'I thought as much, when you came in,' rejoined Monks, markingthe angry glance which the lady darted at her spouse as shespoke. 'So much the better; I have less hesitation in dealingwith two people, when I find that there's only one will betweenthem. I'm in earnest. See here!'。，
。， 'I would rather you did not mention it to them,' said Harry,hurrying over his words; 'because it might make my mother anxiousto write to me oftener, and it is a trouble and worry to her.Let is be a secret between you and me; and mind you tell meeverything! I depend upon you.'
。， 'Lady,' cried the girl, sinking on her knees, 'dear, sweet, angellady, you ARE the first that ever blessed me with such words asthese, and if I had heard them years ago, they might have turnedme from a life of sin and sorrow; but it is too late, it is toolate!'
。， If she betrayed any agitation, when she presented herself to Mr.Sikes, he did not observe it; for merely inquiring if she hadbrought the money, and receiving a reply in the affirmative, heuttered a growl of satisfaction, and replacing his head upon thepillow, resumed the slumbers which her arrival had interrupted.
'If your answer be what I almost dare to hope it is,' retortedHarry, 'it will shed a gleam of happiness upon my lonely way, andlight the path before me. It is not an idle thing to do so much,by the utterance of a few brief words, for one who loves youbeyond all else. Oh, Rose: in the name of my ardent and enduringattachment; in the name of all I have suffered for you, and allyou doom me to undergo; answer me this one question!'。， 'As weak as water,' replied Mr. Sikes, with an imprecation on hiseyes and limbs. 'Here; lend us a hand, and let me get off thisthundering bed anyhow.'
。， 'There!' said Monks, closing the trap-door, which fell heavilyback into its former position. 'If the sea ever gives up itsdead, as books say it will, it will keep its gold and silver toitself, and that trash among it. We have nothing more to say,and may break up our pleasant party.'
This was far from being a place of doubtful character; for it hadlong been known as the residence of none but low ruffians, who,under various pretences of living by their labour, subsistedchiefly on plunder and crime. It was a collection of merehovels: some, hastily built with loose bricks: others, of oldworm-eaten ship-timber: jumbled together without any attempt atorder or arrangement, and planted, for the most part, within afew feet of the river's bank. A few leaky boats drawn up on themud, and made fast to the dwarf wall which skirted it: and hereand there an oar or coil of rope: appeared, at first, toindicate that the inhabitants of these miserable cottages pursuedsome avocation on the river; but a glance at the shattered anduseless condition of the articles thus displayed, would have leda passer-by, without much difficulty, to the conjecture that theywere disposed there, rather for the preservation of appearances,than with any view to their being actually employed.。， She raised her eyes sufficiently to observe that the figure whichpresented itself was that of a slight and beautiful girl; then,bending them on the ground, she tossed her head with affectedcarelessness as she said: