Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/163

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might have been, if I had been, in my ways of carrying on, of your father's breed. Stop a bit. I must put something under the cushion for your head. Here's a burial volume. Just the thing! We have got Mrs. Bangham in this book. But what makes these books interesting to most people is not who's in 'em, but who isn't—who's coming, you know, and when. That's the interesting question.'

"Commendingly looking back at the pillow he had improvised, he left them to their hour's repose. Maggy was snoring already, and Little Dorrit was soon fast asleep."

When I had closed the book the compound gentleman ambled back, and before I could renew my inquiries began to voice certain difficulties—insurmountable obstacles and impregnable barriers between me and my permit. The address, once so freely offered, of the fruiterer, under whose sheltering roof the Warden was to be found when off duty, and whose permission was so absolutely necessary to me, was not, now that he came to think it over, likely to be of any service. The Warden was a vagarious individual had numbers of places where he might or might not be found—in fact, there was not any particular place in which he could with any certainty be found. The best way—much the best way—would be for me to give the beadle or the sexton or the verger my card, upon which would be written the date and hour of my proposed occupancy of the room in which Little Dorrit and Maggy were said to have slept (the reader will kindly note the distinction between his belief in the incident and that of the little old woman); he would then present the card himself, waiting up all night if