BOOK THE THIRD: A LONG LANE
Chapter 14: Mr Wegg Prepares a Grindstone for Mr Boffin's Nose (continued)
The Golden Dustman, with his hands folded on the top of his stout
stick, with his chin resting upon them, and with something leering
and whimsical in his eyes, gave a nod, and said, 'Quite so, Venus.'
'That proposal, sir, was a conspiring breach of your confidence, to
such an extent, that I ought at once to have made it known to you.
But I didn't, Mr Boffin, and I fell into it.'
Without moving eye or finger, Mr Boffin gave another nod, and
placidly repeated, 'Quite so, Venus.'
'Not that I was ever hearty in it, sir,' the penitent anatomist went
on, 'or that I ever viewed myself with anything but reproach for
having turned out of the paths of science into the paths of--' he was
going to say 'villany,' but, unwilling to press too hard upon
himself, substituted with great emphasis--'Weggery.'
Placid and whimsical of look as ever, Mr Boffin answered:
'Quite so, Venus.'
'And now, sir,' said Venus, 'having prepared your mind in the
rough, I will articulate the details.' With which brief professional
exordium, he entered on the history of the friendly move, and truly
recounted it. One might have thought that it would have extracted
some show of surprise or anger, or other emotion, from Mr Boffin,
but it extracted nothing beyond his former comment:
'Quite so, Venus.'
'I have astonished you, sir, I believe?' said Mr Venus, pausing
Mr Boffin simply answered as aforesaid: 'Quite so, Venus.'
By this time the astonishment was all on the other side. It did not,
however, so continue. For, when Venus passed to Wegg's
discovery, and from that to their having both seen Mr Boffin dig up
the Dutch bottle, that gentleman changed colour, changed his
attitude, became extremely restless, and ended (when Venus
ended) by being in a state of manifest anxiety, trepidation, and