There's Wal'r! said the Captain, as if he were relieved by getting hold of anything that was real and indisputable. 'Well, Ned. Now attend a moment! said the old man. 'When I wrote first that was from Barbados I said that though you would receive that letter long before the year was out, I should be glad if you would open the packet, as it explained the reason of my going away. Very good, Ned.
Sol Gills, his Uncle, is a man of science, and in science he may be considered a clipper; but he ain't what I should altogether call a able seaman not man of practice. Wal'r is as trim a lad as ever stepped; but he's a little down by the head in one respect, and that is, modesty.
'No, no; what should I have to tell you, pretty! You don't expect as I've got anything good to tell you, sure? 'No! said Florence, shaking her head. The Captain looked at her wistfully, and repeated 'No, still lingering, and still showing embarrassment. 'Poor Wal'r! said the Captain. 'My Wal'r, as I used to call you! Old Sol Gills's nevy! Welcome to all as knowed you, as the flowers in May!
'Uncle Sol! cried Walter, quickly, 'if you say that, I won't go. No, Captain Cuttle, I won't. If my Uncle thinks I could be glad to leave him, though I was going to be made Governor of all the Islands in the West Indies, that's enough. I'm a fixture. 'Wal'r, my lad, said the Captain. 'Steady! Sol Gills, take an observation of your nevy.
And so, you see, repeated the Captain, thoughtfully, 'the pretty creetur goes away upon the roaring main with Wal'r, on a woyage to China. Mr Toots and Captain Cuttle heaved a sigh in concert. 'What then? said the Captain. 'She loves him true. He loves her true. Them as should have loved and tended of her, treated of her like the beasts as perish.
Won't you take a cheer yourself? 'No thank you, said the Manager, standing, perhaps from the force of winter habit, with his back against the chimney-piece, and looking down upon the Captain with an eye in every tooth and gum. 'You have taken the liberty, you were going to say though it's none 'Thank'ee kindly, my lad, returned the Captain: 'of coming here, on account of my friend Wal'r.
There was no bright face of 'Wal'r' In the house; here the Captain transferred his sleeve for a moment from the Midshipman's uniform to his own cheek; the familiar wig and buttons of Sol Gills were a vision of the past; Richard Whittington was knocked on the head; and every plan and project in connexion with the Midshipman, lay drifting, without mast or rudder, on the waste of waters.
'Ay, ay, observed the Captain, considering it incumbent on him, as a point of good breeding, to support Mr Dombey. 'Well said! Go on, Wal'r. Captain Cuttle ought to have been withered by the look which Mr Dombey bestowed upon him in acknowledgment of his patronage.
The Captain immediately hugged her; and then, picking up the glazed hat and putting it on, drew her arm through his, and conducted her upstairs again; where he felt that the great joke of his life was now to be made. 'What, Wal'r my lad! said the Captain, looking in at the door, with his face like an amiable warming-pan. 'So there ain't NO other character, ain't there?
Being promptly joined by Mr Perch, he conveyed that gentleman to the tavern, and fulfilled his pledge hastily, for Perch's time was precious. 'I'll give you for a toast, said the Captain, 'Wal'r! 'Who? submitted Mr Perch. 'Wal'r! repeated the Captain, in a voice of thunder.