Snagsby, "Now, what do you say to Toughy? Will HE do?"
"That's Jo," says Mr. Snagsby.
Jo stands amazed in the disk of light, like a ragged figure in a magic-lantern, trembling to think that he has offended against the law in not having moved on far enough. Mr. Snagsby, however, giving him the consolatory assurance, "It's only a job you will be paid for, Jo," he recovers; and on being taken outside by Mr. Bucket for a little private confabulation, tells his tale satisfactorily, though out of breath.
"I have squared it with the lad," says Mr. Bucket, returning, "and it's all right. Now, Mr. Snagsby, we're ready for you."
First, Jo has to complete his errand of good nature by handing over the physic he has been to get, which he delivers with the laconic verbal direction that "it's to be all took d'rectly." Secondly, Mr. Snagsby has to lay upon the table half a crown, his usual panacea for an immense variety of afflictions. Thirdly, Mr. Bucket has to take Jo by the arm a little above the elbow and walk him on before him, without which observance neither the Tough Subject nor any other Subject could be professionally conducted to Lincoln's Inn Fields. These arrangements completed, they give the women good night and come out once more into black and foul Tom-all-Alone's.
By the noisome ways through which they descended into that pit, they gradually emerge from it, the crowd flitting, and whistling, and skulking about them until they come to the verge, where restoration of the bull's-eyes is made to Darby. Here the crowd, like a concourse of imprisoned demons, turns back, yelling, and is seen no more. Through the clearer and fresher streets, never so clear and fresh to Mr. Snagsby's mind as now, they walk and ride until they come to Mr. Tulkinghorn's gate.
As they ascend the dim stairs (Mr. Tulkinghorn's chambers being on the first floor), Mr. Bucket mentions that he has the key of the outer door in his pocket and that there is no need to ring. For a man so expert in most things of that kind, Bucket takes time to open the door and makes some noise too. It may be that he sounds a note of preparation.
Howbeit, they come at last into the hall, where a lamp is burning, and so into Mr. Tulkinghorn's usual room--the room where he drank his old wine to-night. He is not there, but his two old-fashioned candlesticks are, and the room is tolerably light.
Mr. Bucket, still having his professional hold of Jo and appearing to Mr. Snagsby to possess an unlimited number of eyes, makes a little way into this room, when Jo starts and stops.
"What's the matter?" says Bucket in a whisper.
"There she is!" cries Jo.
A female figure, closely veiled, stands in the middle of the room, where the light falls upon it. It is quite still and silent. The front of the figure is towards them, but it takes no notice of their entrance and remains like a statue.
"Now, tell me," says Bucket aloud, "how you know that to be the lady."
"I know the wale," replies Jo, staring, "and the bonnet, and the gownd."
"Be quite sure of what you say, Tough," returns Bucket, narrowly observant of him. "Look again."
"I am a-looking as hard as ever I can look," says Jo with starting eyes, "and that there's the wale, the bonnet, and the gownd."
"What about those rings you told me of?" asks Bucket.
"A-sparkling all over here," says Jo, rubbing the fingers of his left hand on the knuckles of his right without taking his eyes from the figure.
The figure removes the right-hand glove and shows the hand.
"Now, what do you say to that?" asks Bucket.
Jo shakes his head. "Not rings a bit like them. Not a hand like that."
"What are you talking of?" says Bucket, evidently pleased though, and well pleased too.
"Hand was a deal whiter, a deal delicater, and a deal smaller," returns Jo.
"Why, you'll tell me I'm my own mother next," says Mr. Bucket. "Do you recollect the lady's voice?"
"I think I does," says Jo.
The figure speaks. "Was it at all like this? I will speak as long as you like if you are not sure.