Our Mutual Friend, Version 2 | Charles Dickens | Literary Fiction | Talkingbook | English | 14/20



section 44 of our mutual friend by charles dickens this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to find out how you can volunteer please visit librivox.org section 44 of our mutual friend by charles dickens book the 3rd chapter 11 in the dark there was no sleep for Bradley headstone on that night when Eugene Wrayburn turned so easily in his bed there was no sleep for a little Miss Peecher Bradley consumed the lonely hours and consumed himself and haunting the spot where his careless rival lay a dreaming little miss peecher wore them away and listening for the return home of the master of her heart and in sorrowfully presaging that much was amiss with him yet more was amiss with him than miss peecher's simply arranged little work box of thoughts fitted with no gloomy and dark recesses could hold for the state of the man was murderous the state of the man was murderous and he knew it more he irritated it with a kind of perverse pleasure akin to that which a sick man sometimes has in irritating a wound upon his body tied up all day with his discipline show upon him subdued to the performance of his routine of educational tricks encircled by a gambling crowd he broke loose at night like an ill tamed wild animal under his daily restraint it was his compensation not his trouble to give a glance toward his state at night and to the freedom of its being indulged if great criminals told the truth which being great criminals they do not they would very rarely tell of their struggles against the crime their struggles are towards it they buffett with opposing waves to gain the bloody sure not to recede from it this man perfectly comprehended that he hated his rival with his strongest and worst horses and that if he tracked him to Lizzie hexam his so doing but never serve himself with her or serve her all his pains were taken to the end that he might incensed himself with the sight of the detested figure in her company and favor in her place of concealment and he knew as well what act of his would follow if he did as he knew that his mother had borne him granted that he may not have held it necessary to make Express mention to himself of the one familiar truth any more than of the other he knew equally well that he fed his wrath and hatred and that he accumulated provocation and self justification by being made the nightly sport of the reckless and insolent Eugene knowing all this and still always going on with infinite endurance pains and perseverance could his dark soul doubt whether he went baffled exasperated and weary he lingered opposite the temple gate when it closed on Rayburn and Lightwood debating with himself should he go home for that time or should he watch longer possessed in his jealousy by the fixed idea that Rayburn was in the secret if it were not altogether of his contriving Bradley was as confident of getting the better of him at last by sullenly sticking to him as he would have been and often had been of mastering any piece of study in the way of his vocation by the like slow persistent process a man of rapid passions and sluggish intelligence it had served him often and should serve him again the suspicion crossed him as he rested in a doorway with his eyes upon the temple gate that perhaps she was even concealed in that set of chambers it would furnish another reason for Rayburn's purposeless walks and it might be he thought of it and thought of it until he resolved to steal up the stairs if the gatekeeper would let him through and listen so the Haggard head suspended in the air flitted across the road like the spectre of one of the many heads first hoisted upon neighboring temple bar and stopped before the Watchmen the Watchmen looked at it and asked who for mr. Wrayburn it's very late he came back with mr. Lightwood I known near upon two hours ago but if he has gone to bed I'll put a paper in his letterbox I am expected the watchman said no more but opened the gate though rather doubtfully seeing however that the visitor went straight and fast in the right direction he seemed satisfied the Haggard head floated up the dark staircase and softly descended nearer to the floor outside the outer door of the chambers the doors of the rooms within appeared to be standing open there were rays of candlelight from one of them and there was the sound of a footstep going about there were two voices the words they uttered were not distinguishable but they were both the voices of men in a few moments the voices were silent and there was no sound of footstep and the inner light went out if Lightwood could have seen the face which kept him awake staring and listening in the darkness outside the door as he spoke of it he might have been less disposed to sleep through the remainder of the night not there said Bradley but she might have been the head arose to its former height from the ground floated down the staircase again and passed on to the gate a man was standing there and parley with the watchman Oh said the watchman there he is perceiving himself to be the antecedent Bradley looked from the watchman to the man this man is leaving a letter for mr. Lightwood the watchman explained showing it in his hand and I was mentioning that a person had just gone up to mr. Lightwoods chambers it might be the same business perhaps no said Bradley glancing at the man who was a stranger to him no the man is scented in a surly way my letter it's wrote by my daughter but it's mine it's about my business and my business ain't nobody else's business as Bradley passed out at the gate with an undecided foot he heard it shut behind him and he heard the footstep of the man coming after him excuse me said the man who appeared to have been drinking and rather stumbled at him that touched him to attract his attention but might you be acquainted with t'other governor with whom asked Bradley with returned the man pointing backward over his right shoulder with his right thumb t'other governor I don't know what you mean why look here hooking his proposition on his left hand fingers with the forefinger of his right there's two governors ain't there one and one two lawyer lightwood my first finger he's one ain't he well might you be acquainted with my middle finger t'other I know quite as much of him said Bradley with a frown and a distant look before him as I want to know whore are cried the man whore or t'other t'other governor whore art t'otherest governor I am your way of thinking don't make such a noise at this dead hour of night what are you talking about look here colorist governor replied the man becoming hoarsely confidential the t'other governor he's always joked his jokes again me owing as I believe to my being an honest man as gets my living by the sweat of my brow which he ain't and he don't what is that to me t'other is governor returned the man and a tonne of injured innocence if you don't care to hear no more don't hear no more you begun it you said and likewise showed pretty plain as you weren't by no means friendly to him but I don't seek to force my company nor yet my opinions on no man I am an honest man that's what I am put me in the dock anywhere I don't care where and I says my lord I am an honest man put me in the witness box anywhere I don't care where and i says the same to his lordship and I kisses the book I don't kiss my coat cup i kiss 'as the book it was not so much in deference to these strong testimonials to character as in his Restless casting about for anyway or help towards the discovery in which he was concentrated that Bradley headstone replied you needn't take offense I didn't mean to stop you you were too loud in the open street that was all fatherís governor replied mr. riderhood mollified in mysterious I know what it is to be loud on know what it is to be sought naturally I do I would be a wonder if I did not being by that christen name of Roger which took it Artur my own father which took it from his own father though which of our family plus took it natural I will not in any ways mislead you by undertaking to say and wishing that your ealth may be better than your looks which your inside must be bad indeed if it's on the footing of your out startled by the implication that his face revealed too much of his mind Bradley made an effort to clear his brow it might be worth knowing what this strange man's business was with light wood or Wrayburn or both at such an unseasonable hour he set himself to find out for the man might prove to be a messenger between those two you call it the temple late he remarked with a lumbering show of ease I wish I might I cried mr. riderhood with a hoarse laugh if I weren't are going to say the self same words to you terrorist governor a chance so with me said Bradley looking disconcerted Lee about him and it chants so with me said riderhood but I don't mind telling you how why should I mind telling you I'm a deputy lock-keeper up the river and I was off duty yesterday and I shall be on tomorrow yes yes and I come to London to look harder my private affairs my private affairs is to get appointed to the Loch as regular keeper at firsthand and to have the law of a busted blow bridge steamer which grounded of me ain't going to be grounded and not paid for it Bradley looked at him as though he were claiming to be a ghost the steamer said mr. riderhood obstinately run me down and grounded of me interference on the part of other parties brought me round but I never asked them to bring me round nor yet the steamer never asked them to it I mean to be paid for the life as the steamer cook what was your business at mr lightwood's chambers in the middle of the night asked Bradley eyeing him with distrust that and to get a writing to be fussed handlock keeper I reckon nation in writing being looked for who else thought to give it to me as I says in the letter in my daughter's hand with my mark put to it to make it good in law who but you lawyer lightwood ought to hand over this here sniffing it and who but you ought to go in for damages on my account again the steamer for as I says under my mark I have had trouble enough along of you and your friend if you lawyer Lightwood had back to me good and true and if the t'other governor had took me down correct I says under my mark I should have been worth money at the present time instead of having a barge load of bad names chucked at me and being forced to eat my words which is unsatisfying sort of food whatever a man's appetite and when you mentioned the middle of the night tourist governor growled mr. riderhood winding up his monotonous summary of his wrongs throw your eye on this here bundle under my arm and bear in mind that I'm out walking back to my luck and that the temple laid upon my line of Road Bradley headstones face had changed during this latter recital and he had observed the speaker with a more sustained attention do you know said he after a pause during which they walked on side by side that I believed I could tell you your name if I tried prove your opinion was the answer accompanied with a stop on a stair try your name is riderhood I'm blest if it ain't returned that gentleman but I don't know yarn that's quite another thing said Bradley I never supposed you did as Bradley walked on meditating the road walked on at his side muttering the purport of the muttering was that rogue riderhood by George seemed to be made public property on now on that everyman and seemed to think himself free to handle his name as if it was a street pump the purport of the meditating was here is an instrument can I use it they had walked along the Strand and into Pall Mall and had turned up hill towards Hyde Park Corner Bradley headstone waiting on the pace and leader bright and leaving him to indicate the course so slow were the schoolmasters thoughts and so indistinct his purposes when they were but tributary to the one absorbing purpose or rather when like dark trees under a stormy sky they only lined the long Vista at the end of which he saw those two figures of Rayburn and Lizzie on which his eyes were fixed that at least a good half mile was traversed before he spoke again even then it was only to ask where is your luck 20 mile an odd call it 5 and 20 mile an odd if you like upstream was the sullen reply how was it called plashwater weir mill lock suppose I was to offer you five shillings what then why then I'd take it said mr. riderhood the schoolmaster put his hand in his pocket and produced two half-crowns and placed them in mr riderhood's palm who stopped at a convenient doorstep to ring them both before acknowledging their receipt there's one thing about you Catherine governor said riderhood faring on again as looks well and goes fer you're a ready money man now when he had carefully pocketed the coins on that side of himself which was further us from his new friend what's this for for you why of course I know that said riderhood as arguing something that was self-evident of course I knew very well as no man in his right senses would suppose as anything would make me give it up again when I'd once got it but what do you want for it I don't know that I want anything for it or if I do want anything for it I don't know what it is Bradley gave this answer in a stolid vacant and self-communing manner which mr. Ryder had found very extraordinary you have no goodwill towards this Wrayburn said Bradley coming to the name in a reluctant and forced way as if he were dragged to it no neither have I riderhood nodded and asked is it for that it's as much for that as anything else it's something to be agreed with on a subject that occupies so much of one's thoughts it don't agree with you returned mr. riderhood bluntly no it don't tourist governor and it's no use of looking as if you wanted to make out that it did I tell you it rankles in you it rankles in you rusts and you and PI's ins you say that it does so return Bradley with quivering lips is there no cause for it cause enough I'll bet a pound cried mr. riderhood haven't you yourself declared that the fellow has heaped provocations insults and affronts on you or something to that effect he has done the same by me he has made of venomous insults and affronts from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot are you so hopeful or so stupid as not to know that he and the other will treat your application with contempt and light their cigars with it I shouldn't wonder if they did by George said riderhood turning angry if they did they will let me ask you a question I know something more than your name about you I know something about gaffer hexam when did you last set eyes upon his daughter when did I last set eyes upon his daughter toddler is governor repeated mr. riderhood growing intentionally slower of comprehension as the other quickened in his speech yes not to speak to her to see her anywhere the rogue had got the clue he wanted though he held it with a clumsy hand looking perplexedly at the passionate face as if he were trying to work out a sum in his mind he slowly answered I ain't set eyes upon her never once not since the day of gaffers death you know her well by sight I should think I did know one better and you know him as well who's him asked riderhood taking off his hat and rubbing his forehead as he directed a dull look at his questioner cursed a name is it so agreeable to you that you want to hear it again Oh him said riderhood who had craftily worked the schoolmaster into this corner that he might again take note of his face under its evil possession I'd know him among a thousand did you Bradley tried to ask it quietly but do what might with his voice he could not subdue his face did you ever see them together the rogue had got the clue in both hands now I see them together terrorist governor on the very day when gaffer was towed ashore Bradley could have hidden a reserved piece of information from the sharp eyes of a whole inquisitive class but he could not bail from the eyes of the ignorant riderhood the withheld question next in his breast you shall put it plain if you wanted answered but the rogue doggedly I ain't a-goin of volunteering well was he insolent to her to ask Bradley after a struggle or did he make a show of being kind to her he made a show being most uncommon kind to her said riderhood by George now I his flying off at a tangent was indisputably natural Bradley looked at him for the reason now I think of it said mr. riderhood evasively for he was substituting those words for now I see you so jealous which was the phrase really in his mind perhaps he went and took me down wrong a purpose on account of being sweet upon her the baseness of confirming him in this suspicion or pretence of one or he could not have really entertained it was a lines breadth beyond the mark the schoolmaster had reached the baseness of communing and intriguing with the fellow who would have set that stain upon her and upon her brother too was attained the lines breadth further lay beyond he made no reply but walked on with a lowering face what he might gain by this acquaintance he could not work out in his slow and cumbrous thoughts the man had an injury against the object of his hatred and that was something though it was less than he supposed for there dwelt in the man no such deadly rage and resentment as burned in his own breast the man knew her and might by a fortunate chance see her or hear of her that was something as in listing one pair of eyes and ears the more the man was a bad man and willing enough to be in his pay that was something for his own state and purpose were as bad as bad could be and he seemed to derive a vague support from the possession of a congenial instrument though it might never be used suddenly he stood still and asked riderhood point-blank if he knew where she was clearly he did not know he asked riderhood if he would be willing in case any intelligence of her or of Wrayburn as seeking her or associating with her should fall in his way to communicate it if it were paid for he would be very willing indeed he was again um both he said with an oath and for why cause they had both stood betwixt him and his getting his living by the sweat of his brow it will not be long then said Bradley headstone after some more discourse to this effect before we see one another again here is the country road and here is the day both have come upon me by surprise but colourist governor urged mr. riderhood I don't know where to find you it's of no consequence I know where to find you and I'll come to your lock but tether as governor urged mr. riderhood again no luck ever come yet of a dry acquaintance let's wet it in a mouthful of rum and milk colourist governor Bradley assenting went with him into the early public house haunted by unsavory smells of musty hay and stale straw we're returning carts farmers men got dog fowls of a berry breed and certain human night birds fluttering home to roost were Sala seing themselves after their several manners and we're not one of the night birds hovering about the sloppy bar failed to discern at a glance in the passion wasted night bird with respectable feathers the worst night bird of all an inspiration of affectation for a half drunken Carter going his way led to mr riderhood's being elevated on a high heap of baskets on a wagon and pursuing his journey recumbent on his back with his head on his bundle Bradley then turned to retrace his steps and by-and-by struck off through little traversed ways and by-and-by reached school and home up came the Sun to find him washed and brushed methodically dressed in decent black coat and waistcoat decent formal black tie and pepper-and-salt pantaloons with his decent silver watch in its pocket and it's decent hair guard round his neck a Scholastic huntsman clad for the field with his fresh pack yelping and barking around him yet more really bewitched than the miserable creatures of the much lamented times who accursed themselves of impossibilities under a contagion of horror and the strongly suggested influences of torture he had been ridden hard by evil spirits in the night that was nearly gone he had been spurred and whipped and heavily sweated if a record of the sport had usurped the places of the peaceful text scrum scripture on the wall the most advanced of the scholars might have taken fright and run away from the master end of section 44 of our mutual friend by charles dickens read by Don W Jenkins Rancho San Diego California shaggy bark blogspot.com section 45 of our mutual friend by charles dickens this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to find out how you can volunteer please visit librivox.org section 45 of our mutual friend by charles dickens book the 3rd chapter 12 meaning mischief up came the Sun steaming all over London and in its glorious impartiality even condescending to make prismatic sparkles in the whiskers of mr alfred lammle as he sat at breakfast in need of some brightening from without was mr alfred lammle for he had the air of being dull enough within and looked grievously discontented mrs alfred lammle faced her lord the happy pair of swindlers with the comfortable tie between them that each had swindled the other sat moodily observant of the tablecloth things looked so gloomy in the breakfast room albeit on the sunny side of Sackville Street that any of the family trades people glancing through the blinds might have taken the hint to send in his account and press for it but this indeed most of the family traits people had already done without the hint it seems to me said mrs lammle that you have had no money at all ever since we have been married what seems to you said mr lammle to have been the case may possibly have been the case it doesn't matter was it the speciality of mr and mrs lammle or does it ever obtain with other loving couples in these matrimonial dialogues they never addressed each other but always some invisible presence that appeared to take a station about midway between them perhaps the skeleton in the cupboard comes out to be talked to in such domestic occasions I have never seen any money in the house said mrs lammle to the skeleton except my own annuity that I swear you needn't take the trouble of swearing said mr lammle to the skeleton once more it doesn't matter you never turned your annuity to so good an account good an account in what way asked mrs lammle in the way of getting credit and living well said mr lammle perhaps the skeleton laughed scornfully on being entrusted with this question in this answer certainly mrs lammle did and mr lammle did and what is to happen next asked mrs lammle of the skeleton smash is to happen next said mr lammle to the same authority after this mrs lammle looked disdainfully at the skeleton but without carrying the look on to mr lammle and drooped her eyes after that mr lammle did exactly the same thing and drooped his eyes a servant then entering with toast the skeleton retired into the closet and shut itself up sophronia said mr lammle when the servant had withdrawn and then very much louder sophronia well that tend to me if you please he eyed her sternly until she did attend and then went on I want to take counsel with you come come no more trifling you know our league and covenant we are to work together for our joint interest than your as knowing a hand as I am we shouldn't be together if you were not what's to be done we are hemmed into a corner what shall we do have you no scheme one foot that will bring in anything mr lammle plunged into his whiskers for reflection and came out hopeless know as adventurers we are obliged to play rash games for chances of high winnings and there has been a run of luck against us she was resuming have you nothing when he stopped her we sophronia we we we have we nothing to sell Deuce a bit I have given a Jew a bill of sale on this furniture and he could take it tomorrow today now he would have taken it before now I believe but for fledgeby what has fledgeby to do with him knew him cautioned me against him before I got into his claws couldn't persuade him then on behalf of somebody else do you mean that fledgeby has it all softened him towards you I suffer only ax us us us towards us I mean that the Jew has not yet done what he might have done and that fledgeby takes the credit of having got him to hold his hand do you believe fledgeby sophronia I never believe anybody I never have my dear since I believed you but it looks like it having given her this backhanded reminder of her mutinous observations to the skeleton mr lammle rose from the table perhaps the better to conceal a smile and a white dinner – about his nose and took a turn on the carpet and came to the hearthrug if we could have packed the Brut off with Georgiana but however that spilled milk as lammle standing gathered up the skirts of his dressing gown with his back to the fire said this looking down at his wife she turned pale and looked down at the ground with a sense of disloyalty upon her and perhaps with a sense of personal danger for she was afraid of him even afraid of his hand and afraid of his foot though he had never done her violence she hastened to put herself right in his eyes if we could borrow money Alfred begged money borrow money or steal money it would be all one to us sophronia her husband struck in then we could weather this no doubt to offer another original and undeniable remark sophronia two and two make four but seeing that she was turning something in her mind he gathered up the skirts of his dressing-gown again and tucking them under one arm and collecting his ample whiskers in his other hand kept his eye upon her silently it is natural Alfred she said looking up with some timidity into his face to think in such an emergency of the richest people we know and the simplest just so sophronia the boffins just so sophronia is there nothing to be done with them what is there to be done with them sir pronia she cast about in her thoughts again and he kept his eye upon her as before of course I have repeatedly thought of the boffin and sophronia he resumed after a fruitless silence but I have seen my way to nothing they are well guarded that infernal secretary stands between them and people of Merit he could be got rid of said she brightening a little after more casting about take time sophronia observed her watchful husband in a patronizing manner if working him out of the way could be presented in the light of a service to mr. boffin take time sophronia we have remarked lately Alfred that the old man is turning very suspicious and distrustful miserly – my dear which is far the most unpromising for us nevertheless take time sophrony I take time she took time and then said suppose we should address ourselves to that tendency of him of which we have made ourselves quite sure suppose my conscience and we know what a conscience it is my soul yes suppose my conscience should not allow me to keep to myself any lawyer what that upstart girl told me of the Secretary's having made a declaration to her suppose my conscience should oblige me to repeat it to mr. boffin I rather like that said lammle suppose I so repeated it to mr. boffin as to insinuate that my sensitive delicacy and honour very good words sophronia as to insinuate that our sensitive delicacy and honour she resumed with a bitter stress upon the phrase would not allow us to be silent parties to so mercenary and designing a speculation on the Secretary's part and so gross a breach of faith towards his confiding employer suppose I had imparted my virtuous uneasiness to my excellent husband and he had said in his integrity sophronia you must immediately disclose this to mr. boffin once more sophronia observed lammle changing the leg on which he stood I rather liked that you remark that he is well guarded she pursued I think so too but if this should lead to his discharging his secretary there would be a weak place made go on expounding sophronia I began to like this very much having in our unimpeachable rectitude done him the service of opening his eyes to the treachery of the person he trusted we shall have established a claim upon him and a confidence with him whether it can be made much of or little of we must wait because we can't help it to see probably we shall make the most of it that is to be made probably said lammle do you think it impossible she in the same cold plotting way that you might replace the secretary not impossible sophronia it might be brought about at any rate it might be skillfully led up to she nodded her understanding of the hint as she looked at the fire mr lammle she said musingly not without a slight ironical touch mr lammle would be so delighted to do anything in his power mr lammle himself a man of business as well as a capitalist mr lammle accustomed to be entrusted with the most delicate affairs mr lammle who has managed my own little fortune so admirably but who to be sure began to make his reputation with the advantage of being a man of property above temptation and beyond suspicion mr lammle smiled and even patted her on the head in his sinister relish of the scheme as he stood above her making it the subject of his cogitations he seemed to have twice as much nose on his face as he had ever had in his life he stood pondering and she sat looking at the dusty fire without moving for some time but the moment he began to speak again she looked up with a wince and attended to him as if that double-dealing of hers had been in her mind and the fear were revived in her of his hand or his foot it appears to me so Caronia that you have emitted one branch of the subject perhaps not for women understand women we might ask the girl herself mrs lammle shook her head she has an immensely strong hold upon them both Alfred not to be compared with that of a page secretary but the dear child said lammle with a crooked smile ought to have been open with her benefactor and benefactress the darling love ought to have reposed unbounded confidence in her benefactor and benefactress sophronia shook her head again well women understand women said her husband rather disappointed I don't press it it might be the making of our fortune to make a clean sweep of them both with me to manage the property and my wife to manage the people again shaking her head she returned they will never call with the girl they will never punish the girl we must accept the girl rely upon it well cried lammle shrugging his shoulders so be it only always remember that we don't want her now the sole remaining question is said mrs lammle when shall I begin you cannot begin to soon sophronia as I have told you the condition of our affairs are desperate and may be blown upon at any moment I must secure mr. boffin alone Alfred if his wife was present she would throw all upon the waters I know I shall fail to move him to an angry outburst if his wife was there and as to the girl herself as I am going to betray her confidence she is equally out of the question it wouldn't do to write for an appointment said lammle no certainly not they would wonder among themselves why I wrote and I want to have him wholly unprepared call and ask to see him alone suggested lammle I would rather not do that either leave it to me spare me the little carriage for today and for tomorrow if I don't succeed today and I'll lie in wait for him it was barely settled when a manly form was seen to pass the windows and heard a knock and ring here's fledgeby said lammle he admires you and has a high opinion of you I'll be out coax him to use his influence with the Jew his name is rhea of the house of pubs bein company adding these words under his breath lest he should be audible in the erect ears of mr fledgeby through two keyholes and the hall lammle making signals of discretion to his servant went softly up the stairs mr fledgeby said mrs lammle giving him a very gracious reception so glad to see you my poor dear Alfred who is greatly worried just now about his affairs went out rather early dear mr fledgeby do sit down dear mr fledgeby did sit down and satisfied himself or judging from the expression of his countenance dissatisfied himself that nothing new had occurred in the way of whisker sprouts since he came around the corner from the albany dear mr fledgeby it was needless to mention to you that my poor dear Alfred is much worried about his affairs at present for he has told me what a comfort you are to him in his temporary difficulties and what a great service you have rendered him oh said mr fledgeby yes said mrs lammle I don't know remark mr fledgeby trying a new part of his chair but that lammle might be reserved about his affairs not to me said mrs lammle with deep feeling Oh indeed said fledgeby not to me dear mr fledgeby I am his wife yes I always understood so said mr fledgeby and as the wife of alfred may i dear mr fledgeby wholly without his authority or knowledge as i am sure your discernment will perceive and treat you to continue that great service and once more user well earned influence with mr riah for a little more indulgence the name I have heard Alfred mentioned tossing in his dreams is Riya is it not the name of the creditor is rheostat mr fledgeby with a rather uncompromising accent on his non-substantive Saint Mary Axe pubs being company oh yes exclaimed mrs lammle clasping her hands with a certain gushing wildness Hubbs being company the pleading of the feminine mr fledgeby began and there stuck so long for a word to get on with that mrs lammle offered him sweetly heart no said mr fledgeby gender is ever what a man is bound to listen to and I wish it rested with myself but this Ria's a nasty one mrs lammle he really is not if you speak to him dear mr fledgeby upon my soul and body he is said fledgeby try try once more dearest mr fledgeby what is there you cannot do if you will thank you said fledgeby you're very complimentary to say so I don't mind trying him again at your request but of course I can't answer for the consequences Riya is a tough subject and when he says he'll do a thing he'll do it exactly so cried mrs lammle and when he says to you he'll wait he'll wait she is a devilish clever woman thought let's be I didn't see that opening she spies it out and cuts into it as soon as it's made in point of fact dear mr fledgeby mrs lammle went on in a very interesting manner not to affect concealment of Alfred's hopes to you who are so much his friend there is a distant break in his horizon the figure of speech seemed rather mysterious the fascination fledgeby who said there is a what in his earth alfred dear mr fledgeby discussed with me this very morning before he went out some prospects he has which might entirely change the aspect of his present troubles really said fledgeby oh yes here mrs lammle brought her handkerchief into play and you know dear mr fledgeby you who studied the human heart and studied the world what an affliction it would be to lose position and to lose credit to an ability to tide over a very short time might save all appearances Oh said fledgeby then you think mrs lammle that if lammle got time he wouldn't burst up to use an expression mr fledgeby apologetically explained which is adopted in the money market indeed yes truly truly yes that makes all the difference said fledgeby I'll make a point of seeing Riya at once blessings on you dearest mr fledgeby not at all said fledgeby she gave him her hand the hand said mr fledgeby of a lovely and superior minded female is ever the repayment of a noble action said mrs lammle extremely anxious to get rid of him it wasn't what I was going to say returned fledgeby who never would under any circumstances accept a suggested expression but you're very complimentary may I imprint a a one upon it good morning I may depend upon your promptitude dearest mr fledgeby said fledgeby looking back at the door and respectfully kissing his hand you may depend upon it in fact mr fledgeby sped on his errand of mercy through the streets at so brisk a rate that his feet might have been winged by all the good spirits that weight on generosity they might have taken up their station in his breast too for he was blithe and merry there was quite a fresh trill in his voice when arriving at the Counting house and Saint Mary Axe and finding it for the moment empty heat rolled forth at the foot of the staircase now Judah what are you up to there the old man appeared with his accustomed deference hallo said fledgeby falling back with a wink you mean mischief Jerusalem the old man raised his eyes inquiringly yes you do you said fledgeby oh you sinner oh you Dodger what you're going to act upon that bill of sale at lammles are you nothing will turn you won't it you won't be put off for another single minute won't you ordered to immediate action by the Masters tone and look the old man took up his hat from the little corner where it lay you have been told that he might pull through it if you didn't go in to win wide-awake have you said fledgeby and it's not your game that he should pull through it ain't it you having got security and there being enough to pay you owe you Jew the old man stood irresolute and uncertain for a moment as if there might be further instructions for him in reserve do I go sir he at length asked in a low voice asks me if he is going exclaimed fledgeby asks me if he didn't know his own purpose asks me as if he hadn't got his hat on ready asks me as if his sharp old eye Wyatt cuts like a knife wasn't looking at his walking stick by the door do I go sir do you go sneered fledgeby yes you do go toddle Judah end of section 45 of our mutual friend by charles dickens read by don w jenkins rancho san diego california shaggy bark dot blog spot.com section 46 of our mutual friend by charles dickens this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to find out how you can volunteer please visit librivox.org section 46 of our mutual friend by charles dickens book the third chapter 13 give a dog a bad name and hang him fascination fledgeby left alone in the Counting house strolled about with his hat on one side whistling and investigating the drawers and prying here and there for any small evidences of his being cheated but could find none not his merit that he don't cheat me was mr fledgeby's commentary delivered with a wink but my precaution he then with a lazy grandeur asserted his rights as lord of pubsey and company by poking his cane at the stools and boxes and spitting in the fireplace and so loitering royally to the window and looked out into the narrow street with his small eyes just peering over the top of pubsey and companies blind as a blind in more senses than one it reminded him that he was alone in the Counting house but the front door opened he was moving away to shut it lest he should be in judiciously identified with the establishment when he was stopped by someone coming into the door this someone was the dolls dressmaker with a little basket on her arm and her crutch-stick in her hand her keen eyes had a spied mr. fledgeby before mr fledgeby had to spied her and he was paralyzed in his purpose of shutting her out not so much by her approaching the door as by her favouring him with a shower of nods the instant he saw her this advantage she improved by hobbling up the steps with such dispatch that before mr. fledgeby could take measures for her finding nobody at home she was face to face with him in the Counting house hope I see you well sir said Miss Wren mr. riah in fledgeby had dropped into a chair in the attitude of one waiting wearily I suppose he will be back soon he replied he has cut out and left me expecting him back in an odd way haven't I seen you before or once before if you had your eyesight replied miss Wren the conditional clause in an undertone when you were carrying on some games up at the top of the house I remember how is your friend I have more friends than one sir I hope replied miss Wren which friend never mind said mr fledgeby shutting up one eye any of your friends all of your friends are they pretty tolerable somewhat confounded miss Wren parried the pleasantry and sat down in a corner behind the door with her basket in her lap by-and-by she said breaking along and patient silence I beg your pardon sir but I am used to find mr riah at this time and so I generally come at this time I only want to buy my poor little two shillings worth of waste perhaps you'll kindly let me have it and I'll trot off to my work I let you have it said mr fledgeby turning his head towards her for he had been sitting blinking at the light and feeling his cheek why you don't really suppose that I have anything to do with the place or the business do you suppose exclaimed miss Wren he said that day you were the master the old in black said riah said why he'd say anything well but you said so too returned miss Wren or at least you took on like the master and didn't contradict him one of his dodges said mr fledgeby with a cool and contemptuous shrug he's made of dodges he said to me come up to the top of the house sir and I'll show you a handsome girl but I shall call you the master so I went up to the top of the house and he showed me the handsome girl very well worth looking at she was and I was called the master I don't know why I daresay he don't he loves a dodj for its own sake being added mr fledgeby after casting about for an expressive phrase the DA jurist of all the Dodgers oh my head cried the dolls dressmaker holding it with both her hands as if it were cracking you can't mean what you say I can my little woman retorted fledgeby and I do I assure you this repudiation was not only an act of liberabit policy on fledgeby's part in case of his being surprised by any other caller but was also a retort upon miss wren for her over sharpness and a pleasant instance of his humour as regarded the old Jew he has got a bad name as an old Jew and he has paid for the use of it and I'll have my money's worth out of him this was fledgeby's habitual reflection in the way of business and it was sharpened just now by the old man's presuming to have a secret from him though of the secret itself as annoying somebody else whom he disliked he by no means disapproved miss Wren with a fallen countenance sat behind the door looking thoughtfully of the ground and the long and patient silence had again set in for some time when the expression of mr fledgeby's faced betoken that through the upper portion of the door which was of glass he saw someone faltering on the brink of the counting-house presently there was a rustle and a tap and then some more rustling in another tab fledgeby taking no notice the door was at length softly open and the dried face of a mild little elderly gentleman looked in mr riah said this visitor very politely I am waiting for him sir returned mr fledgeby he went out and left me here I expect him back every minute perhaps you had better take a chair the gentleman took a chair and put his hand to his forehead as if he were in a melancholy frame of mind mr fledgeby eyed him aside and seemed to relish his attitude a fine day sir remarked fledgeby the little dried gentleman was so occupied with his own depressed reflections that he did not notice the remark until the sound of mr fledgeby's voice had died out of the counting-house then he started and said I beg your pardon sir I fear you spoke to me I did remark fledgeby a little louder than before it was a fine day I beg your pardon I beg your pardon yes again the little dried gentleman put his hand to his forehead and again mr fledgeby seemed to enjoy his doing it when the gentleman changed his attitude with a sigh fledgeby spake with a grin mr. Twemlow I think the dried gentleman see much surprised had the pleasure of dining with you at lammles said fledgeby even have the honor of being a connection of yours an unexpected sort of place this is to meet in but one never knows when one gets into the city what people one might knock up against I hope you have your health and are enjoying yourself there might have been a touch of impertinence in the last words on the other hand it might have been but the native grace of mr fledgeby's manner mr fledgeby sat on a stool with a foot on the rail of another stool and his hat on mr twemlow had uncovered on looking in at the door and remained so now the conscientious Twemlow knowing what he had done to thwart the gracious fledgeby was particularly disconcerted by this encounter he was as ill at ease as a gentleman well could be he felt himself bound to conduct himself stiffly towards fledgeby and he made him a distant bow fledgeby made his small eyes smaller in taking special note of his manner the dolls dressmaker sat in her corner behind the door with her eyes on the ground and her hands folded in her basket holding her crutch-stick between them and appearing to take no heed of anything he's a long time muttered mr fledgeby looking at his watch what time may you make it mr. Twemlow mr. Twemlow made it ten minutes past 12:00 sir as near as a toucher assented fledgeby I hope mr. Twemlow your business here may be of a more agreeable character than mine thank you sir said mr twemlow fledgeby again made his small eyes smaller as he glanced with great complacency at Twemlow who was timorously tapping the table with a folded letter what I know of mr riah said fledgeby with a very disparaging utterance of his name leads me to believe that this is about the shop for disagreeable business I have always found him the biting ax stand tightest screw in London mr. Twemlow acknowledged the remark with a little distant bow it evidently made him nervous so much so pursued fledgeby that if it wasn't to be true to a friend nobody should catch me waiting here a single minute but if you have friends and adversity stand by them I is what I say an act up do the equitable Twemlow felt that this sentiment irrespective of the utterer demanded his cordial assent you are very right sir he rejoined the spirit you indicate the generous and manly discourse glad to have your approbation returned fledgeby it's a coincidence mr. Twemlow here he descended from his perch and sauntered toward him that the friends I am standing by today are the friends at whose house I met you the lammles she's a very taking and agreeable woman conscience smoked the gentle Twemlow pale yes he said she is and when she appealed to me this morning to come and try what I could do to pacify their creditor this mr. riah that I certainly have gained some little influence with in transacting business for another friend but nothing likes so much as she supposes and when a woman like that spoke to me as her dearest mr fledgeby and shed tears why what could I do you know Twemlow gasped nothing but nothing but come and so I came but why said fledgeby putting his hands in his pockets and counterfeiting deep meditation why reassured have started up when I told him that the lammles entreated him to hold over a bill of sale he has on all their effects and why he should have cut out saying he would be back directly and why he should have left me here alone so long I cannot understand the chivalrous Twemlow Knight of the simple heart was not in a condition to offer any suggestion he was too penitent too remorseful for the first time in his life he had done an underhanded action and he had done wrong he had secretly interposed against this confiding young man for no better real reason than because the young man's ways were not his ways but the confiding young man proceeded to heap coals of fire on his sensitive head I beg your pardon mr. Twemlow you see I am acquainted with the nature of the affairs that are transacted here is there anything I can do for you here you have always been brought up as a gentleman and never as a man of business another touch of possible impertinence in this place and perhaps you are but a poor man of business what else is to be expected I am ever a poorer man of business than I am a man sir returned to in law and I could hardly express my deficiency in a stronger way I really do not so much as clearly understand my position in the matter on which I am brought here but there are reasons which make me very delicate of accepting your assistance I am greatly greatly disinclined to profit by it I don't deserve it good childish creature condemned to a passage through the world by such narrow little dimly lighted ways and picking up so few specks or spots on the road perhaps said fledgeby you may be a little proud of entering on the topic having been brought up as a gentleman it's not that sir returned Twemlow it's not that I hope I distinguish between true pride and false pride I have no pride at all myself said fledgeby and perhaps I don't cut things so finest to no one from t'other but I know this is a place where even a man of business needs is what's about him and if mine can be of any use to you here you're welcome to them you are very good said Twemlow faltering but I am most unwilling I don't you know proceeded fledgeby with an ill-favored glance entertained the vanity of supposing that my wits could be of any use to you in society but they might be here you cultivate society in society cultivate you but mr. riah is not society in society mr. riah is kept dark a Twemlow from law much disturbed with his hand fluttering about his forehead replied quite true the confiding young man besought him to state his case the innocent Twemlow expecting fledgeby to be astounded by what he should unfold and not for an instant conceiving the possibility of its happening every day but treating of it as a terrible phenomenon occurring in the course of Ages related how that he had had a deceased friend married civil officer with a family who had wanted money for change of place on change of post and how he Twemlow had given him his name with the usual but in the eyes of Twemlow almost incredible result that he had been left to repay what he had never had how in the course of years he had reduced the principle by trifling sums having said promo always to observe rate economy being in the enjoyment of a fixed income limited and extent and that depending on the munificence of a certain nobleman and had always pinched the full interest out of himself with punctual pinches how he had come in course of time to look upon this one only debt of his life as a regular quarterly drawback and no worse when his name had someway fallen into the possession of mr. riah who had sent him notice to redeem it by paying up in full and one plump son or take tremendous consequences this with hazy remembrances of how he had been carried to some office to confess judgment as he recollected the phrase and how he had been carried to another office where his life was assured for somebody not wholly unconnected with the sherry trade whom he remembered by the remarkable circumstance that he had a Stradivarius violin to dispose of and also a Madonna formed the sum and substance of mr twemlow's narrative through which stock the shadow of the awful snigsworth eyed afar off by moneylenders as security in the midst and menacing crumb law with his baronial truncheon to all mr fledgeby listened with the modest gravity becoming a confiding young man who knew it all beforehand and when it was finished seriously shook his head I don't like mr twemlow said fledgeby I don't like Ria's calling in the principal if he's determined to call it in it must come but supposing sir said Twemlow downcast that it can't come then retorted fledgeby you must go you know where asked Twemlow faintly to prison returned fledgeby where at mr twemlow leaned his innocent head upon his hand and moaned a little moan of distress and disgrace however said fledgeby appearing to pluck up his spirits will hope it's not so bad as that comes to if you'll allow me I'll mention to mr. riah when he comes in who you are and I'll tell him you're my friend and I'll say my say for you instead of your saying it for yourself I may be able to do it in a more businesslike way you won't consider it a Liberty I thank you again and again sir said Twemlow I am strong strongly disinclined to avail myself of your generosity though my helplessness yields for I cannot but feel that I to put it in the mildest form of speech that I have done nothing to deserve it where can he be muttered fledgeby referring to his watch again what can he have gone out for did you ever see him mr. Krum no never he has a thorough Jew to look at but he has a more thorough Jew to deal with he's worst when he's quiet if he's quiet I shall take it as a very bad sign keep your eye upon him when he comes in and if he's quiet don't be hopeful here he is he looks quiet but these words which had the effect of causing the harmless Twemlow painful agitation mr fledgeby withdrew to his former post and the old man entered the Counting house why mr riah said fledgeby i thought you were lost the old man glancing at the stranger stood Stockstill he perceived that his master was leading up to the orders he was to take and he waited to understand them I really thought repeated fledgeby slowly that you were lost mr riah why now I look at you but no you can't have done it no you can't have done it had in hand the old man lifted his head and looked distressfully at fledgeby as seeking to know what new moral burden he was to bear you can't have brushed out to get the start of everybody else and put on that bill of sale at lammles said let me say you haven't mr riah sir i have replied the old man in a low voice oh my i cried fledgeby cut that dear dear dear well I knew you were a hard customer mr. riah but I never thought you were as hard as that sir said the old man with great uneasiness I do as I am directed I am not the principal here I am but the agent of a superior and I have no choice no power don't say so retorted fledgeby secretly exultant as the old man stretched out his hands with a shrinking action of defending himself against the sharp construction of the two observers don't play the tune of the trade mr. riah you have a right to get in your debts if you're determined to do it but don't pretend what everyone in your line regularly pretends at least don't do it to me why should you mr. riah you know I know all about – the old man clasped the skirt of his long coat with his disengaged hand and directed a wistful look at fledgeby and don't said fledgeby don't I entreat you as a favour mr. riah be so devilish me for I know what will follow if you are look here mr. riah this gentleman is mr. Twemlow the Jew turned to him and bowed the poor lamb bowed and returned polite and terrified I have made such a failure proceeded fledgeby in trying to do anything with you for my friend lammle but I've hardly a hope of doing anything with you for my friend and connection indeed mr. Twemlow but I do think that if you would do a favour for anybody you would for me and I won't fail for one of trying and I passed my promise to mr. Twemlow besides now mr. riah here is mr. Twemlow always good for his interests always coming up to time always paying his little way now why should you press mr. Twemlow you can't have any spite against mr. Twemlow why not be easy with mr. Twemlow the old man looked into fledgeby's little eyes for any sign of leave to be easy with mr. Twemlow but there was no sign in them mr. Twemlow is no connexion of yours mr riah said fledgeby you can't want to be even with him for having through life gone in for a gentleman and hung on to his family if mr. Twemlow has a contempt for business what can it matter to you but pardon me interposed the gentle victim I have not I should consider it a presumption there mr. riah said fledgeby isn't that handsome we said come make terms with me for mr. Twemlow the old man looked again for any sign of permission despair the poor little gentleman no mr fledgeby meant him to be wrecked I am very sorry mr. Twemlow said riah I have my instructions I am invested with no authority for diverging with them the money must be paid in full and slapped down do you mean mr riah asked fledgeby to make things quite explicit in full sir and at once was Ria's answer mr fledgeby shook his head deploring Liat Twemlow and mutely expressed in reference to the venerable figures standing before him with eyes upon the ground what a monster of an Israelite this is mr. riah said fledgeby the old man lifted up his eyes once more to the little eyes in mr fledgeby's head with some reviving hope that the sign might be coming yet mr riah its of no use my holding back the fact there's a certain great party in the background in mr twemlow's case and you know it i know it the old man admitted now I'll put it as a plain point of business mr riah are you fully determined as a plain point of business either to have that said great party security or that said great parties money fully determined answered Riya as he read his master's face and learnt the book not at all caring for and indeed as it seems to me rather enjoying said fledgeby with peculiar unction that precious kick up a row that will come off between mr. Twemlow and the said great party this required no answer and received none poor Twemlow who had betrayed the keenest mental terrors since his noble kinsman loomed in the perspective rose with the side to take his departure I thank you very much sir he said offering fledgeby his feverish hand you have done me an unmerited service thank you thank you don't mention it answered fledgeby it's a failure so far but I'll stay behind and take another touch of mr. riah do not deceive yourself mr. Twemlow said the Jew then addressing him directly for the first time there is no hope for you you must expect no leniency here you must pay in full and you cannot pay too promptly or you will be put into heavy charges trust nothing to me sir money money money money had said these words in an emphatic manner he acknowledged mr. Twemlow still polite motion of his head and that amiable little worthy took his departure in the lowest spirits fascination fledgeby was in such a merry vain when the Counting house was cleared of him that he had nothing for it but to go to the window and leaned his arms on the frame of the blind and have his silent laugh out with his back to his subordinate when he turned around again with a composed countenance his subordinates still stood in the same place and the dolls dressmaker sat behind the door with a look of horror hello mr fledgeby you forget this young lady mr. riah and she has been waiting long enough to sell her her waist please and give her good measure if you can make up your mind to do the liberal thing for once he looked on for our time as a jew filled her little basket with such scraps as she was used to buy but his merry vain came on again he was obliged to turn around to the window once more and leaned his arms on the blind there my Cinderella dear said the old man in a whisper with a worn-out look the baskets full now bless you and get you gone don't call me your Cinderella dear returned miss Wren oh you cruel godmother she shook that emphatic little forefinger of hers in his face at parting as earnestly and reproachfully as she had ever shaken it at her grim old child at home you are not the godmother at all said she you are the wolf in the forest the wicked wolf and if ever my dear Lizzy is sold and betrayed I shall know who sold and betrayed her end of section 46 of our mutual friend by charles dickens read by don w jenkins rancho san diego california shaggy bark blogspot.com section 47 of our mutual friend by charles dickens this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to find out how you can volunteer please visit librivox.org section 47 of our mutual friend by charles dickens book the third chapter fourteen mr wegg prepares a grindstone for mr. boffins nose having assisted at a few more expositions of the lives of misers mr. Venus became almost indispensable through the evenings at the Bower the circumstances of having another listener to the wonders on folded by Wegg or as it were another calculator to cast up the guineas found in teapots chimneys racks and majors and other such banks of deposits seemed greatly to heighten mr. boffins enjoyment while silas wegg for his part though of a jealous temperament which might under ordinary circumstances have resented the anatomist getting into favor was so very anxious to keep his eye on that gentleman lest being too much left to himself he should be tempted to play any tricks with the precious document in his keeping that he never lost an opportunity of commending him to mr. boffins notice as a third party whose company was much to be desired another friendly demonstration towards him mr. Wegg now regularly gratified after each sitting was over and the patron had departed mr. Wegg invariably saw mr. Venus home to be sure he has invariably requested to be refreshed with the sight of the paper in which he was a joint proprietor but he never failed to remark that it was the great pleasure he derived from mr. Venus's improving society which hadn't sensibly lured him round to Clerkenwell again and that finding himself once more attracted to the spot by the social powers of mr. v he would beg leave to go through that little incidental procedure as a matter of form for well I know sir mr. Wegg would add that a man of your delicate mind would wish to be checked off whenever the opportunity arises and it is not for me to balk your feelings a certain rustiness and mr. Venus which never became so lubricated by the oil of mr. Wegg but that he turned under the screw in a creaking and stiff manner was very noticeable at about this period while assisting at the literary evenings he even went so far on two or three occasions as to correct mr. Wegg when he grossly mispronounced a word or made nonsense of a passage in so much that mr. Wegg took to surveying his car in the day and to making arrangements for getting round rocks at night instead of running straight upon them of the slightest anatomical reference he became particularly shy and if he saw a bone a head would go any distance out of his way rather than mention it by name the adverse destinies are deigned that one evening mr. wegg's laboring bark became beset by polish syllables and embarrassed among a perfect archipelago of hard words it became necessary to take soundings every minute and to feel the way with the greatest caution mr. wegg's attention was fully employed advantage was taken of this dilemma by mr. Venus to pass a scrap of paper into mr. boffins hand and lay his finger on his own lip when mr. boffin got home at night he found that the paper contained mr. Venus's card and these words should be glad to be honored with a call respecting business of your own about dusk on an early evening the very next evening saw mr. boffin peeping in at the preserved frogs and mr. Venus's shop window and saw mr. Venus's spying mr. boffin with the readiness of one on the alert and beckoning that gentleman into his interior responding mr. boffin was invited to seat himself on the box of human miscellanies before the fire and did so looking round the place with admiring eyes the fire being low and fitful and the dusk gloomy the whole stock seemed to be winking and blinking with both eyes as mr. Venus did the French gentleman though he had no eyes was not at all behindhand but appeared as the flame rose and fell to open and shut his no eyes with the regularity of the glass eyed dogs and ducks and birds the big-headed babies were equally obliging in lending their grotesque aid to the general effect you see mr. Venus I've lost no time said Mr boffin Here I am here you are sir assented mr. Venus I don't like secrecy pursued mr. boffin now not in general way I don't but I daresay you'll show me good reason for being secret so far I think I shall sir returned Venus good said Mr boffin you don't expect Wegg I take it for granted no sir I expect no one but the present company mr. boffin glanced about him as accepting under that inclusive denomination the French gentleman in the circle in which he didn't move and repeated the present company sir said Mr Venus before entering upon business I shall have to ask you for your word and honour that we are in confidence let's wait a bit and understand what the expression means answered mr. boffin in confidence for how long and confidence forever in a day I take your hint sirs that Venus you think you might consider the business when you came to know it to be of a nature incompatible with confidence on your part I might said Mr boffin with a cautious look true sir well sir observed Venus after clutching at his dusty hair to brighten his ideas let us put it another way I opened the business with you relying upon your honor not to do anything in it and not to mention me in it without my knowledge that sounds fair said Mr boffin I agree to that I have your word and honour sir my good fellow retorted mr. boffin you have my word and how you can have that without my honour too I don't know I've sorted a lot of dust in my time but I never knew the two things going to separate heaps this remark seemed rather to abash mr. Venus he hesitated and said very true sir and again very true sir before resuming the thread of his discourse mr. boffin if I confess to you that I fell into a proposal of which you were the subject and of which you oughtn't to have been the subject you will allow me to mention and will please take into favourable consideration that I was in a crushed state of mind at the time the golden dustman with his hands folded on top of his stout stick with his chin resting upon them and with something leering and whimsical in his eyes gave a nod and said quite so Venus that proposal sir was a conspiring breach of your confidence to such an extent that I ought at once to have made it known to you but I didn't mr. boffin and I fell into it without moving I our finger mr. boffin gave another nod and placidly repeated quite so Venus not that I was ever hearty in it sir the penitent anatomist went on or that I ever viewed myself with anything but reproach for having turned out of the paths of science and into the paths of he was going to say villainy but unwilling to press too hard upon himself substituted with great emphasis waggery Placid and whimsical of look as ever mr. boffin answered quite so Venus and now sir said Venus having prepared your mind in the rough I will articulate the details with which brief professional exordium he entered on the history of the friendly move and truly recounted it one might have thought that it would have extracted some show of surprise or anger or other emotion from mr. boffin but it extracted nothing beyond his former comment quite so Venus I have astonished you sir I believe said Mr Venus pausing dubiously mr. boffin simply answered as aforesaid quite so Venus by this time the astonishment was all on the other side it did not however so continue for when Venus passed through wegg's discovery and from that to there having seen mr. boffin dig up the Dutch bottle that gentleman changed colour changed his attitude became extremely restless and ended when Venus ended by being in a state of manifest anxiety trepidation and confusion now sir said Venus finishing off you best know what was in that Dutch bottle and why you dug it up and took it away I don't pretend to know anything more about it then I saw all I know is this I am proud of my calling after all though it has been attended by one dreadful drawback which has told upon my heart and almost equally upon my skeleton and I mean to live by my calling putting the same meaning into other words I do not mean to turn a single dishonest penny by this affair as the best amends I can make you for having ever gone into it I make known to you as a warning what wag has found out my opinion is that wag is not to be silenced at a modest price and I build that opinion on his beginning to dispose of your property the moment he knew his power whether it's worth your while to silence him at any price you will decide for yourself and take your measures accordingly as far as I am concerned I have no price if I am ever called upon for the truth I tell it but I want to do no more than I have now done and ended thankee Venus said Mr boffin with a hearty grip of his hand Thank You Venus thankee Venus and then walked up and down the Little Shop in great agitation but look here Venus he by and by resume nervously sitting down again if I have to buy Wegg up I shan't buy him any cheaper for your being out of it instead of his having half the money it was to have been half I suppose share and share alike it was to have been half sir answered Venus instead of that he'll now have all I shall pay the same if not more for you tell me he's an unconscionable dog a ravenous rascal he is said Venus don't you think Venus insinuated mr. boffin after looking at the fire for a while don't you feel as if you might like to pretend to be in it till Wegg was bought up and then ease your mind by handing over to me what you had made believed to pocket no I don't serve returned Venus very positively not to make amends insinuated mr. boffin no sir it seems to me after maturely thinking it over that the best amends for having got out of the square is to get back into the square hmm is mr. boffin when you say the square you mean I mean said Venus stoutly and shortly though right it appears to me he said Mr boffin rumbling over the fire in an injured manner that the right is with me if it's anywhere I have much more write to the old man's money than the crown can ever have what was the crown to him except the Kings taxes whereas me and my wife we was all in all to him mr. Venus with his head upon his hands rendered melancholy by the contemplation of mr. boffins avarice only murmured to steep himself in the luxury of that frame of mind she did not wish so to regard herself nor yet to be so regarded and how am I to live asked mr. boffin piteously if I'm to be going buying fellows up out of that little that I've got and how am I just said about it when am I to get my money ready when am I to make a bid you haven't told me when he threatens to drop down upon me Venus explained under what conditions and with what views the dropping down upon mr. boffin was held over until the mountains should be cleared away mr. boffin listened attentively I suppose said he with a gleam of Hope there's no doubt about the genuineness and date of this confounded will none whatever said mr. Venus where might it be deposited at present asked mr. boffin in a wheedling tone it's in my possession sir is it he cried with great eagerness now for any liberal sum of money that could be agreed upon Venus would you put it in the fire no sir I wouldn't interrupt it mr. Venus nor pass it over to me that would be the same thing no sir said Mr Venus the golden dustman seemed about to pursue these questions when a stumping noise was heard outside coming towards the door hush here's Wegg said Venus get behind the young alligator in the corner mr. boffin and judge him for yourself I won't light a candle till he's gone there'll only be the glow of the fire wags well-acquainted with the alligator and he won't take particular notice of him draw your legs in mr. boffin at present I see a pair of shoes at the end of his tail get your head well behind his smile mr. boffin and you'll like comfortable there you'll find plenty of room behind his smile he's a little dusty but he's very like you in tone are you right sir mr. boffin had but whispered in primitive response when wagon came stumping in partner said that gentleman in a sprightly manner how's yourself tolerable returned mr. Venus not much to boast of indeed said Wegg sorry partner that you're not picking up faster but your souls too large for your body sir that's where it is and how is our stock in trade partner safe binds a fine partner is that about it do you wish to see it asked Venus if you please partner said Wegg rubbing his hands I wish to see it gently with yourself or in similar words to some that was set to music sometime back I wished you to see it with your eyes and I'll pledge with mine turning his back and turning a key mr. Venus produced the document holding it by his usual corner mr. Wegg holding on by the opposite corner sat down in the seat so lately vacated by mr. boffin and looked it over alright sir he slowly and unwillingly admitted in his reluctance to loose his hold all right and greedily watched his partner as he turned his back again and turned his key again there's nothing new I suppose said Venus resuming his low chair behind the counter yes there is sir replied Wegg there was something new this morning that foxy old grasper and gripe er mr. boffin inquired venus with a glance toward the alligators yard r2 of smile mr. be blowed cried Wegg yielding to his honest indignation boffin dusty boffin that foxy old grunter and grinder sir turns into the yard this morning to meddle with our property a menial tool of his own a young man by the name of sloppy a god when I say to him what do you want here young man this is a private yard he pulls out a paper from boffins other blackguard the one I was passed over for this is to authorize sloppy to overlook the carting and to watch the work that's pretty strong I think mr. Venus remember he doesn't know yet a bar claim on the property suggested Venus then he must have a hint of it said Wegg and a strong one that'll jog his terrors a bit give him an inch and he'll take an ell let him alone this time and what'll he do with our property next and I tell you what mr. Venus it comes to this I must be overbearing with boffin or I shall fly into several pieces I can't contain myself when I look at him every time I see him putting his hand in his pocket I see him putting it into my pocket every time I hear him jingling his money I hear him taking liberties with my money flesh and blood can't bear it no said Mr Wegg greatly exasperated and I'll go further a wooden leg can't bear it but mr wegg urged venus it was your own idea that he should not be exploded upon until the mountains were carted away but it was likewise my idea mr. Venus retorted Wegg that if he came sneaking and sniffing about the property he should be threatened given to understand that he has no right to it and be made our slave wasn't that my idea mr. Venus it certainly was mr. Wegg it certainly was as you say partner assented wagon put into a better humour by the ready admission very well I consider his planting one of his menial tools in the yard and act of sneaking and sniffing and his no shall be put to the grindstone for it it was not your fault mr. Wegg I must admit said Venus that he got off with the Dutch bottle that night as you handsomely say again partner no it was not my fault I'd have had that bottle out of him was it to be borne that he should come like a thief in the dark digging among stuff that was far more ours than his seeing that we could deprive him of every grain of it if he didn't buy us at our own figure and carrying off treasure from its bowels no it was not to be borne and for that to his nose shall be put to the grindstone how do you propose to do it mr. Wegg to put his nose to the grindstone I propose returned that estimable man to insult him openly and if looking into this eye of mine he dares to offer a word and answer to retort upon him before he can take his breath add another word to that you dust the old dog and you're a beggar suppose he says nothing mr. Wegg then replied Wegg we shall have come to an understanding with bear little trouble and I'll break him and drive him mr. Venus I'll put him in harness and I'll bear him up tight and I'll break him and drive him the harder the old dust is driven sir the higher he'll pay and I mean to be paid hi mr. Venus I promise you you speak quite revengefully mr. Wegg revengefully sir is that for him that I have declined and falled night after night and is it for his pleasure that I waited at home of an evening like a set of skittles to be set up and knocked over set up and knocked over by whatever balls or books he chose to bring against me why I'm a hundred times the man he is sir 500 times perhaps it was with the malicious intent of urging him on to his worst that mr. Venus looked as if he doubted that what was it outside the house at present occupied – its disgraced by that minion of fortune and worm of the hour said Wegg falling back upon his strongest terms of reprobation and slapping the counter that I silas wegg 500 times the man he ever was sat in all weathers waiting for an errand or a customer was it outside that very house as I first set eyes upon him rolling in the lap of luxury when I was selling Halfpenny ballads there for a living and am I to grovel in the dust for him to walk over no there was a grin upon the ghastly countenance of the French gentleman under the influence of the firelight as if he were computing how many thousand slanderers and traitors arrayed themselves against the fortunate on premises exactly answering those of mr. Wegg one might have fancied that the big-headed babies were toppling over with their hydrocephalic attempts to reckon up the children of men who transform their benefactors into their injurers by the same process the yard or two of smile on the part of the alligator might have been invested with the meaning all about this was quite familiar knowledge down in the depths of the slime ages ago but said Wegg possibly with some slight perception to the foregoing effect your speaking countenance remarks mr. Venus that I'm duller and savage or than usual perhaps I have allowed myself to brood too much begone dole care his gone sir I've looked in upon you and Empire resumes her swayed for as the song says subject to your correction sir when the heart of a man is depressed with cares the mist is dispelled that Venus appears like the notes of a fiddle you sweetly sweetly raises our spirits and charms our ears good night sir I shall have a word or two to say to you mr. Wegg before long remarked Venus respecting my share in the project we've been speaking of my time sir returned Wegg is yours in the meanwhile let it be fully understood that I shall not neglect bringing the grindstone to bear nor yet bringing dusty boffins nose do it his nose once brought to it shall be held to it by these hands mr. Venus till the sparks flies out in showers with this agreeable promise Wegg stumped out and shut the shop door after him wait till I light a candle mr. boffin said Venus and you'll come out more comfortable so he lighting a candle and holding it up at arm's length mr. boffin disengaged himself from behind the alligators smile with an expression of countenance so very downcast that it not only appeared as if the alligator had the whole of the joke to himself but further as if it had been conceived and executed at mr. boffins expense that's a treacherous fellow said Mr boffin besting his arms and legs as he came forth the alligator having been but musty company that's a dreadful fellow the alligator sir said Venus no Venus no the serpent you'll have the goodness to notice mr. boffin remarked Venus but I said nothing to him about my going out of the affair altogether because I didn't wish to take you anyways by surprise but I can't be too soon out of it for my satisfaction mr. boffin and I now put it to you and it will sit your views for me to retire Thank You Venus thankee Venus but I don't know what to say returned mr. boffin I don't know what to do he'll drop down on me anyway he seems fully determined to drop down don't he mr. Venus opined that such was clearly his intention you might be a sort of protection for me if you remained in it said Mr boffin you might stand betwixt him and me and take the edge off him don't you feel as if he could make a show of remaining in it Venus till I had time to turn myself around Venus naturally inquired how long mr. boffin thought it might take him to turn himself round I am sure I don't know was the answer given quite at a loss everything is so at sixes and sevens if I had never come into the property I shouldn't have minded but being in it it would be very trying to be turned out now don't you acknowledge that it would Venus mr. Venus prefered he said to leave mr. boffin to arrive at his own conclusions on that delicate question I am sure I don't know what to do said Mr boffin if I ask advice of anyone else it's only letting in another person to be bought out and then I shall be ruined that way and might as well have given up the property and gone slapped to the workhouse if I was to take advice of my young man a rokesmith I should have to buy him out sooner or later of course he'd drop down upon me like Wegg I was brought into the world to be dropped down upon it appears to me mr. Venus listened to these lamentations in silence while mr. boffin jogged to and fro holding his pockets as if he had a pain in them after all you haven't said what you mean to do yourself Venus when you do go out of it how do you mean to go Venus replied that his wagon found the document and handed it to him it was his intention to hand it back to Wegg with the declaration that he himself would have nothing to say to it or do with it and that Wegg must act as he chose and take the consequences and then he drops down with his whole weight upon me cried mr. boffin ruefully I'd sooner be dropped upon by you than by him or even by you gently than by him alone mr. Venus could only repeat that it was his fixed intention to be take himself to the paths of science and to walk in the same all the days of his life not dropping down upon his fellow creatures until they were deceased and then only to articulate them to the best of his humble ability how long could you be persuaded to keep up the appearance of remaining in it asked mr. boffin retiring on his other idea could you be got to do so till the mountains are gone no that would protract the mental uneasiness of mr. Venus too long he said not if I was to show you reason now demanded mr. boffin not if I was to show you good and sufficient reason if by good and sufficient reason mr. boffin meant honest and unimpeachable reason that might weigh with mr. Venus against his personal wishes and convenience but he must add that he saw no opening of the possibility of such reason being shown him come and see me Venus said mr. boffin at my house is the reason there sir asked mr. Venus with an incredulous smile and blink it may be or may not be said Mr boffin just as you view it but in the meantime don't go out of the matter look here do this give me your word that you won't take any steps with Wegg without my knowledge just as I have given you my word that I won't without yours done mr. boffin said Venus after brief consideration thankee Venus thankee Venus done when shall I come to see you mr. boffin when you like the sooner the better I must be going now good night Venus good night sir a good night to the rest of the present company said Mr boffin glancing round the shop they make a queer show Venus and I should like to be better acquainted with them some day good night Venus good night Thank You Venus thankee Venus with that he jogged out into the street and jogged upon his homeward way now I wonder he meditated as he went along nursing his stick whether it can be that Venus is setting himself to get the better of Wegg whether it can be that he means when I have bought Wegg out to have me all to himself and depict me clean to the bones it was a cunning and suspicious idea quite in the way of his school of misers and he looked very cunning and suspicious as he went jogging through the streets more than once or twice more than twice or thrice say half a dozen times he took his stick from the arm on which he nursed it and hit a straight sharp rap at the air with its head possibly the wooden countenance of mr. Silas Wegg was in corporally before him at those moments for he hit with intense satisfaction he was within a few streets of his own house when a little private carriage coming in the contrary direction past him turned round and passed them again it was a little carriage of eccentric movement for again he heard it stop behind him and turn around and again he saw it pass him then it stopped and then went on out of sight but not far out of sight for when he came to the corner of his own Street there it's that again there was a lady's face at the window as he came up with this carriage and he was passing it when the lady softly called him by his name I beg your pardon ma'am said Mr boffin coming to a stop it is mrs lammle said the lady mr. boffin went up to the window and hope mrs lammle was well not very well dear mr. boffin I have fluttered myself by being perhaps foolishly uneasy and anxious I have been waiting for you some time can I speak to you mr. boffin proposed that mrs lammle should drive on to his house a few hundred yards further I would rather not mr. boffin unless you particularly wish it I feel the difficulty and delicacy of the matter so much that I would rather avoid speaking to you at your own home you must think this very strange mr. boffin said no but meant yes it is because I am so grateful for the good opinion of all my friends and I'm so touched by it that I cannot bear to run the risk of forfeiting it in any case even in the cause of Duty I have asked my husband My dear Alfred mr. boffin whether it is the cause of duty and he is most emphatically said yes I wish I had asked him sooner it would have spared me much distress can this be more dropping down upon me thought mr. boffin quite bewildered it was Alfred who sent me to you mr. boffin Alfred said don't come back sophronia until you have seen mr. boffin and told him all whatever he may think of it he ought certainly to know it would you mind coming into the carriage mr. boffin answered not at all and took his seat at mrs lammle sighed slowly anywhere mrs lammle called there were coachman and don't let the carriage rattle it must be more dropping down I think said Mr boffin to himself what next end of section 47 of our mutual friend by charles dickens read by Don W Jenkins Rancho San Diego California shaggy bark dot blog spot.com

1 thought on “Our Mutual Friend, Version 2 | Charles Dickens | Literary Fiction | Talkingbook | English | 14/20

  1. Our Mutual Friend, Version 2 | Charles Dickens | Literary Fiction | Talkingbook | English | 14/20

    44: [00:00:00] – 44 – Book 3 Chap. 11 IN THE DARK

    45: [00:23:36] – 45 – Book 3 Chap. 12 MEANING MISCHIEF

    46: [00:44:11] – 46 – Book 3 Chap. 13 GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME, AND HANG HIM

    47: [01:08:09] – 47 – Book 3 Chap. 14 MR WEGG PREPARES A GRINDSTONE FOR MR BOFFIN'S NOSE

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