which I always knew was a dream, even when it
first presented itself; but the realities about me
are not to blame. They are the same as they
were. My sister, my sweet companion, who
makes this place so dear, is she less devoted to
me, Ruth, than she would have been, if this
vision had never troubled me ? My old friend
John, who might so easily have treated me with
coldness and neglect, is he less cordial to me ?
The world about me, is there less good in that ?
Are my words to be harsh and my looks to be
sour, and is my heart to grow cold, because
there has fallen in my way a good and beautiful
creature, who, but for the selfish regret that I
cannot call her my own, would, like all other
good and beautiful creatures, make me happier
and better ! No, my dear sister.
Tom stoutly. " Remembering all my means of
happiness, I hardly dare to call this lurking
something, a sorrow ; but whatever name it may
justly bear, I thank Heaven that it renders me
more sensible of affection and attachment, and
softens me in fifty ways. Not less happy.
Not less happy, Ruth ! "
She could not speak to him, but she loved
him, as he well deserved. Even as he deserved,
she loved him.
"She will open Martin's eyes," said Tom,
with a glow of pride, " and that (which is in-
deed wrong) will be set right. Nothing will
persuade her, I know, that I have betrayed
him. It will be set right through her, and he
will be very sorry for it. Our secret, Ruth, is
our own, and lives and dies with us. I don't
believe I ever could have told it you," said
Tom, with a smile, " but how glad I am to
think you have found it out !"
They had never taken such a pleasant walk
as they took that night. Tom told her all so
freely, and so simply, and was so desirous to
return her tenderness with his fullest confidence,
that they prolonged it far beyond their usual
hour, and sat up late when they came home.
And when they parted for the night, there was
such a tranquil, beautiful expression in Tom's
face, that she could not bear to shut it out, but
going back on tip-toe to his chamber-door,
looked in, and stood there till he saw her, and
then embracing him again, withdrew. And in
her prayers, ami in her sleep — good times to be
remembered with such fervour, Tom ! — his name
When he was left alone, Tom pondered Aery
much on this discovery of hers, and greatly
wondered what had led her to it. "Because,"
thought Tom, " I have been so very careful.
It was foolish and unnecessary in me, as I
clearly see now, when I am so relieved by her
knowing it ; but I have been so very careful to
conceal it from her. Of course I knew that she-
was intelligent and quick, and for that reason
was more upon my guard : but I was not in the
least prepared for this. T am sure her discovery
has been sudden too. Dear me!" said Tom.
" It's a most singular instance of penetration !"
Tom could not get it out of his head. There
it was, when his head was on his pillow.
TO M PINCH BECOMES INTERESTED IN A FOOTSTEP.
'•' How she trembled when she began to tell
me she knew it!" thought Tom, recalling all
the little incidents and circumstances ; " and
how her face flushed ! But that was natural.
Oh, quite natural ! That needs no accounting
Tom little thought how natural it was. Tom
little knew that there was that in Ruth's own
heart, but newly set there, which had helped
her to the reading of his mystery. Ah, Tom !
He didn't understand the whispers of the
Temple Fountain, though he passed it every
Who so lively and cheerful as busy Ruth
next morning ! Her early tap at Tom's door,
and her light foot outside, would have been
music to him though she had not spoken. But
she said it was the brightest morning ever seen •
and so it was ; and if it had been otherwise, she
would have made it so to Tom.
She was ready with his neat breakfast when
he went down-stairs, and had her bonnet ready
for the early walk, and was so full of news, that
Tom was lost in wonder. She might have been
up all night, collecting it for his entertainment.
There was Mr. Nadgett not come home yet,
and there was bread down a penny a loaf, and
there was twice as much strength in this tea as
in the last, and the milk-woman's husband had
come out of the hospital cured, and the curly-
headed child over the way had been lost all
yesterday, and she was going to make all sorts
of preserves in a desperate hurry, and there
happened to be a saucepan in the house which
was the very saucepan for the purpose ; and
she knew all about the last book Tom had
brought home, all through, though it was a
teaser to read ; and she had so much to tell
him that she had finished breakfast first. Then
she had her little bonnet on, and the tea and
sugar locked up, and the keys in her reticule,
and the flower, as usual, in Tom's coat, and was
in all respects quite ready to accompany him,
before Tom knew she had begun to prepare.
And in short, as Tom said, with a confidence in
his own assertion, which amounted to a defiance
of the public in general, there never was such a
She made Tom talkative. It was impossible
to resist her. She put such enticing questions
to him ; about books, and about dates of
churches, and about organs, and about the
Temple, and about all kinds of things. Indeed,
she lightened the way (and Tom's heart with it)
to that degree, that the Temple looked quite
blank and solitary, when he parted from her at
" No Mr. Fips's friend to-day, I suppose,"
thought Tom, as he ascended the stairs.
Not yet, at any rate, for the door was closed
as usual, and Tom opened it with his key. He
had got the books into perfect order now, and
had mended the torn leaves, and pasted up the
broken backs, and substituted neat labels for
the worn-out letterings. It looked a different
place, it was so orderly and neat. Tom felt
some pride in contemplating the change he had
wrought, though there was no one to approve
or disapprove of it.
He was at present occupied in making a fair
copy of his draft of the catalogue ; on which,
as there was no hurry, he was painfully concen-
trating all the ingenious and laborious neatness
he had ever expended on map or plan in Mr.
Pecksniff's workroom. It was a very marvel of
a catalogue ; for Tom sometimes thought he
was really getting his money too easily, and he
had determined within himself that this docu-
ment should take a little of his superfluous
leisure out of him.
So, with pens and ruler, and compasses and
india-rubber, and pencil, and black ink, and red
ink, Tom worked away all the morning. He
thought a good deal about Martin and their
interview of yesterday, and would have been
far easier in his mind if he could have resolved
to confide it to his friend John, and to have
taken his opinion on the subject. But besides
that he knew what John's boiling indignation
would be, he bethought himself that he was
helping Martin now in a matter of great moment,
and that to deprive the latter of his assistance
at such a crisis of affairs, would be to inflict a
serious injury upon him.
" So I'll keep it to myself," said Tom, with a
sigh. " I'll keep it to myself."
And to work lie went again, more assiduously
than ever, with the pens, and the ruler, and the
india-rubber, and the pencil, and the black ink,
and the red ink, that he might forget it.
He had laboured away for another hour or
more, when he heard a footstep in the entry,
"Ah!" said Tom, looking towards the door,
" time was, not long ago either, when that would
have set me wondering and expecting. But I
have left off now."
The footstep came on, up the stairs.
"Thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight," said
Tom, counting. " Now you'll stop. Nobody
ever comes past the thirty-eighth stair."
The person did stop, certainly, but only to
take breath ; for up the footstep came again.
Forty, forty-one, forty-two, and so on.
MAR TRY CHUZZLR WIT.
The door stood open. As the tread ad-
vanced, Tom looked impatiently and eagerly
towards it. When a figure came upon the land-
ing, and arriving in the doorway, stopped and
gazed at him, he rose up from his chair, and half
believed he saw a spirit.
Old Martin Chuzzlewit. The same whom he
had left at Mr. Pecksniff's, weak and sinking.
The same ! No, not the same ; for this old
man, though ol I, v is strong, and leaned upon
his stick with a vigorous hand, while with the
other he signed to Tom to make no noise.
One glance at the resolute face, the watchful
the vigorous hand upon the staff, the
triumphant purpose in the figure, and such a
light broke in on Tom as blinded him.
"You have expected me," said Martin, "a
" I was told that my employer would arrive
soon," said Tom ; " but "
" I know. You were ignorant who he was.
It was my desire. I am glad it has been .so
well observed. I intended to have been with
you much sooner. I thought the time had
come. I thought I could know no more, and
no worse of him, than I did on that day when I
saw you last. But I was wrong."
He had by this time come up to Tom, and
now he grasped his hand.
" I have lived in his house, Pinch, and had
him fawning on me days and weeks, and
months. You know it. I have suffered him
to treat me like his tool and instrument. You
know it ; you have seen me there. I have
undergone ten thousand times as much as I
could have endured if I had been the miserable
weak old man he took me for. You know it.
I have seen him offer love to Mary. You know
it ; who better — who better, my true heart ! I
have had his base soul bare before me, day by
day, and have not betrayed myself once. I
never could have undergone such torture but
for looking forward to this time."
He stopped, even in the passion of his
speech ; if that can be called passion which
so resolute and steady ; to press Tom's
hand again. Then he said, in great excite-
" Close the door, close the door. He will
not be long after me, but may come too soon.
The time now drawing on," said the old man,
hurriedly: his I whole face bright-
as he spoke: "will make amends for .ill. I
have him die or hang himself for
millions of golden pieces! Close the door."
Tom did so; hardly knowing yet whether he
was awake, or in a dream.
■ BRIGHTER LIGHT UPON THE VF.RV
DARK PLACE; AND COOT VINS THE SEQUEL OK THE
.MR. JONAS AM) HIS FRIEND.
I E night had now come when the
old clerk was to be delivered over
to his keepers. In the midst of his
guilty distractions, Jonas had not
was a part of his guilty state of
* mind to remember it ; for on his per-
sistence in the scheme depended one of
his precautions for his own safety. A hint, a
word, from the old man, uttered at such a
moment in attentive ears, might fire the train of
suspicion, and destroy him. His watchfulness
of every avenue by which the discovery of his
guilt might be approached, sharpened with his
sense of the danger by which he was encom-
passed. With murder on his soul, and its in-
numerable alarms and terrors dragging at him
night and day, he would have repeated the
crime, if he had seen a path of safety stretching
out beyond. It was in his punishment; it was
in his guilty condition. The very deed which
his fears rendered insupportable, his fears would
have impelled him to commit again.
But keeping the old man close, according to
his design, would serve his turn. His purpose
was, to escape, when the first alarm and wonder
had subsided : and when he could make the
attempt without awakening instant suspicion.
In the meanwhile these women would keep him
quiet ; and if the talking humour came upon
him, would not be easily startled. He knew
Nor had he spoken idly when he said the
old man should be gagged. He had resolved
to ensure his silence ; and he looked to the end,
not the means. He had been rough and rude
and cruel to the old man all his life; and
violence was natural to his mind in connection
with him. " He shall be gagged if he speaks,
and pinioned if he writes," said Jonas, looking
at him ; for they sat alone together. " He is
mad enough for that ; I'll go through with it."
Still listening! To every sound. He had
listened ever since, and it had not come yet.
The exposure of the Insurance office; the
ght of Crimple and Bullamy with the plunder,
and am >ng the rest, as he feared, with his own
bill, which he had not found in the pocket-book
of the murdered man, and which with Mr.
Pecksniff's money had probably been remitted
NEVER OFF THE RACK.
to one or other of those trusty friends for safe
deposit at the banker's ; his immense losses,
and peril of being still called to account as a
partner in the broken firm ; all these things
rose in his mind at one time and always, but he
could not contemplate them. He was aware of
their presence, and of the rage, discomfiture,
and despair, they brought along with them ;
but he thought — of his own controlling power
and direction he thought — of the one dread
question only. When they would find the body
in the wood.
He tried — he had never left off trying — not
to forget it was there, for that was impossible,
but to forget to weary himself by drawing vivid
pictures of it in his fancy : by going softly about
it and about it among the leaves, approaching
it nearer and nearer through a gap in the
boughs, and startling the very flies that were
thickly sprinkled all over it, like heaps of dried
currants. His mind was fixed and fastened
on the discovery, for intelligence of which
he listened intently to every cry and shout ;
listened when any one came in, or went out ;
watched from the window the people who
passed up and down the street ; and mistrusted
his own looks and words. And the more his
thoughts were set upon the discovery, the
stronger was the fascination which attracted
them to the thing itself: lying alone in the
wood. He was for ever showing and present-
ing it, as it were, to every creature whom he saw.
" Look here ! Do you know of this ? Is it
found ? Do you suspect me V If he had been
condemned to bear the body in his arms, and
lay it down for recognition at the feet of every
one he met, it could not have been more con-
stantly with him, or a cause of more mono-
tonous and dismal occupation than it was in
this state of his mind.
Still he was not sorry. It was no contrition
or remorse for what he had done that moved
him; it was nothing but alarm for his own
security. The vague consciousness he pos-
sessed of having wrecked his fortune in the
murderous venture, intensified his hatred and
revenge, and made him set the greater store by
what he had gained. The man was dead ;
nothing could undo that. He felt a triumph
yet, in the reflection.
He had kept a jealous watch on Chuffey,
ever since the deed ; seldom leaving him but on
compulsion, and then for as short intervals as
possible. They were alone together now. It
was twilight, and the appointed time drew near
at hand. Jonas walked up and down the room.
The old man sat in his accustomed corner.
The slightest circumstance was matter of dis-
quiet to the murderer, and he was made uneasy
at this time by the absence of his wife, who had
left home early in the afternoon, and had not
returned yet. No tenderness for her was at the
bottom of this ; but he had a misgiving that she
might have been waylaid, and tempted into
saying something that would criminate him when
the news came. For anything he knew, she
might have knocked at the door of his room,
while he was away, and discovered his plot.
Confound her, it was like her pale face, to be
wandering up and down the house ! Where was
she now ?
" She went to her good friend, Mrs. Tod-
gers," said the old man, when he asked the
question with an angry oath.
Aye ! To be sure ! always stealing away into
the company of that woman. She was no friend
of his. Who could tell what devil's mischief
they might hatch together ! Let her be fetched
The old man, muttering some words softly,
rose as if he would have gone himself, but Jonas
thrust him back into his chair with an impatient
imprecation, and sent a servant-girl to fetch her.
When he had charged her with her errand he
walked to and fro again, and never stopped till
she came back, which she did pretty soon : the
way being short, and the woman having made
Well ! Where was she ? Had she come ?
No. She had left there, full three hours.
"Left there! Alone?"
The messenger had not asked; taking that
" Curse you for a fool. Bring candles ! "
She had scarcely left the room, when the old
clerk, who had been unusually observant of
him ever since he had asked about his wife,
came suddenly upon him.
" Give her up !" cried the old man. " Come !
Give her up to me ! Tell me what you have
done with her. Quick ! I have made no
promises on that score. Tell me what you have
done with her."
He laid his hands upon his collar as he
spoke, and grasped it : tightly too.
" You shall not leave me ! " cried the old
man. "lam strong enough to cry out to the
neighbours, and I will, unless you give her up.
Give her up to me !"
Jonas was so dismayed and conscience-
stricken, that he had not even hardihood enough
to unclench the old man's hands with his own ;
but stood looking at him as well as he could in
the darkness, without moving a finger. It was
as much as he could do to ask him what he
" I will know what you have done with her!"
retorted Chuffey. " If you hurt a hair of hjr
head, you shall answer it. Poor thing ! Poor
thing ! Where is she ?"'
"Why, you old madman !" said Jonas, in a
low voice, and with trembling lips. "What
Bedlam fit has come upon you now ?"
" It is enough to make me mad, seeing what
I have seen in this house ! " cried Chuffey.
" Where is my dear old master ! Where is his
only son that I have nursed upon my knee, a
child ! Where is she, she who was the last ;
she that I've seen pining day by day, and heard
weeping in the dead of night ! She was the
last, the last of all my friends ! Heaven help
me, she was the very last ! "
Seeing that the tears were stealing down his
face, Jonas mustered courage to unclench his
hands, and push him off before he answered :
" Did you hear me ask for her ? Did you
hear me send for her ? How can I give you up
what I haven't got, idiot ! Ecod, I'd give her
up to you and welcome, if I could ; and a
precious pair you'd be !''
" If she has come to any harm," cried Chuffey,
" mind ! I'm old and silly ; but I have my
memory sometimes ; and if she has come to
any harm — "
" Devil take you," interrupted Jonas, but in a
suppressed voice still ; " what harm do you
suppose she has come to ? I know no more
where she is than you do ; I wish I did. Wait
till she comes home, and see : she can't be long.
Will that content you?"
" Mind !" exclaimed the old man. "Not a
hair of her head ! not a hair of her head ill
used ! I won't bear it. I — I — have borne it
too long, Jonas. I am silent, but I — I — I can
speak. I — I — I can speak — " he stammered,
as he crept back to his chair, and turned a
threatening, though a feeble, look upon him.
"You can speak, can you!" thought Jonas.
" So, so, we'll stop your speaking. It's well I
knew of this in good time. Prevention is better
He had made a poor show of playing the
Bully and evincing a desire to conciliate at the
same time, but was so afraid of the old man
that great drops had started out upon his brow ;
and they stood there yet. His unusual tone of
voice and agitated manner had sufficiently ex-
pressed his fear ; but his face would have done
so now, without that aid, as he again walked to
and fro, glancing at him by the candlelight.
He stopped at the window to think. An
opposite shop was lighted up ; and the trades-
man and a customer were reading some printed
bill together across the counter. The sight
brought him back, instantly, to the occupation
he had forgotten. " Look here ! Do you know
of this ? Is it found ? Do you suspect ///