BOOK THE FOURTH: A TURNING
Chapter 1: Setting Traps (continued)
The water rose and rose as the sluice poured in, dispersing the
scum which had formed behind the lumbering gates, and sending
the boat up, so that the sculler gradually rose like an apparition
against the light from the bargeman's point of view. Riderhood
observed that the bargeman rose too, leaning on his arm, and
seemed to have his eyes fastened on the rising figure.
But, there was the toll to be taken, as the gates were now
complaining and opening. The T'other governor tossed it ashore,
twisted in a piece of paper, and as he did so, knew his man.
'Ay, ay? It's you, is it, honest friend?' said Eugene, seating himself
preparatory to resuming his sculls. 'You got the place, then?'
'I got the place, and no thanks to you for it, nor yet none to Lawyer
Lightwood,' gruffly answered Riderhood.
'We saved our recommendation, honest fellow,' said Eugene, 'for
the next candidate--the one who will offer himself when you are
transported or hanged. Don't be long about it; will you be so
So imperturbable was the air with which he gravely bent to his
work that Riderhood remained staring at him, without having
found a retort, until he had rowed past a line of wooden objects by
the weir, which showed like huge teetotums standing at rest in the
water, and was almost hidden by the drooping boughs on the left
bank, as he rowed away, keeping out of the opposing current. It
being then too late to retort with any effect--if that could ever have
been done--the honest man confined himself to cursing and
growling in a grim under-tone. Having then got his gates shut, he
crossed back by his plank lock-bridge to the towing-path side of
If, in so doing, he took another glance at the bargeman, he did it by
stealth. He cast himself on the grass by the Lock side, in an
indolent way, with his back in that direction, and, having gathered
a few blades, fell to chewing them. The dip of Eugene Wrayburn's
sculls had become hardly audible in his ears when the bargeman
passed him, putting the utmost width that he could between them,
and keeping under the hedge. Then, Riderhood sat up and took a
long look at his figure, and then cried: 'Hi--I--i! Lock, ho! Lock!
Plashwater Weir Mill Lock!'