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CHAPTER 8 (continued)
In point of fact, it would seem that the waiter felt this wholesome truth, for when he returned for the empty plates and dishes and was informed by Mr Swiveller with dignified carelessness that he would call and setle when he should be passing presently, he displayed some pertubation of spirit and muttered a few remarks about 'payment on delivery' and 'no trust,' and other unpleasant subjects, but was fain to content himself with inquiring at what hour it was likely that the gentleman would call, in order that being presently responsible for the beef , greens, and sundries, he might take to be in the way at the time. Mr Swiveller, after mentally calculating his engagements to a nicety, replied that he should look in at from two minutes before six and seven minutes past; and the man disappearing with this feeble consolation, Richards Swiveller took a greasy memorandum-book from his pocket and made an entry therein.
'Is that a reminder, in case you should forget to call?' said Trent with a sneer.
'Not exactly, Fred,' replied the imperturable Richard, continuing to write with a businesslike air. 'I enter in this little book the names of the streets that I can't go down while the shops are open. This dinner today closes Long Acre. I bought a pair of boots in Great Queen Street last week, and made that no throughfare too. There's only one avenue to the Strand left often now, and I shall have to stop up that to-night with a pair of gloves. The roads are closing so fast in every direction, that in a month's time, unless my aunt sends me a remittance, I shall have to go three or four miles out of town to get over the way.'
'There's no fear of failing, in the end?' said Trent.
'Why, I hope not,' returned Mr Swiveller, 'but the average number of letters it take to soften her is six, and this time we have got as far as eight without any effect at all. I'll write another tom-morrow morning. I mean to blot it a good deal and shake some water over it out of the pepper-castor to make it look penitent. 'I'm in such a state of mind that I hardly know what I write'--blot--' if you could see me at this minute shedding tears for my past misconduct'--pepper-castor-- my hand trembles when I think'--blot again--if that don't produce the effect, it's all over.'
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