Here Mr. Venus interposed, and remarked that he conceived Mr. Boffin to have taken the description literally; the rather, forasmuch as he, Mr. Venus, had himself supposed the menial to have contracted an affliction or a habit of the nose, involving a serious drawback on the pleasures of social intercourse, until he had discovered that Mr. Weggs description of him was to be accepted as merely figurative.
Any how, and every how, said Wegg, he has been planted here, and he is here. Now, I wont have him here. So I call upon Boffin, before I say another word, to fetch him in and send him packing to the right-about.
The unsuspecting Sloppy was at that moment airing his many buttons within view of the window. Mr. Boffin, after a short interval of impassive discomfiture, opened the window and beckoned him to come in.
I call upon Boffin, said Wegg, with one arm a-kimbo and his head on one side, like a bullying counsel pausing for an answer from a witness, to inform that menial that I am Master here!
In humble obedience, when the button-gleaming Sloppy entered Mr. Boffin said to him: Sloppy, my fine fellow, Mr. Wegg is Master here. He doesnt want you, and you are to go from here.
For good! Mr. Wegg severely stipulated.
For good, said Mr. Boffin.
Sloppy stared, with both his eyes and all his buttons, and his mouth wide open; but was without loss of time escorted forth by Silas Wegg, pushed out at the yard gate by the shoulders, and locked out.
The atomspear, said Wegg, stumping back into the room again, a little reddened by his late exertion, is now freer for the purposes of respiration. Mr. Venus, sir, take a chair. Boffin, you may sit down.
Mr. Boffin, still with his hands ruefully stuck in his pockets, sat on the edge of the settle, shrunk into a small compass, and eyed the potent Silas with conciliatory looks.
This gentleman, said Silas Wegg, pointing out Venus, this gentleman, Boffin, is more milk and watery with you than Ill be. But he hasnt borne the Roman yoke as I have, nor yet he hasnt been required to pander to your depraved appetite for miserly characters.
I never meant, my dear Wegg Mr. Boffin was beginning, when Silas stopped him.
Hold your tongue, Boffin! Answer when youre called upon to answer. Youll find youve got quite enough to do. Now, youre aware are you that youre in possession of property to which youve no right at all? Are you aware of that?
Venus tells me so, said Mr. Boffin, glancing towards him for any support he could give.
I tell you so, returned Silas. Now, heres my hat, Boffin, and heres my walking-stick. Trifle with me, and instead of making a bargain with you, Ill put on my hat and take up my walking-stick, and go out, and make a bargain with the rightful owner. Now, what do you say?
I say, returned Mr. Boffin, leaning forward in alarmed appeal, with his hands on his knees, that I am sure I dont want to trifle. Wegg. I have said so to Venus.
You certainly have, sir, said Venus.
Youre too milk and watery with our friend, you are indeed, remonstrated Silas, with a disapproving shake of his wooden head. Then at once you confess yourself desirous to come to terms, do you, Boffin? Before you answer, keep this hat well in your mind, and also this walking-stick.
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