Bucket, who delights in a full title and does violence to himself when he dispenses with any fragment of it, "the last point in the case which I am now going to mention shows the necessity of patience in our business, and never doing a thing in a hurry. I watched this young woman yesterday without her knowledge when she was looking at the funeral, in company with my wife, who planned to take her there; and I had so much to convict her, and I saw such an expression in her face, and my mind so rose against her malice towards her ladyship, and the time was altogether such a time for bringing down what you may call retribution upon her, that if I had been a younger hand with less experience, I should have taken her, certain. Equally, last night, when her ladyship, as is so universally admired I am sure, come home looking--why, Lord, a man might almost say like Venus rising from the ocean--it was so unpleasant and inconsistent to think of her being charged with a murder of which she was innocent that I felt quite to want to put an end to the job. What should I have lost? Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet, I should have lost the weapon. My prisoner here proposed to Mrs. Bucket, after the departure of the funeral, that they should go per bus a little ways into the country and take tea at a very decent house of entertainment. Now, near that house of entertainment there's a piece of water. At tea, my prisoner got up to fetch her pocket handkercher from the bedroom where the bonnets was; she was rather a long time gone and came back a little out of wind. As soon as they came home this was reported to me by Mrs. Bucket, along with her observations and suspicions. I had the piece of water dragged by moonlight, in presence of a couple of our men, and the pocket pistol was brought up before it had been there half-a-dozen hours. Now, my dear, put your arm a little further through mine, and hold it steady, and I shan't hurt you!"
In a trice Mr. Bucket snaps a handcuff on her wrist. "That's one," says Mr. Bucket. "Now the other, darling. Two, and all told!"
He rises; she rises too. "Where," she asks him, darkening her large eyes until their drooping lids almost conceal them--and yet they stare, "where is your false, your treacherous, and cursed wife?"
"She's gone forrard to the Police Office," returns Mr. Bucket. "You'll see her there, my dear."
"I would like to kiss her!" exclaims Mademoiselle Hortense, panting tigress-like.
"You'd bite her, I suspect," says Mr. Bucket.
"I would!" making her eyes very large. "I would love to tear her limb from limb."
"Bless you, darling," says Mr. Bucket with the greatest composure, "I'm fully prepared to hear that. Your sex have such a surprising animosity against one another when you do differ. You don't mind me half so much, do you?"
"No. Though you are a devil still."
"Angel and devil by turns, eh?" cries Mr. Bucket. "But I am in my regular employment, you must consider. Let me put your shawl tidy. I've been lady's maid to a good many before now. Anything wanting to the bonnet? There's a cab at the door."
Mademoiselle Hortense, casting an indignant eye at the glass, shakes herself perfectly neat in one shake and looks, to do her justice, uncommonly genteel.
"Listen then, my angel," says she after several sarcastic nods. "You are very spiritual. But can you restore him back to life?"
Mr. Bucket answers, "Not exactly."
"That is droll. Listen yet one time. You are very spiritual. Can you make a honourable lady of her?"
"Don't be so malicious," says Mr. Bucket.
"Or a haughty gentleman of HIM?" cries mademoiselle, referring to Sir Leicester with ineffable disdain. "Eh! Oh, then regard him! The poor infant! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
"Come, come, why this is worse PARLAYING than the other," says Mr. Bucket. "Come along!"
"You cannot do these things? Then you can do as you please with me. It is but the death, it is all the same. Let us go, my angel. Adieu, you old man, grey. I pity you, and I despise you!"
With these last words she snaps her teeth together as if her mouth closed with a spring.