The Diary of a Nobody/Chapter 17

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The Diary of a Nobody
Chapter 17

CHAPTER XVII.


Marriage of Daisy Mutlar and Murray Posh. The dream of my life realised. Mr. Perkupp takes Lupin into the office.


March 20.—To-day being the day on which Daisy Mutlar and Mr. Murray Posh are to be married, Lupin has gone with a friend to spend the day at Gravesend. Lupin has been much cut-up over the affair, although he declares that he is glad it is off. I wish he would not go to so many music-halls, but one dare not say anything to him about it. At the present moment he irritates me by singing all over the house some nonsense about "What's the matter with Gladstone? He's all right! What's the matter with Lupin? He's all right!" I don't think either of them is. In the evening Gowing called, and the chief topic of conversation was Daisy's marriage to Murray Posh. I said: "I was glad the matter was at an end, as Daisy would only have made a fool of Lupin." Gowing, with his usual good taste, said: "Oh, Master Lupin can make a fool of himself without any assistance." Carrie very properly resented this, and Gowing had sufficient sense to say he was sorry.


March 21.—To-day I shall conclude my diary, for it is one of the happiest days of my life. My great dream of the last few weeks—in fact, of many years—has been realised. This morning came a letter from Mr. Perkupp, asking me to take Lupin down to the office with me. I went to Lupin's room; poor fellow, he seemed very pale, and said he had a bad headache. He had come back yesterday from Gravesend, where he spent part of the day in a small boat on the water, having been mad enough to neglect to take his overcoat with him. I showed him Mr. Perkupp's letter, and he got up as quickly as possible. I begged of him not to put on his fast-coloured clothes and ties, but to dress in something black or quiet-looking.

Carrie was all of a tremble when she read the letter, and all she could keep on saying was: "Oh, I do hope it will be all right." For myself, I could scarcely eat any breakfast. Lupin came down dressed quietly, and looking a perfect gentleman, except that his face was rather yellow. Carrie, by way of encouragement said: "You do look nice, Lupin." Lupin replied: "Yes, it's a good make-up, isn't it? A regular-downright-respectable-funereal-first-class-City-firm-junior-clerk." He laughed rather ironically.

In the hall I heard a great noise, and also Lupin shouting to Sarah to fetch down his old hat. I went into the passage, and found Lupin in a fury, kicking and smashing a new tall hat. I said: "Lupin, my boy, what are you doing? How wicked of you! Some poor fellow would be glad to have it." Lupin replied: "I would not insult any poor fellow by giving it to him."

When he had gone outside, I picked up the battered hat, and saw inside "Posh's Patent." Poor Lupin! I can forgive him. It seemed hours before we reached the office. Mr. Perkupp sent for Lupin, who was with him nearly an hour. He returned, as I thought, crestfallen in appearance. I said: "Well, Lupin, how about Mr. Perkupp?" Lupin commenced his song: "What's the matter with Perkupp? He's all right!" I felt instinctively my boy was engaged. I went to Mr. Perkupp, but I could not speak. He said: "Well, Mr. Pooter, what is it?" I must have looked a fool, for all I could say was: "Mr. Perkupp, you are a good man." He looked at me for a moment, and said: "No, Mr. Pooter, you are the good man; and we'll see if we cannot get your son to follow such an excellent example." I said: "Mr. Perkupp, may I go home? I cannot work any more to-day."

My good master shook my hand warmly as he nodded his head. It was as much as I could do to prevent myself from crying in the 'bus; in fact, I should have done so, had my thoughts not been interrupted by Lupin, who was having a quarrel with a fat man in the 'bus, whom he accused of taking up too much room.

In the evening Carrie sent round for dear old friend Cummings and his wife, and also to Gowing. We all sat round the fire, and in a bottle of "Jackson Frères," which Sarah fetched from the grocer's, drank Lupin's health. I lay awake for hours, thinking of the future. My boy in the same office as myself—we can go down together by the 'bus, come home together, and who knows but in the course of time he may take great interest in our little home. That he may help me to put a nail in here or a nail in there, or help his dear mother to hang a picture. In the summer he may help us in our little garden with the flowers, and assist us to paint the stands and pots. (By-the-by, I must get in some more enamel paint.) All this I thought over and over again, and a thousand happy thoughts beside. I heard the clock strike four, and soon after fell asleep, only to dream of three happy people Lupin, dear Carrie, and myself.