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Charles Dickens: The Old Curiosity Shop
Kit stood as one entranced, with his eyes opened wide and fixed upon the ground, regardless alike of the tremulous hold which Mr Brass maintained on one side of his cravat, and of the firmer grasp of Miss Sally upon the other; although this latter detention was in itself no small inconvenience, as that fascinating woman, besides screwing her knuckles inconveniently into his throat from time to time, had fastened upon him in the first instance with so tight a grip that even in the disorder and distraction of his thoughts he could not divest himself of an uneasy sense of choking. Between the brother and sister he remained in this posture, quite unresisting and passive, until Mr Swiveller returned, with a police constable at his heels.
This functionary, being, of course, well used to such scenes; looking upon all kinds of robbery, from petty larceny up to housebreaking or ventures on the highway, as matters in the regular course of business; and regarding the perpetrators in the light of so many customers coming to be served at the wholesale and retail shop of criminal law where he stood behind the counter; received Mr Brass's statement of facts with about as much interest and surprise, as an undertaker might evince if required to listen to a circumstantial account of the last illness of a person whom he was called in to wait upon professionally; and took Kit into custody with a decent indifference.
'We had better,' said this subordinate minister of justice, 'get to the office while there's a magistrate sitting. I shall want you to come along with us, Mr Brass, and the--' he looked at Miss Sally as if in some doubt whether she might not be a griffin or other fabulous monster.
'The lady, eh?' said Sampson.
'Ah!' replied the constable. 'Yes--the lady. Likewise the young man that found the property.'
'Mr Richard, Sir,' said Brass in a mournful voice. 'A sad necessity. But the altar of our country sir--'
'You'll have a hackney-coach, I suppose?' interrupted the constable, holding Kit (whom his other captors had released) carelessly by the arm, a little above the elbow. 'Be so good as send for one, will you?'
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