Now, look here." As the trooper speaks, he conducts them to the other end of the gallery and opens one of the little cabins. "There you are, you see! Here is a mattress, and here you may rest, on good behaviour, as long as Mr., I ask your pardon, sir"--he refers apologetically to the card Allan has given him--"Mr. Woodcourt pleases. Don't you be alarmed if you hear shots; they'll be aimed at the target, and not you. Now, there's another thing I would recommend, sir," says the trooper, turning to his visitor. "Phil, come here!"
Phil bears down upon them according to his usual tactics. "Here is a man, sir, who was found, when a baby, in the gutter. Consequently, it is to be expected that he takes a natural interest in this poor creature. You do, don't you, Phil?"
"Certainly and surely I do, guv'ner," is Phil's reply.
"Now I was thinking, sir," says Mr. George in a martial sort of confidence, as if he were giving his opinion in a council of war at a drum-head, "that if this man was to take him to a bath and was to lay out a few shillings in getting him one or two coarse articles--"
"Mr. George, my considerate friend," returns Allan, taking out his purse, "it is the very favour I would have asked."
Phil Squod and Jo are sent out immediately on this work of improvement. Miss Flite, quite enraptured by her success, makes the best of her way to court, having great fears that otherwise her friend the Chancellor may be uneasy about her or may give the judgment she has so long expected in her absence, and observing "which you know, my dear physician, and general, after so many years, would be too absurdly unfortunate!" Allan takes the opportunity of going out to procure some restorative medicines, and obtaining them near at hand, soon returns to find the trooper walking up and down the gallery, and to fall into step and walk with him.
"I take it, sir," says Mr. George, "that you know Miss Summerson pretty well?"
Yes, it appears.
"Not related to her, sir?"
No, it appears.
"Excuse the apparent curiosity," says Mr. George. "It seemed to me probable that you might take more than a common interest in this poor creature because Miss Summerson had taken that unfortunate interest in him. 'Tis MY case, sir, I assure you."
"And mine, Mr. George."
The trooper looks sideways at Allan's sunburnt cheek and bright dark eye, rapidly measures his height and build, and seems to approve of him.
"Since you have been out, sir, I have been thinking that I unquestionably know the rooms in Lincoln's Inn Fields, where Bucket took the lad, according to his account. Though he is not acquainted with the name, I can help you to it. It's Tulkinghorn. That's what it is."
Allan looks at him inquiringly, repeating the name.
"Tulkinghorn. That's the name, sir. I know the man, and know him to have been in communication with Bucket before, respecting a deceased person who had given him offence. I know the man, sir. To my sorrow."
Allan naturally asks what kind of man he is.
"What kind of man! Do you mean to look at?"
"I think I know that much of him. I mean to deal with. Generally, what kind of man?"
"Why, then I'll tell you, sir," returns the trooper, stopping short and folding his arms on his square chest so angrily that his face fires and flushes all over; "he is a confoundedly bad kind of man. He is a slow-torturing kind of man. He is no more like flesh and blood than a rusty old carbine is. He is a kind of man--by George!--that has caused me more restlessness, and more uneasiness, and more dissatisfaction with myself than all other men put together. That's the kind of man Mr. Tulkinghorn is!"
"I am sorry," says Allan, "to have touched so sore a place."
"Sore?" The trooper plants his legs wider apart, wets the palm of his broad right hand, and lays it on the imaginary moustache. "It's no fault of yours, sir; but you shall judge. He has got a power over me. He is the man I spoke of just now as being able to tumble me out of this place neck and crop.