Charles Dickens

That's what it's owing to.'

'Very well,' said Martin, wishing to change the theme. 'Having come to that conclusion, Mark, perhaps you'll attend to me. The place to which the luggage is to go is printed on this card. Mrs Pawkins's Boarding House.'

'Mrs Pawkins's boarding-house,' repeated Mark. 'Now, Cicero.'

'Is that his name?' asked Martin

'That's his name, sir,' rejoined Mark. And the negro grinning assent from under a leathern portmanteau, than which his own face was many shades deeper, hobbled downstairs with his portion of their worldly goods; Mark Tapley having already gone before with his share.

Martin and his friend followed them to the door below, and were about to pursue their walk, when the latter stopped, and asked, with some hesitation, whether that young man was to be trusted?

'Mark! oh certainly! with anything.'

'You don't understand me--I think he had better go with us. He is an honest fellow, and speaks his mind so very plainly.'

'Why, the fact is,' said Martin, smiling, 'that being unaccustomed to a free republic, he is used to do so.'

'I think he had better go with us,' returned the other. 'He may get into some trouble otherwise. This is not a slave State; but I am ashamed to say that a spirit of Tolerance is not so common anywhere in these latitudes as the form. We are not remarkable for behaving very temperately to each other when we differ; but to strangers! no, I really think he had better go with us.'

Martin called to him immediately to be of their party; so Cicero and the truck went one way, and they three went another.

They walked about the city for two or three hours; seeing it from the best points of view, and pausing in the principal streets, and before such public buildings as Mr Bevan pointed out. Night then coming on apace, Martin proposed that they should adjourn to Mrs Pawkins's establishment for coffee; but in this he was overruled by his new acquaintance, who seemed to have set his heart on carrying him, though it were only for an hour, to the house of a friend of his who lived hard by. Feeling (however disinclined he was, being weary) that it would be in bad taste, and not very gracious, to object that he was unintroduced, when this open-hearted gentleman was so ready to be his sponsor, Martin--for once in his life, at all events--sacrificed his own will and pleasure to the wishes of another, and consented with a fair grace. So travelling had done him that much good, already.

Mr Bevan knocked at the door of a very neat house of moderate size, from the parlour windows of which, lights were shining brightly into the now dark street. It was quickly opened by a man with such a thoroughly Irish face, that it seemed as if he ought, as a matter of right and principle, to be in rags, and could have no sort of business to be looking cheerfully at anybody out of a whole suit of clothes.

Commending Mark to the care of this phenomenon--for such he may be said to have been in Martin's eyes--Mr Bevan led the way into the room which had shed its cheerfulness upon the street, to whose occupants he introduced Mr Chuzzlewit as a gentleman from England, whose acquaintance he had recently had the pleasure to make. They gave him welcome in all courtesy and politeness; and in less than five minutes' time he found himself sitting very much at his ease by the fireside, and becoming vastly well acquainted with the whole family.

There were two young ladies--one eighteen; the other twenty--both very slender, but very pretty; their mother, who looked, as Martin thought much older and more faded than she ought to have looked; and their grandmother, a little sharp-eyed, quick old woman, who seemed to have got past that stage, and to have come all right again. Besides these, there were the young ladies' father, and the young ladies' brother; the first engaged in mercantile affairs; the second, a student at college; both, in a certain cordiality of manner, like his own friend, and not unlike him in face. Which was no great wonder, for it soon appeared that he was their near relation.