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im Yes,” said chambermaid ; « but my missis said as how she was sartain sure you'd come. » . Much obliged to her, » ejaculated Jemmy, relieved.
« l'll just go and tell the lady you are here, sir, and be back in a minute. Please step in the coffee-room.» .
« Well, » thought Inkpen, «though bad began this day, let me hope now that nothing worse remains bebind. Here I am at last under the same roof, after all my anxieties, with my adorable Juliana-a pretty pickle, I must confess, though, for a bride-groom on his marriage-night. Never mind — let fate do its worst.» . .
Jemmy 'perked up, and actually tried a whistle, when the chambermaid returned. .
... Please to walk up, sir — this way,» ushering the ardent and impatient Jemmy into No. 3, second pair front, « Here is the gentleman you wanted to see, ma'am, » said the damsel, closing the door, leaving the happy couple alone.
Speak of Robinson's rush for the Derby,- the struggle for the best place at a sight, – speak of anything indicative of onward powerful impulse, and our readers will but faintly come up to the affectionate ardour of Jemmy. Inkpen. To seize her in his arms with rapturous grasp,—to stifle her with kisses, was the work of a moment, and but the work of a moment; for, when relaxing for a second to draw breath and gaze upon her, he uttered « Oh! Juliana–my life, my love! » he was aslonished to find himself by a violent effort shaken off, while the lady replied to his exclamation by a loud, wild sbriek, shouting with a very unfeminine howl, «Och ! murther! murther ! — robbery!- murther !» adding to every word, by way of accompaniment, a terrific pull at the bell.
It need scarcely be told that the house was in a few minutes in an uproar. Doors were heard opening in every direction, and, following the sound, No. 3 was soon filled with men and women, clothed with what things they could huddle on. There stood Jemmy Inkpen, shivering like a dog in a wet sack, his eyeballs glaring in a wild stare of astonishment, the lady in either real or affected hysterics. In the midst of the confusion, when everybody was questioning, and nobody answering, in bounced a big, black-whiskered , mustachioed man, a light in one band, and a boot-jack in the other, followed by the chambermaid trembling.
«Wbat tbe divil 's all this ? » said he, banging down the candlestick, and hitting the drawers a crack that disordered ils chest for the term of its natural life, — " what the blazes is all this about ?- spake, Katty, - spake, - said he, «spake, my heart ! »
« Och! Mike, » groaned the lady, a some yagabond, like the divil drawn through the Liffey, has broke into my room.
« Is it dramin' you are ? . said Black-whiskers.
« Och ! sure, no drame at all at all, - said the lady, rising up in bed ; and giving a faint scream, sank down, pointing to Jemmy, saying, « There's the murderin'villain ! »
Black-whiskers would have annihilated Jemmy on the spot, but for the chambermaid. He had already grasped the unfortunate Chancery-clerk by the throat, and was strangling him very scientifically, shaking him as an ogre might an infant,—the boot-jack- was vengefully uplifted, when the chambermaid held his arm, and said there must be some dreadful mistake, aud begged him not to commit murder."
« Wbo are you? » said Black-whiskers, in a voice of thunder, his wild eye flashing fire, «spake! » A horrible guttural sound alone escaped from Jemmy
« He's Dr. Leech's new assistant, said the chambermaid, .. and come to see your sister.Hasn't been here more than two minutes. » .
Oh, oh!" said Black-wbiskers , somewhat mollified, and perhaps not altogether desirous of continuing the scene; then, by the powers, be 'll see the last of her. »
So saying, he dragged the unfortunate. Jemmy out of the room, and fixing him at the head of a rather precipitous flight of stairs, took full measure of his distance, and with a furious kiek sent the doomed Chancery-clerk, head first, down to the bottom of the flight. Aided by the instinct evoked by desperate circumstances, Jemmy in the hubble-bubble con
trived to reach the door, and bolted out like a shot from a shovel.
The flashing of lights at an unusual hour, the screams that were heard distant at the dead hour of midnight, as may be imagined, roused the peaceful vicinity, and the police on duty were attracted to the spot. Poor, luekless Jemmy, breathless, gasping , groaning , soaked through , half-choked, his bones aching, through his shaking, kick, and fall, stumbled rather than walked across the street, where he sank down in the last stage of anguish and despair on the steps of a door, wishing death might come and relieve him from the miseries of bis situation. Poor devil! he groaned aloud , but none cheered his woe ; he held his head drooping between his knees in helpless agony, while his frame shook and quivered with every heart-drawn sob.
Such was the bridegroom on his wedding-night,-such was his situation through no fault of his, — such is the result of the vanity of human expectations, even while acting up to the best intentions. .
Jemmy had not remained in this dolorous position five minutes before he was awakened from a drowsiness, the combined result of over-anxiety, fatigue, and their concomitants, which he was falling into , by the broad, blinding glare of what is called a policeman's bull's-eye held up to his face.
«Come, get up," said the constable, gruffly, « Mister-I wants you,»
« Do you ?» said Jemmy, faintly. «What for ?, ' ,Oh! you 'll know soon enough what for; but I thinks you knows what for without my telling of you... :.«I say, and I'll swear, and I'll prove it was all a mistake, said Jemmy.
« Very well, • said the constable, « prove it if you can ; but things look very dark against you. But come along. So saying, he took hold of Inkpen by the arm, and brought bim to the station-house.
Arrived there, the inspector and another constable were seen intently examining a printed paper, and alternately reading it and scrutinizing Jemmy, who by this time appeared to
hecomes of me, - th. So here goink, and
possess the feelings of a man who has got as far as the Pressroom at Newgate, and declares himself quite resigned to his fate.
Humph!» at last said the inspector, the description does' not exactly answer; but yet he may be the accomplice. What's your name ?» said he, addressing Jemmy.
• James Inkpen, ” was the answer. « What are you ? »
« I don't care what becomes of me, » thought Jemmy, « After what has happened, I'm a ruined man. So here goes—I'll out with all.-Chancery-clerk to Messrs. Squeezer, Shirk, and M.Quibble, of Gray's Inn," said Inkpen, boldly.
«A bold and open avowal, to say the least, " said the inspector, «and it saves me a great deal of trouble. Do you know one John Smith ? »-« I do."
« What was he ?» — «Common Law-clerk in the same office, , '
Good again. This fellow thinks to turn approver, - thought the inspector. «You are aware that John Smith is charged with forgery, and that you are supposed to be his accomplice ? »
Jemmy sank for a moment, and a cold dew came over him. In a minute, however, the impenetrable magic panoply of innocence, wbich ever protects honest hearts, braced him up, and James Inkpen, the confidential clerk of unsullied character, stood erect, if not in the majesty, in all the strength, of conscious rectitude.
• And, » continued the inspector, “ you are distinctly charged with embezzlement. »
. Who charge me?» said Inkpen, with a coolness and steadiness of manner that surprised those who had witnessed his previous prostration of mind and body.
«Your employers, whom you have just named , Messrs. Squeezer, Sbirk, and M‘Quibble. As you have answered openly, I'll read you their communication, received this afternoon.
« To the Superintendent of Police, Southampton. , SIR, - Enclosed is the description of two clerks of ours, recently absconded : one, John Smith,-(the description here given,)-charged with forging on us, &c., and the other James Inkpen, suspected of embezzlement, and of being an accomplice of the said Smith. Inkpen obtained leave of absence from us, in order to visit relations in Warwickshire, yesterday, which we have found to be a false representation, and, upon inquiry, we have reason to believe he has gone to Southampton to escape abroad. He is supposed to have with him an'abandoned female. (Here Jemmy's strength began to fail, and he wiped his eyes.) • Inkpen has long been in our employ, and we have always put the greatest faith in him, which, up to this moment, we have never found misplaced ; but we are afraid he has been led into evil courses by Smith!' »
Poor Jemmy could stand this no longer-he sank upon his knees, and wept aloud. He would have called upon Heaven to bear witness to his innocence, but his utterance was choked; and , in pity to his now real state of suffering , he was led away, and by the consideration of the inspector, placed in a bed. And the day that found James Inkpen at morn a blithesome bridegroom, leading in the sunshine of the heart and of the heavens a beloved wife to the altar, left him at midnight a prisoner, charged with felony – his solitary bed the gift of a policeman !
The nine o'clock train next morning brought down lo Southampton three individuals, the most important to James Inkpen’s human happiness ; and, as in trains where hundreds, ay, and thousands, can be steamed along without any knowledge that they are mutual passengers, so it was in this case. Imprimis came Mrs. Inkpen, who had stopped at Basingstoke, and returned immediately, upon finding that Jemmy did not follow her, the poor fellow having passed her there in the mail-train, which goes direct. The next was Mr. Squeezer, with a Bow Street officer ; and the third no less a personage than John Smith, the delinquent clerk. Mrs. Inkpen and Mr. Squeezer, though with very different objects, made their