Stephen shook his head, mutely protesting that indeed he had other business to do for life.
'You are such a waspish, raspish, ill-conditioned chap, you see,' said Mr. Bounderby, 'that even your own Union, the men who know you best, will have nothing to do with you. I never thought those fellows could be right in anything; but I tell you what! I so far go along with them for a novelty, that I'll have nothing to do with you either.'
Stephen raised his eyes quickly to his face.
'You can finish off what you're at,' said Mr. Bounderby, with a meaning nod, 'and then go elsewhere.'
'Sir, yo know weel,' said Stephen expressively, 'that if I canna get work wi' you, I canna get it elsewheer.'
The reply was, 'What I know, I know; and what you know, you know. I have no more to say about it.'
Stephen glanced at Louisa again, but her eyes were raised no more; therefore, with a sigh, and saying, barely above his breath, 'Heaven help us aw in this world!' he departed.
IT was falling dark when Stephen came out of Mr. Bounderby's house. The shadows of night had gathered so fast, that he did not look about him when he closed the door, but plodded straight along the street. Nothing was further from his thoughts than the curious old woman he had encountered on his previous visit to the same house, when he heard a step behind him that he knew, and, turning, saw her in Rachael's company.
He say Rachael first, as he had heard her only.
'Ah, Rachael, my dear! Missus, thou wi' her!'
'Well, and now you are surprised to be sure, and with reason I must say,' the old woman returned. 'Here I am again, you see.'
'But how wiapos; Rachael?' said Stephen, falling into their step, walking between them, and looking from the one to the other.
'Why, I come to be with this good lass pretty much as I came to be with you,' said the old woman, cheerfully, taking the reply