George & Weedon Grossmith
Carrie was all of a tremble when she read the letter, and all she could keep on saying was: "Oh, I do hope it will be all right." For myself, I could scarcely eat any breakfast. Lupin came down dressed quietly, and looking a perfect gentleman, except that his face was rather yellow. Carrie, by way of encouragement said: "You do look nice, Lupin." Lupin replied: "Yes, it's a good make-up, isn't it? A regular-downright-respectable-funereal-first-class-City-firm-junior-clerk." He laughed rather ironically.
In the hall I heard a great noise, and also Lupin shouting to Sarah to fetch down his old hat. I went into the passage, and found Lupin in a fury, kicking and smashing a new tall hat. I said: "Lupin, my boy, what are you doing? How wicked of you! Some poor fellow would be glad to have it." Lupin replied: "I would not insult any poor fellow by giving it to him."
When he had gone outside, I picked up the battered hat, and saw inside "Posh's Patent." Poor Lupin! I can forgive him. It seemed hours before we reached the office. Mr. Perkupp sent for Lupin, who was with him nearly an hour. He returned, as I thought, crestfallen in appearance. I said: "Well, Lupin, how about Mr. Perkupp?" Lupin commenced his song: "What's the matter with Perkupp? He's all right!" I felt instinctively my boy was engaged. I went to Mr. Perkupp, but I could not speak. He said: "Well, Mr. Pooter, what is it?" I must have looked a fool, for all I could say was: "Mr. Perkupp, you are a good man." He looked at me for a moment, and said: "No, Mr. Pooter, you are the good man; and we'll see if we cannot get your son to follow such an excellent example." I said: "Mr. Perkupp, may I go home? I cannot work any more today."
My good master shook my hand warmly as he nodded his head. It was as much as I could do to prevent myself from crying in the 'bus; in fact, I should have done so, had my thoughts not been interrupted by Lupin, who was having a quarrel with a fat man in the 'bus, whom he accused of taking up too much room.
In the evening Carrie sent round for dear old friend Cummings and his wife, and also to Gowing. We all sat round the fire, and in a bottle of "Jackson Freres," which Sarah fetched from the grocer's, drank Lupin's health. I lay awake for hours, thinking of the future. My boy in the same office as myself — we can go down together by the 'bus, come home together, and who knows but in the course of time he may take great interest in our little home. That he may help me to put a nail in here or a nail in there, or help his dear mother to hang a picture. In the summer he may help us in our little garden with the flowers, and assist us to paint the stands and pots. (By-the-by, I must get in some more enamel paint.) All this I thought over and over again, and a thousand happy thoughts beside. I heard the clock strike four, and soon after fell asleep, only to dream of three happy people — Lupin, dear Carrie, and myself.
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