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Charles Dickens: The Old Curiosity Shop
CHAPTER 38 (continued)
'I must be going, sir, if you please,' said Kit, moving away.
'Don't be in a hurry, Christopher,' replied his patron, 'we'll drink your mother.'
'Thank you, sir.'
'An excellent woman that mother of yours, Christopher,' said Mr Swiveller. 'Who ran to catch me when I fell, and kissed the place to make it well? My mother. A charming woman. He's a liberal sort of fellow. We must get him to do something for your mother. Does he know her, Christopher?'
Kit shook his head, and glancing slyly at his questioner, thanked him, and made off before he could say another word.
'Humph!' said Mr Swiveller pondering, 'this is queer. Nothing but mysteries in connection with Brass's house. I'll keep my own counsel, however. Everybody and anybody has been in my confidence as yet, but now I think I'll set up in business for myself. Queer-- very queer!'
After pondering deeply and with a face of exceeding wisdom for some time, Mr Swiveller drank some more of the beer, and summoning a small boy who had been watching his proceedings, poured forth the few remaining drops as a libation on the gravel, and bade him carry the empty vessel to the bar with his compliments, and above all things to lead a sober and temperate life, and abstain from all intoxicating and exciting liquors. Having given him this piece of moral advice for his trouble (which, as he wisely observed, was far better than half-pence) the Perpetual Grand Master of the Glorious Apollos thrust his hands into his pockets and sauntered away: still pondering as he went.
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