The Firm of Girdlestone (Chapter 6, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 6

It took some little time before his son, who was half-choked with laughter, could explain to the energetic doctor that the gentleman upon whom he was perched was not a dangerous lunatic, but, on the contrary, a very harmless and innocent member of society. When at last it was made clear to him, the doctor released his prisoner and was profuse in his apologies.

"This is my father, Garraway," said Dimsdale. "I hardly expected him so early."

"I must offer you a thousand apologies, sir. The fact is that I am rather short-sighted, and had no time to put my glasses on. It seemed to me to be a most dangerous scuffle."

"Don't mention it, sir," said Garraway, with great good humour.

"And you, Tom, you rogue, is this the way you spend your mornings? I expected to find you deep in your books. I told your landlady that I hardly liked to come up for fear of disturbing you at your work. You go up for your first professional in a few weeks, I understand?"

"That will be all right, dad," said his son demurely. "Garraway and I usually take a little exercise of this sort as a preliminary to the labours of the day. Try this armchair and have a cigarette."

The doctor's eye fell upon the medical works and the disarticulated skull, and his ill-humour departed.

"You have your tools close at hand, I see," he remarked.

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