Bucket, as relying on that officer alone of all mankind.
"Very good," says Mr. Bucket. "Now I understand you, you know, and being deputed by Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet, to look into this little matter," again Sir Leicester mechanically bows in confirmation of the statement, "can give it my fair and full attention. Now I won't allude to conspiring to extort money or anything of that sort, because we are men and women of the world here, and our object is to make things pleasant. But I tell you what I DO wonder at; I am surprised that you should think of making a noise below in the hall. It was so opposed to your interests. That's what I look at."
"We wanted to get in," pleads Mr. Smallweed.
"Why, of course you wanted to get in," Mr. Bucket asserts with cheerfulness; "but for a old gentleman at your time of life--what I call truly venerable, mind you!--with his wits sharpened, as I have no doubt they are, by the loss of the use of his limbs, which occasions all his animation to mount up into his head, not to consider that if he don't keep such a business as the present as close as possible it can't be worth a mag to him, is so curious! You see your temper got the better of you; that's where you lost ground," says Mr. Bucket in an argumentative and friendly way.
"I only said I wouldn't go without one of the servants came up to Sir Leicester Dedlock," returns Mr. Smallweed.
"That's it! That's where your temper got the better of you. Now, you keep it under another time and you'll make money by it. Shall I ring for them to carry you down?"
"When are we to hear more of this?" Mrs. Chadband sternly demands.
"Bless your heart for a true woman! Always curious, your delightful sex is!" replies Mr. Bucket with gallantry. "I shall have the pleasure of giving you a call to-morrow or next day--not forgetting Mr. Smallweed and his proposal of two fifty."
"Five hundred!" exclaims Mr. Smallweed.
"All right! Nominally five hundred." Mr. Bucket has his hand on the bell-rope. "SHALL I wish you good day for the present on the part of myself and the gentleman of the house?" he asks in an insinuating tone.
Nobody having the hardihood to object to his doing so, he does it, and the party retire as they came up. Mr. Bucket follows them to the door, and returning, says with an air of serious business, "Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet, it's for you to consider whether or not to buy this up. I should recommend, on the whole, it's being bought up myself; and I think it may be bought pretty cheap. You see, that little pickled cowcumber of a Mrs. Snagsby has been used by all sides of the speculation and has done a deal more harm in bringing odds and ends together than if she had meant it. Mr. Tulkinghorn, deceased, he held all these horses in his hand and could have drove 'em his own way, I haven't a doubt; but he was fetched off the box head-foremost, and now they have got their legs over the traces, and are all dragging and pulling their own ways. So it is, and such is life. The cat's away, and the mice they play; the frost breaks up, and the water runs. Now, with regard to the party to be apprehended."
Sir Leicester seems to wake, though his eyes have been wide open, and he looks intently at Mr. Bucket as Mr. Bucket refers to his watch.
"The party to be apprehended is now in this house," proceeds Mr. Bucket, putting up his watch with a steady hand and with rising spirits, "and I'm about to take her into custody in your presence. Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet, don't you say a word nor yet stir. There'll be no noise and no disturbance at all. I'll come back in the course of the evening, if agreeable to you, and endeavour to meet your wishes respecting this unfortunate family matter and the nobbiest way of keeping it quiet. Now, Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet, don't you be nervous on account of the apprehension at present coming off. You shall see the whole case clear, from first to last."
Mr. Bucket rings, goes to the door, briefly whispers Mercury, shuts the door, and stands behind it with his arms folded.