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29. Chapter Twenty-nine
IN WHICH SOME PEOPLE ARE PRECOCIOUS, OTHERS PROFESSIONAL, AND OTHERS MYSTERIOUS; ALL IN THEIR SEVERAL WAYS
It may have been the restless remembrance of what he had seen and heard overnight, or it may have been no deeper mental operation than the discovery that he had nothing to do, which caused Mr Bailey, on the following afternoon, to feel particularly disposed for agreeable society, and prompted him to pay a visit to his friend Poll Sweedlepipe.
On the little bell giving clamorous notice of a visitor's approach (for Mr Bailey came in at the door with a lunge, to get as much sound out of the bell as possible), Poll Sweedlepipe desisted from the contemplation of a favourite owl, and gave his young friend hearty welcome.
'Why, you look smarter by day,' said Poll, 'than you do by candle- light. I never see such a tight young dasher.'
'Reether so, Polly. How's our fair friend, Sairah?'
'Oh, she's pretty well,' said Poll. 'She's at home.'
'There's the remains of a fine woman about Sairah, Poll,' observed Mr Bailey, with genteel indifference.
'Oh!' thought Poll, 'he's old. He must be very old!'
'Too much crumb, you know,' said Mr Bailey; 'too fat, Poll. But there's many worse at her time of life'
'The very owl's a-opening his eyes!' thought Poll. 'I don't wonder at it in a bird of his opinions.'
He happened to have been sharpening his razors, which were lying open in a row, while a huge strop dangled from the wall. Glancing at these preparations, Mr Bailey stroked his chin, and a thought appeared to occur to him.
'Poll,' he said, 'I ain't as neat as I could wish about the gills. Being here, I may as well have a shave, and get trimmed close.'
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