To him succeeds Sarah, who in like manner is easy to be managed by Mr Brass’s gentleman, but very obdurate to Kit’s. In short, Kit’s gentleman can get nothing out of her but a repetition of what she has said before (only a little stronger this time, as against his client), and therefore lets her go, in some confusion. Then Mr Brass’s gentleman calls Richard Swiveller, and Richard Swiveller appears accordingly.

Now, Mr Brass’s gentleman has it whispered in his ear that this witness is disposed to be friendly to the prisoner — which, to say the truth, he is rather glad to hear, as his strength is considered to lie in what is familiarly termed badgering. Wherefore, he begins by requesting the officer to be quite sure that this witness kisses the book, and then goes to work at him, tooth and nail.

‘Mr Swiveller,’ says this gentleman to Dick, when he had told his tale with evident reluctance and a desire to make the best of it: ‘Pray Sir, where did you dine yesterday?’ — ‘Where did I dine yesterday?’ — ‘Ay, Sir, where did you dine yesterday — was it near here, Sir?’ — ‘Oh to be sure — yes — just over the way.’ — ‘To be sure. Yes. Just over the way,’ repeats Mr Brass’s gentleman, with a glance at the Court — ‘Alone, Sir?’ — ‘I beg your pardon,’ says Mr Swiveller, who has not caught the question — ‘Alone, Sir?’ repeats Mr Brass’s gentleman in a voice of thunder, ‘did you dine alone? Did you treat anybody, Sir? Come!’ — ‘Oh yes, to be sure — yes, I did,’ says Mr Swiveller with a smile. ‘Have the goodness to banish a levity, Sir, which is very ill-suited to the place in which you stand (though perhaps you have reason to be thankful that it’s only that place),’ says Mr Brass’s gentleman, with a nod of the head insinuating that the dock is Mr Swiveller’s legitimate sphere of action; ‘and attend to me. You were waiting about here yesterday in expectation that this trial was coming on. You dined over the way. You treated somebody. Now, was that somebody brother to the prisoner at the bar?’ — Mr Swiveller is proceeding to explain — ‘Yes or no, Sir,’ cries Mr Brass’s gentleman — ‘But will you allow me — ’ — ‘Yes or No, Sir,’ — ‘Yes it was, but — ’ — ‘Yes it was,’ cries the gentleman, taking him up short — ‘And a very pretty witness you are!’

Down sits Mr Brass’s gentleman. Kit’s gentleman, not knowing how the matter really stands, is afraid to pursue the subject. Richard Swiveller retires abashed. Judge, jury, and spectators have visions of his lounging about with an ill-looking, large-whiskered, dissolute young fellow of six feet high. The reality is, little Jacob, with the calves of his legs exposed to the open air, and himself tied up in a shawl. Nobody knows the truth; everybody believes a falsehood — and all because of the ingenuity of Mr Brass’s gentleman!

Then come the witnesses to character, and here Mr Brass’s gentleman shines again. It turns out that Mr Garland has had no character with Kit, no recommendation of him but from his own mother, and that he was suddenly dismissed by his former master for unknown reasons. ‘Really Mr Garland,’ says Mr Brass’s gentleman, ‘for a person who has arrived at your time of life, you are, to say the least of it, singularly indiscreet, I think.’ The Jury think so too, and find Kit guilty. He is taken off, humbly protesting his innocence. The spectators settle themselves in their places with renewed attention, for there are several female witnesses to be examined in the next case, and it has been rumoured that Mr Brass’s gentleman will make great fun in cross-examining them for the prisoner.

Kit’s mother, poor woman, is waiting at the grate below stairs, accompanied by Barbara’s mother (who, honest soul! never does anything but cry, and hold the baby), and a sad interview ensues. The newspaper- reading turnkey has told them all. He don’t think it will be transportation for life, because there’s time to prove the good character yet, and that is sure to serve him. He wonders what he did it for. ‘He never did it!’ cries Kit’s mother. ‘Well,’ says the turnkey, ‘I won’t contradict you. It’s all one now, whether he did it or not.’

Kit’s mother can reach his hand through the bars, and clasps it — God, and those to whom he has given such tenderness, only know in how much agony. Kit bids her keep a good heart, and, under pretence of having the children lifted up to kiss him, prays Barbara’s mother in a whisper to take her home.

‘Some friend will rise up for us, mother,’ cried Kit, ‘I am sure. If not now, before long. My innocence will come out, mother, and I shall be brought back again; I feel confidence in that. You must teach little

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