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In Three Books.


WHILE Sydney Carton and the Sheep of the
prisons were in the adjoining dark room, speaking
so low that not a sound was heard, Mr.
Lorry looked at Jerry in considerable doubt and
mistrust. That honest tradesman's manner of
receiving the look, did not inspire confidence;
he changed the leg on which he rested, as often
as if he had fifty of those limbs, and were trying
them all; he examined his finger-nails with a
very questionable closeness of attention; and
whenever Mr. Lorry's eye caught his, he was
taken with that peculiar kind of short cough
requiring the hollow of a hand before it, which is
seldom, if ever, known to be an infirmity attendant
on perfect openness of character.

"Jerry," said Mr. Lorry. "Come here."

Mr. Cruncher came forward sideways, with
one of his shoulders in advance of him.

"What have you been besides a messenger?"

After some cogitation, accompanied with an
intent look at his patron, Mr. Cruncher
conceived the luminous idea of replying,
"Agricultooral character."

"My mind misgives me much," said Mr.
Lorry, angrily shaking a forefinger at him,
"that you have used the respectable and great
house of Tellson's as a blind, and that you
have had an unlawful occupation of an infamous
description. If you have, don't expect me to
befriend you when you get back to England.
If you have, don't expect me to keep your
secret. Tellson's shall not be imposed upon."

"I hope, sir," pleaded the abashed Mr.
Cruncher, "that a gentleman like yourself wot
I've had the honour of odd jobbing till I'm grey
at it, would think twice about harming of me,
even if it wos soI don't say it is, but even if it
wos. And which it is to be took into account that
if it wos, it wouldn't, even then, be all o' one
side. There'd be two sides to it. There
might be medical doctors at the present hour,
a picking up their guineas where a honest
tradesman don't pick up his fardensfardens!
no, nor yet his half fardenshalf fardens! no,
nor yet his quartera banking away like smoke
at Tellson's, and a cocking their medical eyes at
that tradesman on the sly, a going in and going
out to their own carriagesah! equally like
smoke, if not more so. Well, that 'ud be imposing,
too, on Tellson's. For you cannot sarse the
goose and not the gander. And here's Mrs.
Cruncher, or leastways wos in the Old England
times, and would be to-morrow, if cause given,
a floppin' agen the business to that degree as is
ruinatingstark ruinating! Whereas them
medical doctors' wives don't flopcatch 'em at
it! Or, if they flop, their floppings goes in
favour of more patients, and how can you
rightly have one without the t'other? Then,
wot with undertakers, and wot with parish
clerks, and wot with sextons, and wot with
private watchmen (all awaricious and all in it),
a man wouldn't get much by it, even if it was so.
And wot little a man did get, would never
prosper with him, Mr. Lorry. He'd never have
no good of it; he'd want all along to be out of
the line, if he could see his way out, being once
ineven if it wos so."

"Ugh!" cried Mr. Lorry, rather relenting,
nevertheless. "I am shocked at the sight of

"Now, what I would humbly offer to you,
sir," pursued Mr. Cruncher, "even if it wos so,
which I don't say it is-"

"Don't prevaricate," said Mr. Lorry.

"No, I will not, sir," returned Mr. Cruncher,
as if nothing were further from his thoughts or
practice—"which I don't say it iswot I would
humbly offer to you, sir, would be this. Upon that
there stool, at that there Bar, sets that there boy
of mine, brought up and growed up to be a man,
wot will errand you, message you, general-light-
job you, till your heels is where your head is, if
such should be your wishes. If it wos so, which
I still don't say it is (for I will not prewaricate
to you, sir), let that there boy keep his father's
place, and take care of his mother; don't blow
upon that boy's fatherdo not do it, sirand
let that father go into the line of the reg'lar
diggin', and make amends for what he would
have un-dugif it wos soby diggin' of 'em in
with a will, and with conwictions respectin' the
future keepin' of 'em safe. That, Mr. Lorry,"
said Mr. Cruncher, wiping his forehead with his
arm, as an announcement that he had arrived at
the peroration of his discourse, "is wot I would
respectfully offer to you, sir. A man don't see
all this here a goin' on dreadful round him, in