But its only gone three! said George in an injured tone, when it had finished.
Well, and how many did you want it to go? replied the constable.
Why, nine, said George, showing his watch.
Do you know where you live? said the guardian of public order severely.
George thought, and gave the address.
Oh! thats where it is, is it? replied the man. Well, you take my advice and go there quietly, and take that watch of yours with you; and dont lets have any more of it.
And George went home again, musing as he walked along, and let himself in.
At first, when he got in, he determined to undress and go to bed again; but when he thought of the re- dressing and rewashing, and the having of another bath, he determined he would not, but would sit up and go to sleep in the easy-chair.
But he could not get to sleep: he never felt more wakeful in his life; so he lit the lamp and got out the chess-board and played himself a game of chess. But even that did not enliven him: it seemed slow somehow; so he gave chess up and tried to read. He did not seem able to take any sort of interest in reading either, so he put on his coat again and went out for a walk.
It was horribly lonesome and dismal, and all the policemen he met regarded him with undisguised suspicion, and turned their lanterns on him and followed him about, and this had such an effect upon him at last that he began to feel as if he really had done something, and he got to slinking down the by-streets and hiding in dark doorways when he heard the regulation flip-flop approaching.
Of course, this conduct made the force only more distrustful of him than ever, and they would come and rout him out and ask him what he was doing there; and when he answered Nothing, he had merely come out for a stroll (it was then four oclock in the morning), they looked as though they did not believe him, and two plain-clothes constables came home with him to see if he really did live where he had said he did. They saw him go in with his key, and then they took up a position opposite and watched the house.
He thought he would light a fire when he got inside, and make himself some breakfast, just to pass away the time; but he did not seem able to handle anything from a scuttleful of coals to a teaspoon without dropping it or falling over it, and making such a noise that he was in mortal fear that it would wake Mrs G. up, and that she would think it was burglars and open the window and call Police! and then these two detectives would rush in and handcuff him, and march him off to the police-court.
He was in a morbidly nervous state by this time, and he pictured the trial, and his trying to explain the circumstances to the jury, and nobody believing him, and his being sentenced to twenty years penal servitude, and his mother dying of a broken heart. So he gave up trying to get breakfast, and wrapped himself up in his overcoat, and sat in the easy-chair till Mrs G. came down at half past seven.
He said he had never got up too early since that morning; it had been such a warning to him.
We had been sitting huddled up in our rugs while George had been telling me this true story, and on his finishing it I set to work to wake up Harris with a scull. The third prod did it: and he turned over on the other side, and said he would be down in a minute, and that he would have his lace-up boots. We soon let him know where he was, however, by the aid of the hitcher, and he sat up suddenly, sending Montmorency, who had been sleeping the sleep of the just, right on the middle of his chest, sprawling across the boat.
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