Our Mutual Friend
15. The Whole Case So Far
Bradley Headstone held fast by that other interview he was to have with Lizzie
Hexam. In stipulating for it, he had been impelled by a feeling little short of
desperation, and the feeling abided by him. It was very soon after his interview
with the Secretary, that he and Charley Hexam set out one leaden evening, not
unnoticed by Miss Peecher, to have this desperate interview accomplished.
'That dolls' dressmaker,' said Bradley, 'is favourable neither to me nor to you,
'A pert crooked little chit, Mr Headstone! I knew she would put herself in the way,
if she could, and would be sure to strike in with something impertinent. It was on
that account that I proposed our going to the City to-night and meeting my sister.'
'So I supposed,' said Bradley, getting his gloves on his nervous hands as he
walked. 'So I supposed.'
'Nobody but my sister,' pursued Charley, 'would have found out such an
extraordinary companion. She has done it in a ridiculous fancy of giving herself
up to another. She told me so, that night when we went there.'
'Why should she give herself up to the dressmaker?' asked Bradley.
'Oh!' said the boy, colouring. 'One of her romantic ideas! I tried to convince her
so, but I didn't succeed. However, what we have got to do, is, to succeed to-
night, Mr Headstone, and then all the rest follows.'
'You are still sanguine, Hexam.'
'Certainly I am, sir. Why, we have everything on our side.'
'Except your sister, perhaps,' thought Bradley. But he only gloomily thought it,
and said nothing.
'Everything on our side,' repeated the boy with boyish confidence. 'Respectability,
an excellent connexion for me, common sense, everything!'
'To be sure, your sister has always shown herself a devoted sister,' said Bradley,
willing to sustain himself on even that low ground of hope.