numerous discoveries of himself in the bars of public-houses, being treated and questioned, which he was in the daily habit of making.
`Therefore I can judge,' said Mr. Perch, shaking his head again, and speaking in a silvery murmur, `of the feelings of such as is at all peculiarly sitiwated in this most painful rewelation.'
Here Mr. Perch waited to be confided in; and receiving no confidence, coughed behind his hand. This leading to nothing, he coughed behind his hat; and that leading to nothing, he put his hat on the ground and sought in his breast pocket for the letter.
`If I rightly recollect, there was no answer,' said Mr. Perch, with an affable smile; `but perhaps you'll be so good as cast your eye over it, Sir.'
John Carker broke the seal, which was Mr. Dombey's, and possessing himself of the contents, which were very brief, replied, `No. No answer is expected.'
`Then I shall wish you good morning, Miss,' said Perch, taking a step toward the door, `and hoping, I'm sure, that you'll not permit yourself to be more reduced in mind than you can help, by the late painful rewelation. The Papers,' said Mr. Perch, taking two steps back again, and comprehensively addressing both the brother and sister in a whisper of increased mystery, `is more eager for news of it than you'd suppose possible. One of the Sunday ones, in a blue cloak and a white hat, that had previously offered for to bribe me--need I say with what success?--was dodging about our court last night as late as twenty minutes after eight o'clock. I see him myself, with his eye at the counting-house keyhole, which being patent is impervious. Another one,' said Mr. Perch, `with milintary frogs, is in the parlour of the King's Arms all the blessed day. I happened, last week, to let a little obserwation fall there, and next morning, which was Sunday, I see it worked up in print, in a most surprising manner.'
Mr. Perch resorted to his breast pocket, as if to produce the paragraph, but receiving no encouragement, pulled out his beaver gloves, picked up his hat, and took his leave; and before it was high noon, Mr. Perch had related to several select audiences at the King's Arms and elsewhere, how Miss Carker, bursting into tears, had caught him by both hands, and said, `Oh! dear dear Perch, the sight of you is all the comfort I have 'left!' and how Mr. John Carker and said, in an awful voice, `Perch, I disown him. Never let me hear him mentioned as a brother more!'
`Dear John,' said Harriet, when they were left alone, and had remained silent for some few moments. `There are bad tidings in that letter.'
`Yes. But nothing unexpected,' he replied. `I saw the writer yesterday.'
`Mr. Dombey. He passed twice through the counting-house while I was there. I had been able to avoid him before, but of course could not hope to do that long. I know how natural it was that he should regard my presence as something offensive; I felt it must be so, myself.'
`He did not say so?'
`No; he said nothing: but I saw that his glance rested on me for a moment, and I was prepared for what would happen--for what has happened. I am dismissed!'
She looked as little shocked and as hopeful as she could, but it was distressing news, for many reasons.
`"I need not tell you,"' said John Carker, reading the letter, `"why your name would henceforth have an unnatural sound, in however remote a connexion with mine, or why the daily sight of any one who bears it, would be unendurable to me. I have to notify the cessation of all engagements between us, from this date, and to request that no renewal of any communication with me, or my establishment, be ever
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