‘I say,’ returned Sampson violently, ‘that he is not. What do you mean? How dare you? Are characters to be whispered away like this? Do you know that he’s the honestest and faithfullest fellow that ever lived, and that he has an irreproachable good name? Come in, come in!’

These last words were not addressed to Miss Sally, though they partook of the tone in which the indignant remonstrances that preceded them had been uttered. They were addressed to some person who had knocked at the office-door; and they had hardly passed the lips of Mr Brass, when this very Kit himself looked in.

‘Is the gentleman upstairs, Sir, if you please?’

‘Yes, Kit,’ said Brass, still fired with an honest indignation, and frowning with knotted brows upon his sister; ‘Yes Kit, he is. I am glad to see you, Kit, I am rejoiced to see you. Look in again, as you come downstairs, Kit. That lad a robber!’ cried Brass when he had withdrawn, ‘with that frank and open countenance! I’d trust him with untold gold. Mr Richard, Sir, have the goodness to step directly to Wrasp and Co.’s in Broad Street, and inquire if they have had instructions to appear in Carkem and Painter. That lad a robber,’ sneered Sampson, flushed and heated with his wrath. ‘Am I blind, deaf, silly; do I know nothing of human nature when I see it before me? Kit a robber! Bah!’

Flinging this final interjection at Miss Sally with immeasurable scorn and contempt, Sampson Brass thrust his head into his desk as if to shut the base world from his view, and breathed defiance from under its half-closed lid.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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