Charles Dickens, Bleak House: Ch. 21

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Grandfather Smallweed has been gradually sliding down in his chair since his last adjustment and is now a bundle of clothes with a voice in it calling for Judy.  That houri, appearing, shakes him up in the usual manner and is charged by the old gentleman to remain near him.  For he seems chary of putting his visitor to the trouble of repeating his late attentions.

"Ha!" he observes when he is in trim again.  "If you could have traced out the captain, Mr. George, it would have been the making of you.  If when you first came here, in consequence of our advertisement in the newspapers—when I say 'our,' I'm alluding to the advertisements of my friend in the city, and one or two others who embark their capital in the same way, and are so friendly towards me as sometimes to give me a lift with my little pittance—if at that time you could have helped us, Mr. George, it would have been the making of you."

"I was willing enough to be 'made,' as you call it," says Mr. George, smoking not quite so placidly as before, for since the entrance of Judy he has been in some measure disturbed by a fascination, not of the admiring kind, which obliges him to look at her as she stands by her grandfather's chair, "but on the whole, I am glad I wasn't now."

"Why, Mr. George?  In the name of—of brimstone, why?" says Grandfather Smallweed with a plain appearance of exasperation.  (Brimstone apparently suggested by his eye lighting on Mrs. Smallweed in her slumber.)

"For two reasons, comrade."

"And what two reasons, Mr. George?  In the name of the—"

"Of our friend in the city?" suggests Mr. George, composedly drinking.

"Aye, if you like.  What two reasons?"

"In the first place," returns Mr. George, but still looking at Judy as if she being so old and so like her grandfather it is indifferent which of the two he addresses, "you gentlemen took me in.  You advertised that Mr. Hawdon (Captain Hawdon, if you hold to the saying 'Once a captain, always a captain') was to hear of something to his advantage."

"Well?" returns the old man shrilly and sharply.

"Well!" says Mr. George, smoking on.  "It wouldn't have been much to his advantage to have been clapped into prison by the whole bill and judgment trade of London."

"How do you know that?  Some of his rich relations might have paid his debts or compounded for 'em.  Besides, he had taken US in.  He owed us immense sums all round.  I would sooner have strangled him than had no return.  If I sit here thinking of him," snarls the old man, holding up his impotent ten fingers, "I want to strangle him now."  And in a sudden access of fury, he throws the cushion at the unoffending Mrs. Smallweed, but it passes harmlessly on one side of her chair.

"I don't need to be told," returns the trooper, taking his pipe from his lips for a moment and carrying his eyes back from following the progress of the cushion to the pipe-bowl which is burning low, "that he carried on heavily and went to ruin.  I have been at his right hand many a day when he was charging upon ruin full-gallop.  I was with him when he was sick and well, rich and poor.  I laid this hand upon him after he had run through everything and broken down everything beneath him—when he held a pistol to his head."

"I wish he had let it off," says the benevolent old man, "and blown his head into as many pieces as he owed pounds!"

"That would have been a smash indeed," returns the trooper coolly; "any way, he had been young, hopeful, and handsome in the days gone by, and I am glad I never found him, when he was neither, to lead to a result so much to his advantage.  That's reason number one."