Charles Dickens, Bleak House: Ch. 24

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"My name is George, sir, and I have rung the bell."

"Oh, indeed?" said the old gentleman.  "Your name is George?  Then I am here as soon as you, you see.  You came for me, no doubt?"

"No, sir.  You have the advantage of me."

"Oh, indeed?" said the old gentleman.  "Then it was your young man who came for me.  I am a physician and was requested—five minutes ago—to come and visit a sick man at George's Shooting Gallery."

"The muffled drums," said Mr. George, turning to Richard and me and gravely shaking his head.  "It's quite correct, sir.  Will you please to walk in."

The door being at that moment opened by a very singular-looking little man in a green-baize cap and apron, whose face and hands and dress were blackened all over, we passed along a dreary passage into a large building with bare brick walls where there were targets, and guns, and swords, and other things of that kind.  When we had all arrived here, the physician stopped, and taking off his hat, appeared to vanish by magic and to leave another and quite a different man in his place.

"Now lookee here, George," said the man, turning quickly round upon him and tapping him on the breast with a large forefinger.  "You know me, and I know you.  You're a man of the world, and I'm a man of the world.  My name's Bucket, as you are aware, and I have got a peace-warrant against Gridley.  You have kept him out of the way a long time, and you have been artful in it, and it does you credit."

Mr. George, looking hard at him, bit his lip and shook his head.

"Now, George," said the other, keeping close to him, "you're a sensible man and a well-conducted man; that's what YOU are, beyond a doubt.  And mind you, I don't talk to you as a common character, because you have served your country and you know that when duty calls we must obey.  Consequently you're very far from wanting to give trouble.  If I required assistance, you'd assist me; that's what YOU'D do.  Phil Squod, don't you go a-sidling round the gallery like that"—the dirty little man was shuffling about with his shoulder against the wall, and his eyes on the intruder, in a manner that looked threatening—"because I know you and won't have it."

"Phil!" said Mr. George.

"Yes, guv'ner."

"Be quiet."

The little man, with a low growl, stood still.

"Ladies and gentlemen," said Mr. Bucket, "you'll excuse anything that may appear to be disagreeable in this, for my name's Inspector Bucket of the Detective, and I have a duty to perform.  George, I know where my man is because I was on the roof last night and saw him through the skylight, and you along with him.  He is in there, you know," pointing; "that's where HE is—on a sofy.  Now I must see my man, and I must tell my man to consider himself in custody; but you know me, and you know I don't want to take any uncomfortable measures.  You give me your word, as from one man to another (and an old soldier, mind you, likewise), that it's honourable between us two, and I'll accommodate you to the utmost of my power."

"I give it," was the reply.  "But it wasn't handsome in you, Mr. Bucket."

"Gammon, George!  Not handsome?" said Mr. Bucket, tapping him on his broad breast again and shaking hands with him.  "I don't say it wasn't handsome in you to keep my man so close, do I?  Be equally good-tempered to me, old boy!  Old William Tell, Old Shaw, the Life Guardsman!  Why, he's a model of the whole British army in himself, ladies and gentlemen.  I'd give a fifty-pun' note to be such a figure of a man!"