Charles Dickens, Bleak House: Ch. 42

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"You must be rich, my fair friend," he composedly observes, "to throw money about in that way!"

"I AM rich," she returns.  "I am very rich in hate.  I hate my Lady, of all my heart.  You know that."

"Know it?  How should I know it?"

"Because you have known it perfectly before you prayed me to give you that information.  Because you have known perfectly that I was en-r-r-r-raged!"  It appears impossible for mademoiselle to roll the letter "r" sufficiently in this word, notwithstanding that she assists her energetic delivery by clenching both her hands and setting all her teeth.

"Oh!  I knew that, did I?" says Mr. Tulkinghorn, examining the wards of the key.

"Yes, without doubt.  I am not blind.  You have made sure of me because you knew that.  You had reason!  I det-est her."  Mademoiselle folds her arms and throws this last remark at him over one of her shoulders.

"Having said this, have you anything else to say, mademoiselle?"

"I am not yet placed.  Place me well.  Find me a good condition!  If you cannot, or do not choose to do that, employ me to pursue her, to chase her, to disgrace and to dishonour her.  I will help you well, and with a good will.  It is what YOU do.  Do I not know that?"

"You appear to know a good deal," Mr. Tulkinghorn retorts.

"Do I not?  Is it that I am so weak as to believe, like a child, that I come here in that dress to rec-eive that boy only to decide a little bet, a wager?  Eh, my God, oh yes!"  In this reply, down to the word "wager" inclusive, mademoiselle has been ironically polite and tender, then as suddenly dashed into the bitterest and most defiant scorn, with her black eyes in one and the same moment very nearly shut and staringly wide open.

"Now, let us see," says Mr. Tulkinghorn, tapping his chin with the key and looking imperturbably at her, "how this matter stands."

"Ah!  Let us see," mademoiselle assents, with many angry and tight nods of her head.

"You come here to make a remarkably modest demand, which you have just stated, and it not being conceded, you will come again."

"And again," says mademoiselle with more tight and angry nods.  "And yet again.  And yet again.  And many times again.  In effect, for ever!"

"And not only here, but you will go to Mr. Snagsby's too, perhaps?  That visit not succeeding either, you will go again perhaps?"

"And again," repeats mademoiselle, cataleptic with determination.  "And yet again.  And yet again.  And many times again.  In effect, for ever!"

"Very well.  Now, Mademoiselle Hortense, let me recommend you to take the candle and pick up that money of yours.  I think you will find it behind the clerk's partition in the corner yonder."

She merely throws a laugh over her shoulder and stands her ground with folded arms.

"You will not, eh?"

"No, I will not!"