The 'young feller' complying, Mr Chuckster put his hands in his pockets, and tried to look as if he were not minding the pony, but happened to be lounging there by accident. 'Oh! come in, Christopher, said Mr Witherden. 'Is that the lad? asked an elderly gentleman, but of a stout, bluff figure who was in the room. 'That's the lad, said Mr Witherden.
'Oh dear! said the old lady. 'How happy you do make us when you tell us that, to be sure! 'I tell you, ma'am, said Mr Witherden, 'what I think as an honest man, which, as the poet observes, is the noblest work of God. I agree with the poet in every particular, ma'am.
Some of them are now rolling in riches, unmindful of their old companion and friend, ma'am, others are in the habit of calling upon me to this day and saying, "Mr Witherden, some of the pleasantest hours I ever spent in my life were spent in this office were spent, Sir, upon this very stool"; but there was never one among the number, ma'am, attached as I have been to many of them, of whom I augured such bright things as I do of your only son.
Witherden, the notary, who remained behind to be the bearer of good news to the invalid. "I have been making some inquiries about you," said Mr. Witherden, "little thinking that I should find you under such circumstances as those which have brought us together. You are the nephew of Rebecca Swiveller, spinster, deceased, of Cheselbourne, in Dorsetshire." "Deceased!" cried Dick. "Deceased.
Mr Witherden seemed a little disconcerted by the elderly gentleman's mode of conducting the dialogue; and as for Kit, he looked at him in open-mouthed astonishment: wondering what kind of language he would address to him, if he talked in that free and easy way to a Notary.
'But I might have known that, from the uncommon likeness. Extremely happy, I am sure, to have the honour of an introduction to two such gentlemen, although the occasion is a most painful one. One of you gentlemen has a servant called Kit? 'Both, replied the notary. 'Two Kits? said Brass smiling. 'Dear me! 'One Kit, sir, returned Mr Witherden angrily, 'who is employed by both gentlemen.
'I tell you what, gentlemen, replied Brass, in a very grave manner, 'he'll not serve his case this way, and really, if you feel any interest in him, you had better advise him to go upon some other tack. Did I, sir? Of course I never did. 'Gentlemen, cried Kit, on whom a light broke suddenly, 'Master, Mr Abel, Mr Witherden, every one of you he did it!
'I have been making some inquiries about you, said Mr Witherden, 'little thinking that I should find you under such circumstances as those which have brought us together. You are the nephew of Rebecca Swiveller, spinster, deceased, of Cheselbourne in Dorsetshire. 'Deceased! cried Dick. 'Deceased.
For his sake, Miss Brass, do us the favour to reveal the whole history of this affair. Time, said Mr Witherden, pulling out his watch, 'in a business like this, is exceedingly precious. Favour us with your decision as speedily as possible, ma'am.
Such a dead silence when all was told, and his three friends exchanged looks of doubt and amazement! 'Is it not possible, said Mr Witherden, after a long pause, 'that this note may have found its way into the hat by some accident, such as the removal of papers on the desk, for instance? But this was clearly shown to be quite impossible.