Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/154

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Hill (where the novel was finished) and so on across Southwark or London Bridge, stopping at the same steps at which my own cab was now waiting, and having asked for "the beadle or the verger or the sexton," just as I had asked, had, after refreshing his memory, returned home to develop the mental negative which his eyes had focussed.

No, the little, old, half-sized lady with the bird-claw hand and dried-apple face told me none of these things. She said, pointing to the corner just behind the armchair seen in my sketch, that "that was the very spot where Little Dorrit and Maggy had spent the night."

And she also said that the curious-looking tin scoop hanging on the wall just above the card in high light on which church notices were displayed was older than anybody knew and was still used to wash the communion service; that the double iron grating, patched and interlaced with wire, was put there a hundred or more years ago in order to protect the glass of the one window—most wicked boys having smashed some panes in days gone by; that the table occupying part of the floor space was so antiquated that the memory of the oldest inhabitant was of no earthly and perhaps of no heavenly use—vestrymen after death being sometimes difficult to locate; that outside in the church (and would I please come with her) was the very font where Little Dorrit was baptised, and if I stepped a little nearer I could put my foot on the very spot in the carpet where she stood when she was married.

She regretted having to confess that of the Marshalsea, near by, from which Little Dorrit was shut out on that eventful night, nothing was now left except a small, narrow