BOOK THE THIRD: A LONG LANE
Chapter 7: The Friendly Move Takes up a Strong Position
The friendly movers sat upright on the floor, panting and eyeing
one another, after Mr Boffin had slammed the gate and gone away.
In the weak eyes of Venus, and in every reddish dust-coloured hair
in his shock of hair, there was a marked distrust of Wegg and an
alertness to fly at him on perceiving the smallest occasion. In the
hard-grained face of Wegg, and in his stiff knotty figure (he looked
like a German wooden toy), there was expressed a politic
conciliation, which had no spontaneity in it. Both were flushed,
flustered, and rumpled, by the late scuffle; and Wegg, in coming to
the ground, had received a humming knock on the back of his
devoted head, which caused him still to rub it with an air of having
been highly--but disagreeably--astonished. Each was silent for
some time, leaving it to the other to begin.
'Brother,' said Wegg, at length breaking the silence, 'you were
right, and I was wrong. I forgot myself.'
Mr Venus knowingly cocked his shock of hair, as rather thinking
Mr Wegg had remembered himself, in respect of appearing
without any disguise.
'But comrade,' pursued Wegg, 'it was never your lot to know Miss
Elizabeth, Master George, Aunt Jane, nor Uncle Parker.'
Mr Venus admitted that he had never known those distinguished
persons, and added, in effect, that he had never so much as desired
the honour of their acquaintance.
'Don't say that, comrade!' retorted Wegg: 'No, don't say that!
Because, without having known them, you never can fully know
what it is to be stimilated to frenzy by the sight of the Usurper.'
Offering these excusatory words as if they reflected great credit on
himself, Mr Wegg impelled himself with his hands towards a chair
in a corner of the room, and there, after a variety of awkward
gambols, attained a perpendicular position. Mr Venus also rose.
'Comrade,' said Wegg, 'take a seat. Comrade, what a speaking
countenance is yours!'
Mr Venus involuntarily smoothed his countenance, and looked at
his hand, as if to see whether any of its speaking properties came