You may trust me. No one else shall hear."
"Ah, but I don't know," replies Jo, shaking his head fearfully, "as he DON'T hear."
"Why, he is not in this place."
"Oh, ain't he though?" says Jo. "He's in all manner of places, all at wanst."
Allan looks at him in perplexity, but discovers some real meaning and good faith at the bottom of this bewildering reply. He patiently awaits an explicit answer; and Jo, more baffled by his patience than by anything else, at last desperately whispers a name in his ear.
"Aye!" says Allan. "Why, what had you been doing?"
"Nothink, sir. Never done nothink to get myself into no trouble, 'sept in not moving on and the inkwhich. But I'm a-moving on now. I'm a-moving on to the berryin ground--that's the move as I'm up to."
"No, no, we will try to prevent that. But what did he do with you?"
"Put me in a horsepittle," replied Jo, whispering, "till I was discharged, then giv me a little money--four half-bulls, wot you may call half-crowns--and ses 'Hook it! Nobody wants you here,' he ses. 'You hook it. You go and tramp,' he ses. 'You move on,' he ses. 'Don't let me ever see you nowheres within forty mile of London, or you'll repent it.' So I shall, if ever he doos see me, and he'll see me if I'm above ground," concludes Jo, nervously repeating all his former precautions and investigations.
Allan considers a little, then remarks, turning to the woman but keeping an encouraging eye on Jo, "He is not so ungrateful as you supposed. He had a reason for going away, though it was an insufficient one."
"Thankee, sir, thankee!" exclaims Jo. "There now! See how hard you wos upon me. But ony you tell the young lady wot the genlmn ses, and it's all right. For YOU wos wery good to me too, and I knows it."
"Now, Jo," says Allan, keeping his eye upon him, "come with me and I will find you a better place than this to lie down and hide in. If I take one side of the way and you the other to avoid observation, you will not run away, I know very well, if you make me a promise."
"I won't, not unless I wos to see HIM a-coming, sir."
"Very well. I take your word. Half the town is getting up by this time, and the whole town will be broad awake in another hour. Come along. Good day again, my good woman."
"Good day again, sir, and I thank you kindly many times again."
She has been sitting on her bag, deeply attentive, and now rises and takes it up. Jo, repeating, "Ony you tell the young lady as I never went fur to hurt her and wot the genlmn ses!" nods and shambles and shivers, and smears and blinks, and half laughs and half cries, a farewell to her, and takes his creeping way along after Allan Woodcourt, close to the houses on the opposite side of the street. In this order, the two come up out of Tom-all-Alone's into the broad rays of the sunlight and the purer air.
As Allan Woodcourt and Jo proceed along the streets where the high church spires and the distances are so near and clear in the morning light that the city itself seems renewed by rest, Allan revolves in his mind how and where he shall bestow his companion. "It surely is a strange fact," he considers, "that in the heart of a civilized world this creature in human form should be more difficult to dispose of than an unowned dog." But it is none the less a fact because of its strangeness, and the difficulty remains.
At first he looks behind him often to assure himself that Jo is still really following. But look where he will, he still beholds him close to the opposite houses, making his way with his wary hand from brick to brick and from door to door, and often, as he creeps along, glancing over at him watchfully. Soon satisfied that the last thing in his thoughts is to give him the slip, Allan goes on, considering with a less divided attention what he shall do.
A breakfast-stall at a street-corner suggests the first thing to be done. He stops there, looks round, and beckons Jo. Jo crosses and comes halting and shuffling up, slowly scooping the knuckles of his right hand round and round in the hollowed palm of his left, kneading dirt with a natural pestle and mortar.