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CHAPTER 35 (continued)
Mr Brass had evidently a strong inclination to make an angry reply, but was deterred by prudent or timid considerations, as he only muttered something about aggravation and a vagabond; not associating the terms with any individual, but mentioning them as connected with some abstract ideas which happened to occur to him. They went on writing for a long time in silence after this--in such a dull silence that Mr Swiveller (who required excitement) had several times fallen asleep, and written divers strange words in an unknown character with his eyes shut, when Miss Sally at length broke in upon the monotony of the office by pulling out the little tin box, taking a noisy pinch of snuff, and then expressing her opinion that Mr Richard Swiveller had 'done it.'
'Done what, ma'am?' said Richard.
'Do you know,' returned Miss Brass, 'that the lodger isn't up yet-- that nothing has been seen or heard of him since he went to bed yesterday afternoon?'
'Well, ma'am,' said Dick, 'I suppose he may sleep his ten pound out, in peace and quietness, if he likes.'
'Ah! I begin to think he'll never wake,' observed Miss Sally.
'It's a very remarkable circumstance,' said Brass, laying down his pen; 'really, very remarkable. Mr Richard, you'll remember, if this gentleman should be found to have hung himself to the bed-post, or any unpleasant accident of that kind should happen-- you'll remember, Mr Richard, that this ten pound note was given to you in part payment of two years' rent? You'll bear that in mind, Mr Richard; you had better make a note of it, sir, in case you should ever be called upon to give evidence.'
Mr Swiveller took a large sheet of foolscap, and with a countenance of profound gravity, began to make a very small note in one corner.
'We can never be too cautious,' said Mr Brass. 'There is a deal of wickedness going about the world, a deal of wickedness. Did the gentleman happen to say, Sir--but never mind that at present, sir; finish that little memorandum first.'
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