Ill tell you what I am, whispered Mr. Creakle, letting it go at last, with a screw at parting that brought the water into my eyes. Im a Tartar.
A Tartar, said the man with the wooden leg.
When I say Ill do a thing, I do it, said Mr. Creakle; and when I say I will have a thing done, I will have it done.
Will have a thing done, I will have it done, repeated the man with the wooden leg.
I am a determined character, said Mr. Creakle. Thats what I am. I do my duty. Thats what I do. My flesh and blood he looked at Mrs. Creakle as he said thiswhen it rises against me, is not my flesh and blood. I discard it.Has that fellow, to the man with the wooden leg, been here again?
No, was the answer.
No, said Mr. Creakle. He knows better. He knows me. Let him keep away. I say let him keep away, said Mr. Creakle, striking his hand upon the table, and looking at Mrs. Creakle, for he knows me. Now you have begun to know me too, my young friend, and you may go. Take him away.
I was very glad to be ordered away, for Mrs. and Miss Creakle were both wiping their eyes, and I felt as uncomfortable for them as I did for myself. But I had a petition on my mind which concerned me so nearly, that I couldnt help saying, though I wondered at my own courage
If you please, Sir
Mr. Creakle whispered, Hah! Whats this? and bent his eyes upon me, as if he would have burnt me up with them.
If you please, Sir, I faltered, if I might be allowed (I am very sorry indeed, Sir, for what I did) to take this writing off, before the boys come back
Whether Mr. Creakle was in earnest, or whether he only did it to frighten me, I dont know, but he made a burst out of his chair, before which I precipitately retreated, without waiting for the escort of the man with the wooden leg, and never once stopped until I reached my own bedroom, where, finding I was not pursued, I went to bed, as it was time, and lay quaking for a couple of hours.
Next morning Mr. Sharp came back. Mr. Sharp was the first master, and superior to Mr. Mell. Mr. Mell took his meals with the boys, but Mr. Sharp dined and supped at Mr. Creakles table. He was a limp, delicate-looking gentleman, I thought, with a good deal of nose, and a way of carrying his head on one side, as if it were a little too heavy for him. His hair was very smooth and wavy; but I was informed by the very first boy who came back that it was a wig (a second-hand one he said), and that Mr. Sharp went out every Saturday afternoon to get it curled.
It was no other than Tommy Traddles who gave me this piece of intelligence. He was the first boy who returned. He introduced himself by informing me that I should find his name on the right-hand corner of the gate, over the top bolt; upon that I said, Traddles? to which he replied, The same, and then he asked me for a full account of myself and family.
It was a happy circumstance for me that Traddles came back first. He enjoyed my placard so much, that he saved me from the embarrassment of either disclosure or concealment, by presenting me to every other boy who came back, great or small, immediately on his arrival, in this form of introduction, Look here! Heres a game! Happily, too, the greater part of the boys came back low-spirited, and were not so boisterous at my expense as I had expected. Some of them certainly did dance about me like wild Indians, and the greater part could not resist the temptation of pretending that I was a dog, and patting and smoothing me, lest I should bite, and saying, Lie down, Sir! and calling me Towzer. This was
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