BOOK THE THIRD: A LONG LANE
Chapter 7: The Friendly Move Takes up a Strong Position (continued)
'For clearly do I know, mark you,' pursued Wegg, pointing his
words with his forefinger, 'clearly do I know what question your
expressive features puts to me.'
'What question?' said Venus.
'The question,' returned Wegg, with a sort of joyful affability, 'why
I didn't mention sooner, that I had found something. Says your
speaking countenance to me: "Why didn't you communicate that,
when I first come in this evening? Why did you keep it back till
you thought Mr Boffin had come to look for the article?" Your
speaking countenance,' said Wegg, 'puts it plainer than language.
Now, you can't read in my face what answer I give?'
'No, I can't,' said Venus.
'I knew it! And why not?' returned Wegg, with the same joyful
candour. 'Because I lay no claims to a speaking countenance.
Because I am well aware of my deficiencies. All men are not
gifted alike. But I can answer in words. And in what words?
These. I wanted to give you a delightful sap--pur--IZE!'
Having thus elongated and emphasized the word Surprise, Mr
Wegg shook his friend and brother by both hands, and then
clapped him on both knees, like an affectionate patron who
entreated him not to mention so small a service as that which it
had been his happy privilege to render.
'Your speaking countenance, ' said Wegg, 'being answered to its
satisfaction, only asks then, "What have you found?" Why, I hear
it say the words!'
'Well?' retorted Venus snappishly, after waiting in vain. 'If you
hear it say the words, why don't you answer it?'
'Hear me out!' said Wegg. 'I'm a-going to. Hear me out! Man and
brother, partner in feelings equally with undertakings and actions, I
have found a cash-box.'
'--Hear me out!' said Wegg. (He tried to reserve whatever he could,
and, whenever disclosure was forced upon him, broke into a
radiant gush of Hear me out.) 'On a certain day, sir--'