21. CHAPTER XXI
So on the fourth day from that time, Silas and Eppie, in their
Sunday clothes, with a small bundle tied in a blue linen
handkerchief, were making their way through the streets of a great
manufacturing town. Silas, bewildered by the changes thirty years
had brought over his native place, had stopped several persons in
succession to ask them the name of this town, that he might be sure
he was not under a mistake about it.
"Ask for Lantern Yard, father--ask this gentleman with the
tassels on his shoulders a-standing at the shop door; he isn't in a
hurry like the rest," said Eppie, in some distress at her father's
bewilderment, and ill at ease, besides, amidst the noise, the
movement, and the multitude of strange indifferent faces.
"Eh, my child, he won't know anything about it," said Silas;
"gentlefolks didn't ever go up the Yard. But happen somebody can
tell me which is the way to Prison Street, where the jail is.
I know the way out o' that as if I'd seen it yesterday."
With some difficulty, after many turnings and new inquiries, they
reached Prison Street; and the grim walls of the jail, the first
object that answered to any image in Silas's memory, cheered him
with the certitude, which no assurance of the town's name had
hitherto given him, that he was in his native place.
"Ah," he said, drawing a long breath, "there's the jail, Eppie;
that's just the same: I aren't afraid now. It's the third turning
on the left hand from the jail doors--that's the way we must go."
"Oh, what a dark ugly place!" said Eppie. "How it hides the
sky! It's worse than the Workhouse. I'm glad you don't live in
this town now, father. Is Lantern Yard like this street?"
"My precious child," said Silas, smiling, "it isn't a big street
like this. I never was easy i' this street myself, but I was fond
o' Lantern Yard. The shops here are all altered, I think--I can't
make 'em out; but I shall know the turning, because it's the