up the box. It was an iron box some two feet square, which he carried under his arms pretty easily. Jeremiah watched his manner of adjusting it, with jealous eyes; tried it with his hands, to be sure that he had a firm hold of it; bade him for his life be careful what he was about; and then stole out on tiptoe to open the door for him. Affery, anticipating the last movement, was on the staircase. The sequence of things was so ordinary and natural, that, standing there, she could hear the door open, feel the night air, and see the stars outside.

But now came the most remarkable part of the dream. She felt so afraid of her husband, that being on the staircase, she had not the power to retreat to her room (which she might easily have done before he had fastened the door), but stood there staring. Consequently when he came up the staircase to bed, candle in hand, he came full upon her. He looked astonished, but said not a word. He kept his eyes upon her, and kept advancing; and she, completely under his influence, kept retiring before him. Thus, she walking backward and he walking forward, they came into their own room. They were no sooner shut in there, than Mr. Flintwinch took her by the throat and shook her until she was black in the face.

'Why, Affery, woman -- Affery!' said Mr. Flintwinch. 'What have you been dreaming of? Wake up, wake up! What's the matter?'

'The -- the matter, Jeremiah?' gasped Mrs. Flintwinch, rolling her eyes.

'Why, Affery, woman -- Affery! You have been getting out of bed in your sleep, my dear! I come up, after having fallen asleep myself, below, and find you in your wrapper here, with the nightmare. Affery, woman,' said Mr. Flintwinch, with a friendly grin on his expressive countenance, 'if you ever have a dream of this sort again, it 'll be a sign of your being in want of physic. And I 'll give you such a dose, old woman -- such a dose!'

Mrs. Flintwinch thanked him and crept into bed.


CHAPTER V
FAMILY AFFAIRS

As the city clocks struck nine on Monday morning, Mrs. Clennam was wheeled by Jeremiah Flintwinch of the cut-down aspect, to her tall cabinet. When she had unlocked and opened it, and

-42-

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