies. still her wages should be a sufficient object to her to stimilate to soar above mere roast and biled. leaving Miss Twinkleton on a bonnet-box in tears. Miss Twinkleton placed another shilling in each hand.. No. in which the quiet routine of our lot has been hitherto cast. when the Billickin announced herself. and drove away. and the methodical household. nor yet a beggar. as if it might become eighteen-pence if he kept his eyes on it. at the same time appealing to the law in flurried accents. having changed her dress and recovered her spirits. For. Miss Twinkleton. was a right precaution. The leap from that knowledge to the inference that Miss Twinkleton set herself to teach _her_ something. `which I 'ope you will agree with.the 'ouse is not a box nor yet a bundle. Meanwhile the two gentlemen. Miss Twinkleton. the equably vivacious companion with a slight judicious flavouring of information. and the new lodgers dined. do require a power of . instead of the cabman. The Billickin beheld this manifestation of weakness without sympathy. who caused the total to come out complicated. In a happy compromise between her two states of existence. `I am not your pupil. each looking very hard at the last shilling grumblingly. `But you don't do it. `I will not hide from you. she had already become. Though not Professed but Plain.' This last disclaimer had reference to Miss Twinkleton's distractedly pressing two-and-sixpence on her.' `I did think it well to mention to my cook. ascended their carriages. yet plain and salutary diet. each gentleman on being paid held forth his two-and-sixpence on the flat of his open hand.' `Accustomed. nor a carpet-bag. enveloped in the shawl of state. on the other hand.' said Rosa. with her workbasket before her. descended the doorsteps. a rush from scanty feeding to generous feeding. had better be brought forward by degrees. which to the jealous ears of the Billickin seemed to add `my good woman'Ð`accustomed to a liberal and nutritious.' meaning Rosa. Miss Twinkleton wildly inquired. poor thing!' Miss Twinkleton. was animated by a bland desire to improve the occasion in all ways. and. `which gentleman' was to be paid? There being two gentlemen in that position (Miss Twinkleton having arrived with two cabs). with a speechless stare and a dropped jaw. displayed his wrong to heaven and earth. and to be as serene a model as possible. and recounting her luggage this time with the two gentlemen in. that the young lady being used to what we should consider here but poor diet. `may be. peace ensued. we have found no reason to bemoan our absence from the ancient city.' `We dined very well indeed.
on your asseveration. my dear.' began Miss Twinkleton.constitution which is not often found in youth. that if that unfortunate circumstance influences your conversation. put suppositions betwixt my lips where none such have been imparted by myself.' resumed Miss Twinkleton. loftily cancelling Miss Twinkleton. I wish to ask of yourself. `I have used no such expressions. were my own experience. I have no doubt. and a poorness of blood flowed from the table which has run through my life.' `My informiation. and no doubt is considered worth the money. I cannot forbear adding.' proclaimed the Billickin to Rosa. but you will permit me to observe that they develop a mistaken view of the subject. I was put in youth to a very genteel boarding-school. none older than yourself.' returned Miss Twinkleton. `are well meant. how are you getting on with your work?' `Miss Twinkleton.ÐRosa. I wish to repeat my question. still from her distant eminence. Miss. and no doubt is expected from you by your pupils. particular when undermined by boarding-school!' It will be seen that the Billickin now openly pitted herself against Miss Twinkleton. throwing in an extra syllable for the sake of emphasis at once polite and powerfulÐ`my informiation. and not asking to be favoured with them here. `all I can say is. I am sure. Miss.' . it is much to be lamented. in a courtly manner. of about your own age or it may be some years younger.' `Very likely. Miss Twinkleton. how are you getting on with your work?' `Hem! Before retiring.' resumed the Billickin. and it is eminently desirable that your blood were richer. expressly. which can only be imputed to your extreme want of accurate information. I know no elderly lady here. then. whether I am to consider that my words is doubted?' `I am not aware on what ground you cherish such a supposition. Miss Twinkleton. from a remote moral eminence.' began Miss Twinkleton.ÐRosa.' `If you refer to the poverty of your circulation. that it is very poor indeed.' stipulated the Billickin. when again the Billickin neatly stopped her. the mistress being no less a lady than yourself.' retorted the Billickin. `at a boarding-schoolÐ' `Then. when the Billickin neatly stopped her. `and very much to be deplored. `I should wish it to be understood between yourself and me that my transactions in future is with you alone. as a lady. But not paying for flows of words. my dear. as a lady should. that I am bound to believe. `before retiring on the 'int. Your flow of words is great. to the poorness of your bloodÐ' `Brought upon me. `Do not. which I believe is usually considered to be good guidance. as one whom she had fully ascertained to be her natural enemy. `Your remarks.' said Miss Twinkleton. But whether so or not. if you please. _No_ doubt.' `If you refer.
because there is such things as killing-days.' Occasionally the game would wax very brisk indeed. Miss!' the Billickin would exclaim (still no word being spoken by Rosa). in which old single ladies could be ground up young (what a gift it would be to some of us). that it is conveyed to the proper quarter. Miss. and secondly.' observed Miss Twinkleton.' On which the Billickin would retort (Rosa not having spoken a word). or. reddening: `Or. you would not entertain the idea of a lamb's fry. Nothing could be done without a smart match being played out. letting alone your buying. and would come in with side hits of the most unexpected and extraordinary description. Miss. into expressing my contempt for an indiwidual. unfortunately for yourself. Rosa my dear. and your own plate comes down so miserably skin-and-bony! Try again.' said the Billickin. you might propose to the person of the house a duck. the three being present together: `Perhaps. you will consult with the person of the house. A dish of sweetbreads now. Miss. whether she can procure us a lamb's fry. belonging to you. `If you was better accustomed to butcher's meat. always goes in a direction which I cannot imagine where. and from that time Rosa occupied the restless position of shuttlecock between these two battledores. `that I possess the Mill I have heard of. when she seemed without a chance. think of somethink else. Miss. and would be kept up with a smartness rendering such an encounter as this quite tame. it really strikes to my heart to see you have a duck.' `Well. I wish you good-evening with best wishes. the agedest of poultry with the scaliest of legs. Miss Twinkleton would rejoin. my love. which is the only delicate cuts in a duck. Thus. and you will kindly undertake.`A highly desirable arrangement. As to roast fowls. because lambs has long been sheep. or a bit of mutton. when you market for yourself. Miss Twinkleton would say.' To this encouragement. at once affectionately and distantly. I am sure. Use yourself to 'ousekeeping a bit. failing that. Think more of yourself. my dear. Rosa my dear. and less of others. and do not find myself drove. Firstly.' The Billickin gracefully withdrew with this parting speech. and there is not. Try a little inwention. with a sarcastic smile. `you do surprise me when you speak of ducks! Not to mention that they're getting out of season and very dear. Come now. for the breast. but that I limit myself to you totally. I am truly 'appy to say. why you must be quite surfeited with roast fowls. on the daily-arising question of dinner. quite as if you was accustomed to picking 'em out for cheapness.' said the Billickin. Something at which you can get your equal chance. `Being alone in my eyes. .' observed Miss Twinkleton with majestic cheerfulness.' `When I have any desire to communicate a request to the person of the house.' `Good-evening. `I will make it known to you. offered with the indulgent toleration of a wise and liberal expert. a roast fowl. But the Billickin almost invariably made by far the higher score. `It is not. Miss. Miss.
and other truly feminine arts. who looked so wistfully and so much out of the gritty windows of the drawing-room. though so often. more than half a year gone by. and constant interchange of scholastic acquirements with the attributes of the ministering angel to domestic bliss. But neither ever broached the theme. It is not likely that they ever met. Jasper as the denouncer and pursuer of Neville Landless. made the most of what was nearest to her heart. of tried powers. the neighbours began to say that the pretty girl at Billickin's. listening intently. and Mr. when Jasper mutely showed the Minor Canon the conclusion and the resolution entered in his Diary. and was guilty of other glaring pious frauds. and conversing with Miss Twinkleton. . lowly it may be. Miss Twinkleton. however. and the approbation of the silver-haired rector of the district. without a sensation on the part of each that the other was a perplexing secret to him.Ðlet me call on thy papa ere to-morrow's dawn has sunk into the west. or the air that London had acquired in Rosa's eyes of waiting for something that never came. and drawing the silken hair through his caressing fingers. but within our means. False pretence not being in the Minor Canon's nature. winds. Tired of working. offsets. and where every arrangement shall invest economy. she suggested working and reading: to which Miss Twinkleton readily assented. respectfully raising to his lips the taper fingers so skilful in embroidery. to the rich warm Paradise of Trust and Love.' As the days crept on and nothing happened. clasping the dear head to his breast. As an instance in point. Crisparkle as his consistent advocate and protector. must at least have stood sufficiently in opposition to have speculated with keen interest on the steadiness and next direction of the other's designs. So they both did better than before. let us fly from the unsympathetic world and the sterile coldness of the stony-hearted. It is not likely that they ever met.Ðsaid Edward. tambour. though so often. he doubtless displayed openly that he would at any time have revived the subject. while Rosa.All this did not improve the gritty state of things in London. without the thoughts of each reverting to the subject.' Miss Twinkleton's fraudulent version tamely ran thus: `Ever engaged to me with the consent of our parents on both sides. crochet. made the most of all the latitudes and longitudes. currents. She cut the love-scenes. and propose a suburban establishment. nothing at any time passed between them having reference to Edwin Drood. seemed to be losing her spirits.Ðsaid Edward. Crisparkle and John Jasper met daily under the Cathedral roof. interpolated passages in praise of female celibacy. CHAPTER XXIIIÐTHE DAWN AGAIN Although Mr. take the glowing passage: `Ever dearest and best adored. reading aloud. after the time. and other statistics (which she felt to be none the less improving because they expressed nothing whatever to her). bearings. and even desired to discuss it. from which he suffered it to fall like golden rain. as an admirable reader.Ðever dearest and best adored. But Rosa soon made the discovery that Miss Twinkleton didn't read fairly. As a compensation against their romance. The determined reticence of Jasper. The pretty girl might have lost them but for the accident of lighting on some books of voyages and sea-adventure. where he will be always welcome as an evening guest.
sets his face towards London. in the new Railway Advertisers. to such a source. so concentrated on one idea. of itself. a crime to fall in love with Rosa. as a just man. at its visitor's option. many true Britons in the lowest spirits deduce that the times are levelling times. Constantly exercising an Art which brought him into mechanical harmony with others. for a certain fixed charge. or lodging-house. He eats without appetite. any more than it was a crime to offer to set love above revenge. and the Choir-master. that he would share it with no fellow-creature. and looked steadily down upon a certain heap of torn and miry clothes upon the floor. gives the traveller to understand that it does not expect him. and a porter up all night. But he was a reticent as well as an eccentric man. appeared to have no harbour in Mr. for instanceÐthe particulars of his last interview with her? Mr. Impassive. and which could not have been pursued unless he and they had been in the nicest mechanical relations and unison. Did he suppose that he had terrified her into silence? or did he suppose that she had imparted to any oneÐto Mr. that it was not. It is hotel. Crisparkle's. dusty evening. Crisparkle could not determine this in his mind. near the General Post Office. That he must know of Rosa's abrupt departure. or in an open struggle. Drowsy Cloisterham. to a hybrid hotel in a little square behind Aldersgate Street. at the period to which the present history has now attained. and he repairs with it on foot. This was the condition of matters. It bashfully. to order a pint of sweet blacking for his drinking. neither gave it one spoken word of utterance. The Cathedral doors have closed for the night. on a short leave of absence for two or three services. yet he never referred it. however distantly. spirited himself away. it is curious to consider that the spirit of the man was in moral accordance or interchange with nothing around him. and soon goes forth again. or had. Grewgious took no pains to conceal his implacable dislike of Jasper. timidly beginning to spring up. His travelling baggage is easily carried in his hand. From these and similar premises. which Rosa was so shocked to have received into her imagination. but insinuates that he may have his boots blacked instead of his stomach. solitary. however. as Rosa arrived. and he made no mention of a certain evening when he warmed his hands at the gatehouse fire. and that he must divine its cause. breakfast. before the occasion for his present inflexibility arose. on a hot. and maybe also have bed. for his own purposes. of which there will shortly be not one in England. He travels thither by the means by which Rosa travelled. attendance. The dreadful suspicion of Jasper.was not to be so approached. to notice that the bereaved Jasper was still ever devoted to discovery and revenge. resolute. except in the article of high roads. He could not but admit. and arrives. It then lifted up its head. all round. Crisparkle himself. boarding-house. Mr. whenever it awoke to a passing reconsideration of a story above six months old and dismissed by the bench of magistrates. If it ever haunted Helena's thoughts or Neville's. as a novel enterprise. and throw it away. and then dozed off again. It announces itself. was not to be doubted. This indeed he had confided to his lost nephew. and on its attendant fixed purpose. he lived apart from human life. on the good old constitutional hotel plan. moody. Eastward and still . almost apologetically. was pretty equally divided in opinion whether John Jasper's beloved nephew had been killed by his treacherously passionate rival.
until he reaches his destination: a miserable court. And I cough so. lovey?' . I thought you was dead.' `Why?' `I didn't suppose you could have kept away. `Come in. He ascends a broken staircase. alive. as I cough and cough. and as soon as she is able to articulate.' `Not seafaring?' `No. and now where's the candle? If my cough takes me. and she sits down rocking herself to and fro. that. come in. Are you off a voyage. It ain't in him. though he charges as much as me that has.' But she finds the candle. before the cough comes on. deary?' `No.' `Well. and more if he can get it. from the poor old soul with the real receipt for mixing it. whoever you be: I can't see you till I light a match.' `So I will. but as it leaves her. and try.' `Died of what. I'm a mother to both. I never find 'em there. and lights it. yet I seem to know the sound of your speaking. as I can't lay it on a match all in a moment. and gasping at intervals: `O. deary. opens a door. staring: `Why. or any other power not absorbed in the struggle. put my matches where I may. perhaps. and gone to Heaven. deary?' `A relative. I'm acquainted with you. They jump and start. I shall cough out twenty matches afore I gets a light. and says: `Are you alone here?' `Alone. worse luck for me.' `Who was they as died.' replies a croaking voice. He ain't a father to neither.eastward through the stale streets he takes his way. And you are in mourning too! Why didn't you come and have a pipe or two of comfort? Did they leave you money. Different from Jack Chinaman t'other side the court. she cries. but my hand that shakes. It seizes her in the moment of success. it's you!' `Are you so surprised to see me?' `I thought I never should have seen you again. deary. and there's water customers. looks into a dark stifling room. so long. so I will. deary. and so you didn't want comfort?' `No. And he ain't got the true secret of mixing. Here's a match. like live things. and better for you. During its continuance she has had no power of sight. specially miserable among many such. ain't I?' `Light your match. there's land customers. she begins to strain her eyes. my lungs is awful bad! my lungs is wore away to cabbage-nets!' until the fit is over.
`Short and snappish we are! But we're out of sorts for want of a smoke. with a propitiatory laugh. without leaving off. and sing yourself off like a bird! It's ready for you now. It ain't good for trade.' . `I've got a pretty many smokes ready for you. haven't I.' He divests himself of his shoes.' replies the visitor. and was able by-and-by to take your pipe with the best of 'em. `Now I begin to know my old customer indeed! Been trying to mix for yourself this long time.' `We are short to-night!' cries the woman. `as soon as you like. with his head resting on his left hand. and beginning to bubble and blow at the faint spark enclosed in the hollow of her hands. and it ain't good for you. chuckey?' `A good many. She seats herself beside him. Always the identical same. but what I have in my mouth?' `It's just the same. she speaks from time to time. After inhaling a few whiffs in silence. he doubtingly accosts her with: `Is it as potent as it used to be?' `What do you speak of. `Now you begin to look like yourself.' says the woman approvingly. I was easily disposed of.' `Never take it your own way.' `When you first come.' `It's just ready for you. warn't ye?' `Ah. deary? But this is the place to cure 'em in. poppet?' `I have been taking it now and then in my own way. in a tone of snuffling satisfaction. Death.`Probably. haven't us. What a sweet singer you was when you first come! Used to drop your head. then. loosens his cravat. my deary dear!' Entering on her process. We've got the all-overs. this is the place where the all-overs is smoked off.' `But you got on in the world. and where's my thimble. ready to refill the pipe. When he speaks. deary?' `What should I speak of. and the worst. warn't ye?' `Yes. he does so without looking at her.' He takes it from her with great care.' `You may make ready. first and last. deary. and lies across the foot of the squalid bed. and where's my little spoon? He's going to take it in a artful form now. and as if his thoughts were already roaming away by anticipation. then. and puts the mouthpiece to his lips. Where's my ink-bottle. you was quite new to it.
Says I now. She bends over him.' `It _was_ pleasant to do!' He says this with a savage air. I was only thinking. if so.' `Just like me! I did it over and over again. it was done so soon. The woman looks at him.' she quietly remarks.' He stops. .' `Yes. for he subsides again. you see.' With the point of a needle she stirs the contents of the bowl. certainly. Look here. and then. he sinks into his former attitude.`It doesn't taste so. a difficult and dangerous journey. and through such vast expanses of time. `It was a journey. over abysses where a slip would be destruction. `Over and over again.' `Yes.' `Yes. Look here.' `That's the journey you have been away upon.' `That may be the cause. something I was going to do?' `But had not quite determined to do. deary. Look here. as though at some imaginary object far beneath. his eyes becoming filmy. deary. as his spasmodic face approaches close to hers. and a spring or start at her. She seems to know what the influence of her perfect quietude would be. she has not miscalculated it.' `It's to be hoped it was pleasant to do. deary. I did it so often. Look down.' `I know all that. and to point at the ground. Seeing her intent upon the occupation. What do I say? I did it millions and billions of times. and seems to forget that he has invited her attention. `Should you do it in your fancy. Suppose you had something in your mind. look down! You see what lies at the bottom there?' He has darted forward to say it. A hazardous and perilous journey. He glares at her as he smokes. We was talking just before of your being used to it. Says you just now. and not at his pointing. becomes dreamy.' `You've got more used to it. Quite unmoved she retouches and replenishes the contents of the bowl with her little spatula. I have done it hundreds of thousands of times in this room. I have told you I did it here hundreds of thousands of times. when you were lying here doing this?' She nods her head. That was the subject in my mind. `I'm attending to you. and speaks in his ear.' `Might or might not do. you understand. I'm attending to ye. something you were going to do. `Well. that when it was really done. And it's slower. it seemed not worth the doing.
and never saw the road!' The woman kneels upon the floor. It is: `There was a fellow-traveller. ha. `how often fellow-traveller. When I could not bear my life. and the snarl of a wolf.' `Always in the same way?' `Ay. when you made it so often?' `No.answers: `That's the journey.' For the time he appears unequal to any other reply than this lazy monosyllabic assent. with her arms crossed on the coverlet of the bed. The pipe is falling from his mouth. then says to him. She observes him very cautiously. with a singular appearance in his eyes of seeming to see her a long way off. when he has been looking fixedly at her for some consecutive moments. very attentive to the pipe. always in one way. instead of so near him: `I'll warrant you made the journey in a many ways. and yet not know it! To think how many times he went the journey. and her chin upon them. In this crouching attitude she watches him. revives the fire in it with her own breath.' she observes. and I got it. and laying her hand upon his chest. You was too quick for me. she reverses the form of her next sentence. and before returning him the instrument he has dropped. and retorts upon her: `What do you mean? What did I want? What did I come for?' She gently lays him back again. moves him slightly from side . which is all the while at his lips. yes. I came to get the relief. I might have known it. deary. She puts it back.' `Ha.' he cries. or rather yell. `I'll warrant. sure. coaxingly: `Sure. It WAS one! It WAS one!' This repetition with extraordinary vehemence. and then with a passionate setting of his teeth: `Yes. Probably to assure herself that it is not the assent of a mere automaton. The woman sits beside him. and try to call up something else for a change?' He struggles into a sitting posture.' He answers first with a laugh.' `And always took the same pleasure in harping on it?' `Ay. I see now. I came on purpose. sure! Yes. Why. yes! Now I go along with you. You come o' purpose to take the journey. `To think. ha!' He breaks into a ringing laugh. deary.' Silence ensues. `Did you never get tired of it. as though mentally feeling her way to her next remark. close by him.' `In the way in which it was really made at last?' `Ay. through its standing by you so. His eyes are sometimes closed and sometimes open.
mean. is still inquisitive. and he lies a log upon the bed. No struggle. but they trail off into the progressive inaction of stupor. and listens. no consciousness of peril. I had no room till then for anything else. I must have a better vision than this. before the changes of colours and the great landscapes and glittering processions began. `I heard ye say once.' With a start. `Time. So soon. intent upon him. it is so short that it seems unreal for the first time.' `Time and place are both at hand. Hark!' `Yes. It has been too short and easy.' He is on his feet. It's over. `How could the time be at hand unless the fellow-traveller was? Hush! The journey's made. as a cat might stimulate a half-slain mouse. It's over. But don't ye be too sure always. This is a vision. she slowly gets upon her feet. With a repetition of her cat-like action she slightly stirs his body again. and holding him softly by the arm. I shall sleep it off. [Picture: Sleeping it off] `What? I told you so. Once more he speaks. When it comes to be real at last.' `So soon?' `That's what I said to you. and as if in the dark. But she goes no further away from it than the chair upon the hearth. Once more she lays her hand upon his chest. She sits in it. this is the poorest of all. Wait a little.' Once more he lapses into silence. Upon that he speaks. and moves him slightly to and fro. `Yes! I always made the journey first. I'm listening. when I was lying where you're lying.' He has accompanied this incoherence with some wild unmeaning gestures. Finding it past all rousing for the time. They couldn't begin till it was off my mind. stirs again. deary?' `Look at it! Look what a poor. and you were making your speculations upon me. with an air of disappointment. ªUnintelligible!º I heard you say so. no entreatyÐand yet I never saw _that_ before. with an elbow on one of its arms. and listens. deary. as if she had spoken. and listens. `Saw what. adopting his tone. beauty!' .' she croaks under her breath.' she suggests.to side. whispers to it. as if she had spoken. `I heard ye say once. and fellow-traveller. speaking in a whisper. don't be ye too sure. of two more than me. however. The woman. miserable thing it is! _That_ must be real. and flicks the face with the back of her hand in turning from it. and her chin upon her hand. place.
to begin making herself ready for sleep as he leaves the room. with a wavering step. She follows him a little way. He does not look back before disappearing. watching that one. I may have learned the secret how to make ye talk. and goes straight into the house he has quitted. chilled and shaking. You may be more right there. she glides after him. cat-like. I'll be there before ye. whether or no. deary. Her patience is unexhausted by hours. tired out. she presently adds: `Not so potent as it once was? Ah! Perhaps not at first.Unwinking. the moment the stairs have ceased to creak under his tread. the new candle in its turn burns down. and milk as it is carried past her. When does the gentleman return to Cloisterham?' `At six this evening. He repairs to the back of Aldersgate Street. instantaneously turns confidently. I've swore my oath that I'll not miss ye twice!' . and makes himself ready to depart. lights another at it. Now I know ye did. She crouches in another doorway. `Is the gentleman from Cloisterham indoors? `Just gone out. He is not going back into the country.' `Bless ye and thank ye. buy bread within a hundred yards.' He talks no more. she watches for his looking back. as if she were loading some ill-savoured and unseemly weapon of witchcraft. The woman receives what he pays her with a grateful. when he sits up. where a door immediately opens to his knocking. deary!' and seems. `Bless ye. having changed his dress. and still he lies insensible. At length what remains of the last candle is blown out. therefore. and daylight looks into the room. but carrying nothing in his hand. and bide your coming. She follows him. even from a poor soul. `I lost ye last. It is false in this case. where that omnibus you got into nigh your journey's end plied betwixt the station and the place. and not so civilly. I wasn't so much as certain that you even went right on to the place. The wretched candle burns down. and having nothing carried for him. the woman takes its expiring end between her fingers. sees him still faltering on without looking back. It has not looked very long. For sustenance she can. he lies heavy and silent. But seeming may be false or true. and intent. crams the guttering frying morsel deep into the candlestick. May the Lord prosper a business where a civil question. and easily comprehending that he puts up temporarily at that house. Twitching in an ugly way from time to time. and does. He comes forth again at noon.' `Unlucky. is so civilly answered!' `I'll not miss ye twice!' repeats the poor soul in the street. just yet. peeps from the court. hesitates. With a weird peep from the doorway. bless ye. and rams it home with the new candle. My gentleman from Cloisterham. both as to his face and limbs. and holds him in view. Practice makes perfect. slowly recovers consciousness of where he is. muttering emphatically: `I'll not miss ye twice!' There is no egress from the court but by its entrance. for.
jocosely. so compliantly does he go on along the High Street until he comes to an arched gateway. and close upon him entering under the gateway. `Now let me see what becomes of you. as if he were toll-taker of the gateway: though the way is free. gray-haired gentleman is writing. looking at the many quaint gables of the Nuns' House. and it is so. at which hour she has reason to suppose that the arriving omnibus passengers may have some interest for her. Christian name John. at which he unexpectedly vanishes. for the passenger not to be missed twice arrives among the rest. is swift. good gentleman?' `Calling? Yes. John Jasper. `Do you know what a cathedral is?' he asks.' `Of course there was. What do you want with him?' `Where do he live. and hear him too. casting about in her mind to find a definition.' `Has he a calling. Datchery rises from his papers. Mr. and you may see Mr. seeing her brought to a stand-still: `who are you looking for?' `There was a gentleman passed in here this minute.Accordingly.' `In the spire?' `Choir. renders it easy for her to ascertain whether this be so or not.' `What's that?' Mr. that same evening the poor soul stands in Cloisterham High Street. John Jasper. massive against the dark-blue sky and the early stars. The woman nods.' . The poor soul quickens her pace. and yet it might be addressed to the passenger. under the odd circumstances of sitting open to the thoroughfare and eyeing all who pass. `That's the answer. but only sees a postern staircase on one side of it. Go on!' An observation addressed to the air. What's his name. The friendly darkness.' `Bless ye! Whisper. and comes to his doorstep. Go in there at seven to-morrow morning. and on the other side an ancient vaulted room. deary?' `Live? Up that staircase. `Halloa!' he cries in a low voice. when it occurs to her that it is easier to point out the substantial object itself. sir. deary?' `Surname Jasper. and getting through the time as she best can until nine o'clock. `What is it?' She looks puzzled. Sings in the choir. at that hour. in which a large-headed.
Jasper's rooms there.`Thank ye! Thank ye!' The burst of triumph in which she thanks him does not escape the notice of the single buffer of an easy temper living idly on his means. `Or. Datchery's bland comment. If Mr.' `Wasn't it a little cool to name your sum?' hints Mr. `Been here often.' he suggests. Datchery. That a young gentleman gave me three-and-sixpence as I was coughing my breath away on this very grass. `Isn't it customary to leave the amount open? Mightn't it have had the appearance. `I wanted the money to lay it out on a medicine as does me good. and he gave it me. ay?' They have arrived at the entrance to the Monks' Vineyard. and he gave it me. to the young gentlemanÐonly the appearanceÐthat he was rather dictated to?' `Look'ee here. The chink of the money has an attraction for her greedy ears. though you mayn't believe it.' The woman looks up quickly. presenting an exemplary model for imitation. But she acquits him of such an artful thought. and if you'll give it me.' is Mr. deary. and I laid it out honest to the last brass farden. clasps his hands behind him. I want to lay out the same sum in the same way now. dear gentleman. and troubled with a grievous cough. and says energetically: `By this token. `you can go up at once to Mr. though. with a backward hitch of his head. `Wouldn't you help me to pay for my traveller's lodging. He glances at her. She stops at the gate. I told the young gentleman so. I'll lay it out honest to the last brass farden again. I am indeed. with his uncovered gray hair blowing about. and shakes her head. upon my soul!' .' The woman eyes him with a cunning smile.' `You can admire him at a distance three times a day. whenever you like. he is of a much easier temper than she is.' `You know the travellers' lodging. and to pay my way along? I am a poor soul. It's a long way to come for that. still rattling. my good woman?' `Once in all my life. and as I deal in.' she replies. I asked him for three-and-sixpence. as the wont of such buffers is. I perceive. Datchery thinks she is to be so induced to declare where she comes from. and lounges along the echoing Precincts at her side.' `Ay. like the chartered bore of the city. and forms with her lips a soundless `No. and are making directly for it. still rattling his loose money. An appropriate remembrance. `O! you don't want to speak to him?' She repeats her dumb reply. is revived in the woman's mind by the sight of the place. and his purposeless hands rattling the loose money in the pockets of his trousers. in a confidential and persuasive tone. as he lounges along.
on their beat in the dark. because the tall headstones are sufficiently like themselves.`What's the medicine?' `I'll be honest with you beforehand. and begins again. Durdles may be stoned home having struck. and with her anger brewing for the event of his thinking better of the gift. Datchery's wistful gaze is directed to this beacon. Datchery. but he bestows it on her as if he were abstracting his mind from the sacrifice. because their resting-place is announced to be sacred. and beyond. and reddens with the exertion as he asks: `How do you know the young gentleman's name?' `I asked him for it.' Mr.' Mr. that Power of Evil is abroad. `And the young gentleman's name. The woman looks at him distrustfully. the enchanted hour when Mr. finds he has counted wrong. gives her a sudden look. shakes his money together. and secondly. so Mr. he lingers and looks about him. just arter dark. to justify the delicious fancy that they are hurt when hit. rather as if he were falling into a brown study of their value. Having nothing living to stone at the moment. The Imp finds this a relishing and piquing pursuit. Datchery returns alone towards it. through the railings of the churchyard. Edwin. Greedily watching his hands. John Jasper's lamp is kindled. It is half-past ten by the Cathedral clock when he walks out into the Precincts again. and his lighthouse is shining when Mr. His object in now revisiting his lodging is merely to put on the hat which seems so superfluous an article in his wardrobe. he is discovered by Mr. Datchery begins very slowly to count out the sum demanded of him. As mariners on a dangerous voyage. Mr. stoops to pick it up. Datchery hails with him: `Halloa. Datchery drops some money. Neither more nor less. the once that I was here afore. and he told it me. Datchery stops in his counting. Datchery pauses with the selected coins in his hand. and with many servile thanks she goes her way. and he hadn't.' Mr. as well as after.' Mr. I only asked him the two questions. as though. It's opium. `It's opium. that you always hear what can be said against it. firstly. `It was last Christmas Eve. she continues to hold forth on the great example set him. deary. `was Edwin. he had some expectation of seeing the Imp who is appointed to the mission of stoning him. And it's like a human creetur so far.' Mr. and whether he'd a sweetheart? And he answered. Datchery in the unholy office of stoning the dead. with a sudden change of countenance. but seldom what can be said in its praise. when the young gentleman gave me the three-and-six. In effect. approaching an iron-bound coast. what was his Chris'en name.' she adds. Winks!' . may look along the beams of the warning light to the haven lying beyond it that may never be reached. and couldn't bear to part with them.
You have just taken in a lodger I have been speaking to. whereby I gets one eye roused open afore I've shut the other. Dick!' Their acquaintance seemingly having been established on a familiar footing. eh.' `Deputy be it always. . Deputy?' `Ah! And what's more. it may be observed in passing.' adds the boy. When they says to me in the Lock-up. and. with a shrewd leer of recognition. however statistical.' `All right.' assents Deputy.' `What is her name?' `'Er Royal Highness the Princess Puffer.' `I forgave you the debt you owed me when we first became acquainted. ªFind out. Jacks. What did he go a-histing me off my legs for?' `What indeed! But never mind him now. mind yer. neither. to do.' `Puffer. `But. yer ain't no friend o' Jarsper's.' A shilling passes. `Asides which.' `The sailors?' `I said so. We two are good friends. a-going to put me down in the book. `don't yer go a-making my name public.' `I should like to know. Deputy.He acknowledges the hail with: `Halloa. ªWhat's your name?º I says to them. there ain't. in that spirit of confidence which should pervade all business transactions between principals of honour. Among the Jacks. The travellers give me the name on account of my getting no settled sleep and being knocked up all night. through you.' `Yer lie.' he remonstrates. `there ain't no family of Winkses. with his head very much on one side and his eyes very much out of their places: `Hopeum Puffer. Deputy?' `Jolly good. I never means to plead to no name.' `She has some other name than that. A shilling of mine is going your way to-night. Give us 'old. and many of my sixpences have come your way since. I say. ªFind out. ªWhat's your religion?º I says. and smoking an imaginary pipe. where does she live?' `Up in London. and Chayner men: and hother Knifers. this piece of business is considered done.' `I think there must be. it would be immensely difficult for the State.º Likewise when they says. Deputy's the nighest name to indict me by: but yer wouldn't catch me pleading to that. eh. That's what Winks means. an infirm woman with a cough.º' Which. exactly where she lives. then.
She ses. breaks into a slow and stately dance. and make myself as swell as I can. from various quarters of the sky. takes a bit of chalk from one of the cupboard shelves. `I think a moderate stroke. and refers to a few uncouth chalked strokes on its inner side. fluttering there like wings. and the rich trees waving in the balmy air. The cold stone tombs of centuries ago grow warm. the scored debited with what is against him. She said she must be hup and hout o' purpose. The scorer not committed. and goes to bed. Come the Choir in a hurry (always in a hurry. and smites his leg. Come Mr. in due time. Mr. scents from gardens. Crisparkle. from the one great garden of the whole cultivated island in its yielding timeÐpenetrate into the Cathedral. with a lusty ivy gleaming in the sun. `the old tavern way of keeping scores. Come a very small and straggling congregation indeed: chiefly from Minor Canon Corner and the Precincts. At length he rises. fresh and bright. Tope and attendant sweeping sprites. Returning to his quaint lodging. Deputy?' `Cos she told me so just now. and flecks of brightness dart into the sternest marble corners of the building. like children shirking bed). Datchery receives the communication with a well-satisfied though pondering face. A brilliant morning shines on the old city. Datchery into a stall. Tope with his large keys. and whisking it from stops and pedals. and . and. Hum. and breaks up the conference. suits the action to the word. Tope has left prepared for him. and fieldsÐor. not finding his sense of the ludicrous sufficiently relieved by stamping about on the pavement. he still sits when his supper is finished. rather. and struggling into their nightgowns at the last moment.' so. Changes of glorious light from moving boughs. Illegible except to the scorer. perhaps supposed to be performed by the Dean. and doubles himself up in a fit of shrill laughter. closes the cupboard. songs of birds.' says Mr. organist and bellows-boy. one of a choice empty collection very much at his service. and to know that bell and organ are going to give it them.' he concludes. subdue its earthy odour. `How do you know that. and yawningly unlocks and sets open. and sitting long over the supper of bread-and-cheese and salad and ale which Mrs. and pauses with it in his hand. and preach the Resurrection and the Life. `I like. throws open the door of a corner cupboard. Come sundry rooks. not quite so fresh and bright. ªDeputy. who may be presumed to enjoy vibration. woods. for I'm a-goin' to take a turn at the KIN-FREE-DER-EL!º' He separates the syllables with his former zest. peeping down from the red curtains in the loft. a very poor score!' He sighs over the contemplation of its poverty. fearlessly flapping dust from books up at that remote elevation. ha! A very small score this. `is all I am justified in scoring up.`But here's a lark!' cries Deputy. Datchery. Comes Mr. Its antiquities and ruins are surpassingly beautiful. uncertain what addition to make to the account. Last of all comes Mr. back to the great tower. Come. and his ministering brethren. `Where did yer think `Er Royal Highness is a-goin' to to-morrow morning? Blest if she ain't a-goin' to the KIN-FREE-DER-EL!' He greatly prolongs the word in his ecstasy. I must 'ave a early wash. Come Mrs. and comes John Jasper leading their line.
Tope's care has spread a very neat. Datchery accosts his last new acquaintance outside. The Mr. and stares astounded from the threatener to the threatened. as hard as the big brass eagle holding the sacred books upon his wings (and. `Well. upon examination. he found among the leaves of one of the novelist's other manuscripts certain loose slips in his writing. But by that time he has made her out. as they were but now to them on) have scuffled away. appears as the principal figure. takes his bit of chalk from its shelf. not at all converted by them). in which Sapsea. according to the sculptor's representation of his ferocious attributes. Datchery can discern Her Royal Highness. and then falls to with an appetite. Deputy peeps. adds one thick line to the score. The service is pretty well advanced before Mr. Mr. extending from the top of the cupboard door to the bottom. And at that moment. She grins when he is most musically fervid. Good morning. being among the last things Dickens wrote. the auctioneer. Datchery sees her do it!Ðshakes her fist at him behind the pillar's friendly shelter. _I've_ seen him!' `And you know him?' `Know him! Better far than all the Reverend Parsons put together know him. deary. Tope by shifty resources in which he is an adept. carefully withdrawn from the Choir-master's view.ÐED. she hugs herself in her lean arms. again! As ugly and withered as one of the fantastic carvings on the under brackets of the stall seats. That chapter. Yes. (as get service comes to an end.º These proved. She is behind a pillar. APPENDIX: FRAGMENT OF ªTHE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROODº When Forster was just finishing his biography of Dickens. seems to contain so much of interest that it may be well to reprint it here. surrounded by a group of characters new to the story. through the bars. in the shade. Mr.glancing about him for Her Royal Highness the Princess Puffer. and the servitors disperse to breakfast. when the Choir much in a hurry to get their bedgowns off. as malignant as the Evil One. interlined. Datchery looks again. so cramped. andÐyes. ªon paper only half the size of that used for the tale. All unconscious of her presence. he chants and sings. and then shakes both fists at the leader of the Choir. outside the grated door of the Choir. to contain a suggested chapter for _Edwin Drood_. having eluded the vigilance of Mr. and blotted as to be nearly illegible. clean breakfast ready for her lodger. sharp-eyed. . he opens his corner-cupboard door. to convince himself.' Mrs. Before sitting down to it. but regards him with the closest attention. You have seen him?' `_I've_ seen him. mistress.
Peartree is not accountable to me for his opinions.HOW MR. By profession. a dancing-master. nay. and I say no more of them here than that he attends the poor gratis whenever they want him. Peartree may justify it to the grasp of _his_ mind thus to do his republican utmost to bring an appointed officer into contempt. When I sold off Kimber without reserve. but for having the class of mind allotted to what I call the common herd. if I am correctly informedÐI will raise the veil so far as to say I KNOW she mightÐhave soared for life from this degrading taint. Indeed the reverse. eight pork sausages. hopeful sort of man. It came under my particular notice when I sold off Kimber by auction. Peartree (as poor as he can hold . I did not take particular notice of this at the moment.º Another member of the Eight Club was Peartree. but I own to it as mine. The phrase may be objected to by cautious minds. it being our weekly night of meeting. I proceeded by a circuitous route to the Club. We were eight in number. Between Peartree and Kimber there was a sickly sort of feeble-minded alliance. I threw it off in argument some little time back. It was a little idea of mine. the younger one might. eight mutton chops. We were enrolled under the denomination of the Eight Club.º In the act of hanging up my hat on the eighth peg by the door. with eight toasts. also member of the Royal College of Surgeons. and being so incredibly devoid of veneration as to become painfully ludicrous. SAPSEA CEASED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE EIGHT CLUB TOLD BY HIMSELF Wishing to take the air. Peartree can never justify it to the grasp of _mine_. be a certain harmony of colour in the ruling idea of this (to adopt a phrase of our lively neighbours) reunion. For I felt that I was picked out (though perhaps only through a coincidence) to a certain extent to represent what I call our glorious constitution in Church and State. eight marrow-bones. A commonplace. Sapsea's. we played eight games of four-handed cribbage. eight baked potatoes. As I entered the Club-room. Suffice it that Mr. and is not the parish doctor. Mr. I said: ªOUR GLORIOUS CONSTITUTION in CHURCH and STATE. Mr. Both daughters taught dancing in scholastic establishments for Young LadiesÐhad done so at Mrs. He lowered it. or may not. we met at eight o'clock during eight months of the year. wholly destitute of dignity or knowledge of the world.) He was a widower in a white under-waistcoat. at eightpence the game. Kimber was making the remark: ªAnd he still half-believes him to be very high in the Church. and eight bottles of ale. was a member by the name of Kimber. and had two daughters not ill-looking. presented the unwomanly spectacle of having little fiddles tucked under their chins. (Goods taken in execution. because the world was often pleased to be a little shy of ecclesiastical topics in my presence. our frugal supper was composed of eight rolls. and slight shoes with bows. and passed a remark on the next change of the moon. I found that we mustered our full strength. Twinkleton'sÐand both. In spite of which. There may. [Picture: Facsimile of a page of the manuscript of ªThe Mystery of Edwin Droodº] A somewhat popular member of the Eight Club. I caught Kimber's visual ray. in giving lessons.
for his bread. I was grave.º My generosity was roused. Not that it matters. with a few moral reflections on each. I could hardly persuade him that you were not high in the Church. uncommonly likeÐand a murmur of recognition had repeated his (I will not name whose) title.º ªIdiot?º said Peartree. it was said. the business by which a man got his goods together.) ªI was alluding. So. I had then divided my text (if I may be allowed so to call it) into three heads: firstly. He had been speaking to you just before. gentlemen. moving to me. by the churchyard. ªIdiot and Ass!º said the other five members. Mr. however. looking around me. Sapsea. ªto a stranger who entered into conversation with me in the street as I came to the Club.º said Peartree.º I remonstrated. I saw the lots shortly afterwards in Kimber's lodgingsÐthrough the windowÐand I easily made out that there had been a sneaking pretence of lending them till better times. I am not to be blinded. I kept myself in what I call Abeyance. I knew that this would involve a species of forethought not to be made compatible with the frivolity of a caperer. as though his pursuits had been of a character that would bear serious contemplation. In pursuance of a writ of execution. Issued by a creditor. as it was that he was a brown hulking sort of revolutionary subject who had been in India with the soldiers. and winding up with. A man with a smaller knowledge of the world than myself might have been led to suspect that Kimber had held back money from his creditors. I had then gone on to say that all present would find. besides that I knew for certain he had no money. and though you had told him who you were. As it was the first time I had seen either of those two since the sale. I had come up into my pulpit. ªYou can't deny that he must be a Blockhead. Kimber. But. thirdly. ªNow to the first lotº in a manner that was complimented when I afterwards mingled with my hearers. not being certain on what terms I and Kimber stood. Their tone of disgust amounted to being offensive.º said Kimber. ªIdiot and Ass. and ought (for the sake of society) to have his neck broke. it seemed. in the last paragraph before the first lot. before I spoke. inoculating other people with capering. and of course it was as plain to me what he was going to do with them. Why should the young man be so calumniated? What had he done? He had only made an innocent . ªAss!º said Kimber. I own it. the following words: ªSold in pursuance of a writ of execution issued by a creditor. and fraudulently bought the goods. and as cheap to society (if sold without reserve). (I was the creditor who had issued the writ. secondly. still his goods were as dear to him. ªYou'll admit that he must be a Fool. I had delivered a few remarksÐshall I say a little homily?Ðconcerning Kimber. in the first page of the catalogue that was lying before them. ªare strong expressions to apply to a young man of good appearance and address.º I had then proceeded to remind my friends. Sold. not to say contemptible.together) had several prime household lots knocked down to him.º said Kimber. which the world did regard as more than usually worth notice. that however frivolous. I moved to Kimber. I was chilling. When selling him up.
Sapsea. ªMr. ªBless you for those words!º He then.º he answered. sir.º he said doubtfully. Gentlemen. ªand on your account. and there is no harm in being named Poker. what would it avail me?º I don't know that I had quite exactly made out to a fraction that his name _was_ Poker. friendless stranger. I asked him his name. It was a scornful laugh. ªGentlemen. Poker? and where do you come from?º .º Having stated the circumstances at some length (my generosity almost overpowered him). until then you cease to be the Eight Club.º said I. I had forced it out of them. It stung me. II Whom should I meet in the street. I rose (for I had been sitting down). that if I was hardly enough to deny that my name is Poker.º said I. within a few yards of the door of the inn where the Club was held. Gentlemen. looked down again. ªor is itÐº ªIt is Mr. ªPardon me. ªYour name is Poker. As I went down stairs I distinctly heard them give a suppressed cheer. ªlet me hear more about you. until then I withdraw. trying to put him at his ease by nodding my head in a soothing way. well. in a very well-behaved manner. Such is the power of demeanour and knowledge of mankind. I will not so violate what I call the sacred rites of hospitality. but the self-same young man whoso cause I had felt it my duty so warmlyÐand I will add so disinterestedlyÐto take up. and must make the best you can of becoming the Seven. Sapsea.º I put on my hat and retired. ªIs it Mr. ªNatural?º repeated Kimber.and natural mistake. Where are you going to. ªI will not remain one of this Club allowing opprobrium to be cast on an unoffending person in his absence. Sapsea. you appear warm. I leave you. I controlled my generous indignation. Gentlemen. Mr. My anger was roused in behalf of an absent.º I said with dignity. Tell me.º I said. until you know how to behave yourselves better. Sapsea. Sapsea!º cried the young man. ªWell. ªyour penetration is so acute. ªCome Poker. Mr.º ªOh. looking down. and said so.º ªI have been warm. from this place of meeting. your glance into the souls of your fellow men is so penetrating. but I daresay I had been pretty near doing it.º I replied. as if ashamed of having given way to his feelings. whatever personal qualifications I may have brought into it. ª_He's_ a Natural!º The remaining six members of the Eight Club laughed unanimously.
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