Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/179

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mischievous boy not being let loose in the quadrangle of Staple Inn. More wonderful still, the gold-spectacled Englishman with the kindly face, whose hospitality I was enjoying, was so steeped in the sentiment of the place that he had not locked up so much as a scrap of paper, such confidence had he in the man "from the States" where one of his brothers lived.

And so I worked on, the brilliant June sun patterning the floor; and that my reader may share something of my own delight, when comparing the room in which I sat with Mr. Dickens's text, I will recall for him the scene which took place within these same walls on that December afternoon toward six o'clock when Staple Inn was filled with fog, and candles shed murky and blurred rays through the windows of all its then-occupied sets of chambers; … in one of which sat Mr. Grewgious writing by his fire … as did the clerk of Mr. Grewgious, in the adjoining room, writing by his fire.—"A pale, puffy-faced, dark-haired person of thirty, with big dark eyes that wholly wanted lustre, and a dissatisfied, doughy complexion that seemed to ask to be sent to the baker's.…

"'Now, Bazzard,' said Mr. Grewgious, on the entrance of his clerk: looking up from his papers as he arranged them for the night: 'what is in the wind beside fog?'

"'Mr. Drood,' said Bazzard.

'"What of him?'

"'Has called,' said Bazzard.

"'You might have shown him in.'

'"I am doing it,' said Bazzard.

"The visitor came in accordingly … took the easy-