BOOK THE FOURTH: A TURNING
Chapter 13: Showing How the Golden Dustman Helped to Scatter Dust
In all the first bewilderment of her wonder, the most bewilderingly
wonderful thing to Bella was the shining countenance of Mr
Boffin. That his wife should be joyous, open-hearted, and genial,
or that her face should express every quality that was large and
trusting, and no quality that was little or mean, was accordant with
Bella's experience. But, that he, with a perfectly beneficent air and
a plump rosy face, should be standing there, looking at her and
John, like some jovial good spirit, was marvellous. For, how had
he looked when she last saw him in that very room (it was the
room in which she had given him that piece of her mind at
parting), and what had become of all those crooked lines of
suspicion, avarice, and distrust, that twisted his visage then?
Mrs Boffin seated Bella on the large ottoman, and seated herself
beside her, and John her husband seated himself on the other side
of her, and Mr Boffin stood beaming at every one and everything
he could see, with surpassing jollity and enjoyment. Mrs Boffin
was then taken with a laughing fit of clapping her hands, and
clapping her knees, and rocking herself to and fro, and then with
another laughing fit of embracing Bella, and rocking her to and
fro--both fits, of considerable duration.
'Old lady, old lady,' said Mr Boffin, at length; 'if you don't begin
somebody else must.'
'I'm a going to begin, Noddy, my dear,' returned Mrs Boffin. 'Only
it isn't easy for a person to know where to begin, when a person is
in this state of delight and happiness. Bella, my dear. Tell me,
'Who is this?' repeated Bella. 'My husband.'
'Ah! But tell me his name, deary!' cried Mrs Boffin.
'No, it ain't!' cried Mrs Boffin, clapping her hands, and shaking her
head. 'Not a bit of it.'
'Handford then,' suggested Bella.
'No, it ain't!' cried Mrs Boffin, again clapping her hands and
shaking her head. 'Not a bit of it.'