HomeCharles DickensSomebody′s Luggage

Somebody′s Luggage. Charles Dickens

There from time to time I stared at it and stared at it, till it seemed to grow big and grow little, and come forward at me and retreat again, and go through all manner of performances resembling intoxication. When this had lasted weeks,—I may say months, and not be far out,—I one day thought of asking Miss Martin for the particulars of the Two sixteen six total. She was so obliging as to extract it from the books,—it dating before her time,—and here follows a true copy:

Coffee-Room.
1856. No. 4. Pounds s. d.
Feb. 2d, Pen and Paper 0 0 6
Port Negus 0 2 0
Ditto 0 2 0
Pen and paper 0 0 6
Tumbler broken 0 2 6
Brandy 0 2 0
Pen and paper 0 0 6
Anchovy toast 0 2 6
Pen and paper 0 0 6
Bed 0 3 0
Feb. 3d, Pen and paper 0 0 6
Breakfast 0 2 6
Broiled ham 0 2 0
Eggs 0 1 0
Watercresses 0 1 0
Shrimps 0 1 0
Pen and paper 0 0 6
Blotting-paper 0 0 6
Messenger to Paternoster
Row and back 0 1 6
Again, when No Answer 0 1 6
Brandy 2s., Devilled
Pork chop 2s. 0 4 0
Pens and paper 0 1 0
Messenger to Albemarle
Street and back 0 1 0
Again (detained), when
No Answer 0 1 6
Salt-cellar broken 0 3 6
Large Liquour-glass
Orange Brandy 0 1 6
Dinner, Soup, Fish,
Joint, and bird 0 7 6
Bottle old East India
Brown 0 8 0
Pen and paper 0 0 6
Pounds 2 16 6

Mem.: January 1st, 1857. He went out after dinner, directing luggage to be ready when he called for it. Never called.

* * * * *

So far from throwing a light upon the subject, this bill appeared to me, if I may so express my doubts, to involve it in a yet more lurid halo. Speculating it over with the Mistress, she informed me that the luggage had been advertised in the Master′s time as being to be sold after such and such a day to pay expenses, but no farther steps had been taken. (I may here remark, that the Mistress is a widow in her fourth year. The Master was possessed of one of those unfortunate constitutions in which Spirits turns to Water, and rises in the ill-starred Victim.)

My speculating it over, not then only, but repeatedly, sometimes with the Mistress, sometimes with one, sometimes with another, led up to the Mistress′s saying to me,—whether at first in joke or in earnest, or half joke and half earnest, it matters not:

"Christopher, I am going to make you a handsome offer.

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