Book the Second - the Golden Thread
14. XIV. The Honest Tradesman
The young gentleman uttered this exultant sound with mysterious
significance. The elder gentleman took the cry so ill, that he
watched his opportunity, and smote the young gentleman on the ear.
"What d'ye mean? What are you hooroaring at? What do you want to
conwey to your own father, you young Rip? This boy is a getting
too many for ME!" said Mr. Cruncher, surveying him. "Him and
his hooroars! Don't let me hear no more of you, or you shall feel
some more of me. D'ye hear?"
"I warn't doing no harm," Young Jerry protested, rubbing his cheek.
"Drop it then," said Mr. Cruncher; "I won't have none of YOUR
no harms. Get a top of that there seat, and look at the crowd."
His son obeyed, and the crowd approached; they were bawling and hissing
round a dingy hearse and dingy mourning coach, in which mourning coach
there was only one mourner, dressed in the dingy trappings that were
considered essential to the dignity of the position. The position
appeared by no means to please him, however, with an increasing rabble
surrounding the coach, deriding him, making grimaces at him,
and incessantly groaning and calling out: "Yah! Spies! Tst! Yaha!
Spies!" with many compliments too numerous and forcible to repeat.
Funerals had at all times a remarkable attraction for Mr. Cruncher;
he always pricked up his senses, and became excited, when a funeral
passed Tellson's. Naturally, therefore, a funeral with this uncommon
attendance excited him greatly, and he asked of the first man who ran
"What is it, brother? What's it about?"
"I don't know," said the man. "Spies! Yaha! Tst! Spies!"
He asked another man. "Who is it?"
"I don't know," returned the man, clapping his hands to his mouth
nevertheless, and vociferating in a surprising heat and with the
greatest ardour, "Spies! Yaha! Tst, tst! Spi--ies!"