Hard Times for These Times; Pictures from Italy; Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings; Mrs. Lirriper's Legacy

By Charles Dickens | Go to book overview

On the fourth day, Rachael, with unabated confidence, but considering her despatch to have miscarried, went up to the Bank, and showed her letter from him with his address, at a working colony, one of many, not upon the main road, sixty miles away. Messengers were sent to that place, and the whole town looked for Stephen to be brought in next day.

During this whole time the whelp moved about with Mr. Bounderby like his shadow, assisting in all the proceedings. He was greatly excited, horribly fevered, bit his nails down to the quick, spoke in a hard rattling voice, and with lips that were black and burnt up. At the hour when the suspected man was looked for, the whelp was at the station; offering to wager that he had made off before the arrival of those who were sent in quest of him, and that he would not appear.

The whelp was right. The messengers returned alone. Rachael's letter had gone, Rachael's letter had been delivered, Stephen Blackpool had decamped in that same hour; and no soul knew more of him. The only doubt in Coketown was, whether Rachael had written in good faith, believing that he really would come back, or warning him to fly. On this point opinion was divided.

Six days, seven days, far on into another week. The wretched whelp plucked up a ghastly courage, and began to grow defiant. 'Was the suspected fellow the thief? A pretty question! If not, where was the man, and why did he not come back?'

Where was the man, and why did he not come back? In the dead of night the echoes of his own words, which had rolled Heaven knows how far away in the daytime, came back instead, and abided by him until morning.


CHAPTER V
FOUND

DAY and night again, day and night again. No Stephen Blackpool. Where was the man, and why did he not come back?

Every night, Sissy went to Rachael's lodging, and sat with her in her small neat room. All day, Rachael toiled as such people must toil, whatever their anxieties. The smoke-serpents were in-

-227-

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Hard Times for These Times; Pictures from Italy; Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings; Mrs. Lirriper's Legacy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Hard Times - Book the First Sowing 1
  • Chapter IV - Mr. Bounderby 7
  • Chapter V - The Key-Note 19
  • Chapter VII - Mrs. Sparsit 37
  • Chapter XI - No Way Out 56
  • Chapter XII - The Old Woman 61
  • Chapter XIII - Rachael 73
  • Chapter XV - Father and Daughter 80
  • Chapter XVI - Husband and Wife 85
  • Book the Second - Reaping 98
  • Chapter IV - Men and Brothers 123
  • Chapter VI - Fading Away 130
  • Chapter VII - Gunpowder 136
  • Chapter VIII - Explosion 147
  • Chapter IX Hearing the Last of It 159
  • Chapter X - Mrs. Sparsit's Staircase 171
  • Chapter XI - Lower and Lower 178
  • Chapter XII - Down 191
  • Book the Third - Garnering 196
  • Chapter II - Very Ridiculous 202
  • Chapter III - Very Decided 211
  • Chapter IV - Lost 219
  • Chapter VI - The Starlight 227
  • Chapter VII - Whelp-Hunting 245
  • Chapter IX - Final 255
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