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'You've got some money, haven't you?' whispered the Captain.
'Yes, yes - oh yes- I've got some,' returned old Sol, first putting his hands into his empty pockets, and then squeezing his Welsh wig between them, as if he thought he might wring some gold out of it; 'but I - the little I have got, isn't convertible, Ned; it can't be got at. I have been trying to do something with it for Wally, and I'm old fashioned, and behind the time. It's here and there, and - and, in short, it's as good as nowhere,' said the old man, looking in bewilderment about him.
He had so much the air of a half-witted person who had been hiding his money in a variety of places, and had forgotten where, that the Captain followed his eyes, not without a faint hope that he might remember some few hundred pounds concealed up the chimney, or down in the cellar. But Solomon Gills knew better than that.
'I'm behind the time altogether, my dear Ned,' said Sol, in resigned despair, 'a long way. It's no use my lagging on so far behind it. The stock had better be sold - it's worth more than this debt - and I had better go and die somewhere, on the balance. I haven't any energy left. I don't understand things. This had better be the end of it. Let 'em sell the stock and take him down,' said the old man, pointing feebly to the wooden Midshipman, 'and let us both be broken up together.'
'And what d'ye mean to do with Wal'r?'said the Captain. 'There, there! Sit ye down, Gills, sit ye down, and let me think o' this. If I warn't a man on a small annuity, that was large enough till to-day, I hadn't need to think of it. But you only lay your head well to the wind,' said the Captain, again administering that unanswerable piece of consolation, 'and you're all right!'
Old Sol thanked him from his heart, and went and laid it against the back parlour fire-place instead.
Captain Cuttle walked up and down the shop for some time, cogitating profoundly, and bringing his bushy black eyebrows to bear so heavily on his nose, like clouds setting on a mountain, that Walter was afraid to offer any interruption to the current of his reflections. Mr Brogley, who was averse to being any constraint upon the party, and who had an ingenious cast of mind, went, softly whistling, among the stock; rattling weather-glasses, shaking compasses as if they were physic, catching up keys with loadstones, looking through telescopes, endeavouring to make himself acquainted with the use of the globes, setting parallel rulers astride on to his nose, and amusing himself with other philosophical transactions.
'Wal'r!' said the Captain at last. 'I've got it.'
'Have you, Captain Cuttle?' cried Walter, with great animation.
'Come this way, my lad,' said the Captain. 'The stock's the security. I'm another. Your governor's the man to advance money.'
'Mr Dombey!' faltered Walter.
The Captain nodded gravely. 'Look at him,' he said. 'Look at Gills. If they was to sell off these things now, he'd die of it. You know he would. We mustn't leave a stone unturned - and there's a stone for you.'
'A stone! - Mr Dombey!' faltered Walter.
'You run round to the office, first of all, and see if he's there,' said Captain Cuttle, clapping him on the back. 'Quick!'
Walter felt he must not dispute the command - a glance at his Uncle would have determined him if he had felt otherwise - and disappeared to execute it. He soon returned, out of breath, to say that Mr Dombey was not there. It was Saturday, and he had gone to Brighton.
'I tell you what, Wal'r!' said the Captain, who seemed to have prepared himself for this contingency in his absence. 'We'll go to Brighton. I'll back you, my boy. I'll back you, Wal'r. We'll go to Brighton by the afternoon's coach.'
If the application must be made to Mr Dombey at all, which was awful to think of, Walter felt that he would rather prefer it alone and unassisted, than backed by the personal influence of Captain Cuttle, to which he hardly thought Mr Dombey would attach much weight. But as the Captain appeared to be of quite another opinion, and was bent upon it, and as his friendship was too zealous and serious to be trifled with by one so much younger than himself, he forbore to hint the least objection. Cuttle, therefore, taking a hurried leave of Solomon Gills, and returning the ready money, the teaspoons, the sugar-tongs, and the silver watch, to his pocket - with a view, as Walter thought, with horror, to making a gorgeous impression on Mr Dombey - bore him off to the coach-office, with- out a minute's delay, and repeatedly assured him, on the road, that he would stick by him to the last.
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Dombey and Son - by Charles DickensBottom Content goes here. Wikipedia content requires these links..... Wikipedia content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.