Weevle. "Those are about the facts."
"We made the discovery in consequence of his having, in his eccentric way, an appointment with you at twelve o'clock at night, when you were to explain some writing to him as you had often done before on account of his not being able to read. I, spending the evening with you, was called down--and so forth. The inquiry being only into the circumstances touching the death of the deceased, it's not necessary to go beyond these facts, I suppose you'll agree?"
"No!" returns Mr. Weevle. "I suppose not."
"And this is not a conspiracy, perhaps?" says the injured Guppy.
"No," returns his friend; "if it's nothing worse than this, I withdraw the observation."
"Now, Tony," says Mr. Guppy, taking his arm again and walking him slowly on, "I should like to know, in a friendly way, whether you have yet thought over the many advantages of your continuing to live at that place?"
"What do you mean?" says Tony, stopping.
"Whether you have yet thought over the many advantages of your continuing to live at that place?" repeats Mr. Guppy, walking him on again.
"At what place? THAT place?" pointing in the direction of the rag and bottle shop.
Mr. Guppy nods.
"Why, I wouldn't pass another night there for any consideration that you could offer me," says Mr. Weevle, haggardly staring.
"Do you mean it though, Tony?"
"Mean it! Do I look as if I mean it? I feel as if I do; I know that," says Mr. Weevle with a very genuine shudder.
"Then the possibility or probability--for such it must be considered--of your never being disturbed in possession of those effects lately belonging to a lone old man who seemed to have no relation in the world, and the certainty of your being able to find out what he really had got stored up there, don't weigh with you at all against last night, Tony, if I understand you?" says Mr. Guppy, biting his thumb with the appetite of vexation.
"Certainly not. Talk in that cool way of a fellow's living there?" cries Mr. Weevle indignantly. "Go and live there yourself."
"Oh! I, Tony!" says Mr. Guppy, soothing him. "I have never lived there and couldn't get a lodging there now, whereas you have got one."
"You are welcome to it," rejoins his friend, "and--ugh!--you may make yourself at home in it."
"Then you really and truly at this point," says Mr. Guppy, "give up the whole thing, if I understand you, Tony?"
"You never," returns Tony with a most convincing steadfastness, "said a truer word in all your life. I do!"
While they are so conversing, a hackney-coach drives into the square, on the box of which vehicle a very tall hat makes itself manifest to the public. Inside the coach, and consequently not so manifest to the multitude, though sufficiently so to the two friends, for the coach stops almost at their feet, are the venerable Mr. Smallweed and Mrs. Smallweed, accompanied by their granddaughter Judy.
An air of haste and excitement pervades the party, and as the tall hat (surmounting Mr. Smallweed the younger) alights, Mr. Smallweed the elder pokes his head out of window and bawls to Mr. Guppy, "How de do, sir! How de do!"
"What do Chick and his family want here at this time of the morning, I wonder!" says Mr. Guppy, nodding to his familiar.
"My dear sir," cries Grandfather Smallweed, "would you do me a favour? Would you and your friend be so very obleeging as to carry me into the public-house in the court, while Bart and his sister bring their grandmother along? Would you do an old man that good turn, sir?"
Mr. Guppy looks at his friend, repeating inquiringly, "The public- house in the court?" And they prepare to bear the venerable burden to the Sol's Arms.
"There's your fare!" says the patriarch to the coachman with a fierce grin and shaking his incapable fist at him. "Ask me for a penny more, and I'll have my lawful revenge upon you. My dear young men, be easy with me, if you please. Allow me to catch you round the neck. I won't squeeze you tighter than I can help.