Men's Wives HTML version

Chapter 6
In Which Mr. Walker Still Remains In Difficulties, But Shows Great Resignation
Under His Misfortunes.
The exemplary Walker, seeing that escape from his enemies was hopeless, and
that it was his duty as a man to turn on them and face them, now determined to
quit the splendid though narrow lodgings which Mr. Bendigo had provided for
him, and undergo the martyrdom of the Fleet. Accordingly, in company with that
gentleman, he came over to Her Majesty's prison, and gave himself into the
custody of the officers there; and did not apply for the accommodation of the
Rules (by which in those days the captivity of some debtors was considerably
lightened), because he knew perfectly well that there was no person in the wide
world who would give a security for the heavy sums for which Walker was
answerable. What these sums were is no matter, and on this head we do not
think it at all necessary to satisfy the curiosity of the reader. He may have owed
hundreds-- thousands, his creditors only can tell; he paid the dividend which has
been formerly mentioned, and showed thereby his desire to satisfy all claims
upon him to the uttermost farthing.
As for the little house in Connaught Square, when, after quitting her husband,
Morgiana drove back thither, the door was opened by the page, who instantly
thanked her to pay his wages; and in the drawing-room, on a yellow satin sofa,
sat a seedy man (with a pot of porter beside him placed on an album for fear of
staining the rosewood table), and the seedy man signified that he had taken
possession of the furniture in execution for a judgment debt. Another seedy man
was in the dining-room, reading a newspaper, and drinking gin; he informed Mrs.
Walker that he was the representative of another judgment debt and of another
execution:--"There's another on 'em in the kitchen," said the page, "taking an
inwentory of the furniture; and he swears he'll have you took up for swindling, for
pawning the plate."
"Sir," said Mr. Woolsey, for that worthy man had conducted Morgiana home--
"sir," said he, shaking his stick at the young page, "if you give any more of your
impudence, I'll beat every button off your jacket:" and as there were some four
hundred of these ornaments, the page was silent. It was a great mercy for
Morgiana that the honest and faithful tailor had accompanied her. The good
fellow had waited very patiently for her for an hour in the parlour or coffee-room
of the lock-up house, knowing full well that she would want a protector on her
way homewards; and his kindness will be more appreciated when it is stated
that, during the time of his delay in the coffee-room, he had been subject to the
entreaties, nay, to the insults, of Cornet Fipkin of the Blues, who was in prison at
the suit of Linsey, Woolsey and Co., and who happened to be taking his
breakfast in the apartment when his obdurate creditor entered it. The Cornet (a
hero of eighteen, who stood at least five feet three in his boots, and owed fifteen
thousand pounds) was so enraged at the obduracy of his creditor that he said he