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[-238-] 

CHAPTER CCVIII.

THE RESURRECTION MAN'S HOUSE IN GLOBE TOWN.

    RETURN we to the house of the Resurrection Man in Globe Town,  that house where we have already seen such diabolical mischief concocted, and much of which was actually perpetrated,  that house where the gloomy subterraneans had echoed to the moans of Viola Chichester!
    It was about seven o'clock in the evening, when the Resurrection Men suddenly emerged from that very same cell in which Viola had once been confined.
    He held a lantern in his hand; and the feeble rays glanced upon a countenance convulsed and distorted with deep, malignant rage.
    On the threshold of the dungeon he paused for a moment; and turning towards the interior of that living tomb, he growled in a savage tone, "By all time powers of hell! I'll find means to cure you of this obstinacy."
    A hoarse and stifled moan was the only answer.
    "Then try another night of it!" exclaimed the Resurrection Man.
    And he closed the door violently.
    The heavy bolt grated upon the ears of another victim to the remorseless cruelty of this fiend-like miscreant!
    Muttering maledictions to himself, the Resurrection Man slowly left the subterranean, and extinguishing his lantern, secured the doors of the lower part of his dwelling.
    As he was about to ascend the steep staircase leading to the upper floor, a person in the street called after him in a low and tremulous tone, "Mr. Tidkins! Mr. Tidkins! is that you?"
    "Rather so," replied the Resurrection Man, who had immediately recognised the voice; "walk up, Mr. Tomlinson"
    "I  I  if you have no objection," stammered the stock-broker, who evidently had some cause of alarm, "I would much prefer  that is, I should like to speak to you down here; because my time is precious  and  "
    "And you are afraid to trust yourself with me," added the Resurrection Man, gruffly. "Why, what an infernal fool you must be! I don't suppose that you've come with your pockets full of gold: and, if you haven't, you certainly ain't worth robbing and murdering. So, walk up, I say  and no more of this gammon. Shut the door, and bolt it after you."
    The stock-broker did not like to offer any farther objection, so deep was his dread of irritating a man of whom he entertained a vague and horrible apprehension.
    He accordingly closed the door, and followed Tidkins up the precipitate steps to the back room on the first floor: for the Resurrection Man had converted this one into his parlour, to avoid the necessity of having a light in the front chamber, the windows of which looked upon the street  the miscreant being compelled to adopt as many precautions as possible to prevent his numerous enemies from discovering a trace of his whereabouts.
    "Sit down, and don't be afraid, Mr. Tomlinson," said Tidkins. "There, sir  draw near the fire; and here's brandy, rum, or gin, if you like to take any thing."
    "Nothing, I thank you," faltered the stock-broker, casting a hurried glance of alarm around him as he sank upon a chair. "You wrote to desire me to call this evening  at seven o'clock  or I might repent  "
    "Yes  and so you would repent the consequences," added the Resurrection Man. "But, as you have come, it is all right. I dare say you thought I had forgotten you: you were deceived, you see; for I never lose sight of old friends. When I want to use them, I am sure to find them out again."
    "And what can I do for you, Mr. Tidkins?" asked the stock-broker, In a tremulous tone; for he felt a desperate alarm lest the Resurrection Man should have discovered the one secret which he had taken so much pains to conceal  the secret of the abode of old Michael Martin.
    "I have but two wants in the world at any time," answered the Resurrection Man, lighting his pipe: "money most often  vengeance now and then. But it is money that I want of you."
    "Money  money!" murmured Tomlinson: "do you think I am made of money? I have had hard struggles  losses  expenses  "
    "I dare say you have," observed the Resurrection Man, drily. "I do not mean to be hard upon you; but something I must have. You see, I have got a little amount put by  how obtained is neither here nor there; and I want to scrape together as much as I can, so that in a few months, when I have settled the different matters I have on hand, I may leave England for America, or some such place; and then you will never hear of me any more."
    "That will be a great blessing," thought Tomlinson; but he did not say so.
    "And under all circumstances, you must help me to make up the sum I want," added the Resurrection Man.
    "You are too hard upon me, Mr. Tidkins," said Tomlinson. "If I had employed you on any business, it would be different: but  "
    "But if you have a secret that I have found out, and that's worth keeping?" exclaimed Tidkins, significantly.
    "Oh! then it is as I feared!" murmured Tomlinson, pressing his feverish hand to his forehead [-239-] through which a sudden pain seemed to shoot, producing a sensation as of tightness on the brain. "Surely this man must be Satan himself, who comes at intervals to goad the wicked to desperation for their sins!"
    "What's that you say about Satan?" asked Tidkins.
    "Nothing  nothing," replied the stock-broker, hastily: "I was only thinking to myself that Satan took a delight in persecuting me."
    "I know nothing about that," observed the Resurrection Man. "All I care for is the cash that you will have the goodness to bring me down tomorrow evening at this same hour."
    A sudden idea struck Tomlinson. Was the Resurrection Man really acquainted with Martin's present place of abode? or was he endeavouring to extort money merely upon the strength of his knowledge, some time previously obtained (as our readers will remember), that the old clerk, though generally believed to have absconded, had actually remained concealed in London?
    "But wherefore should you press me in this way?" said the stock-broker. "Did I not satisfy your demands on a former occasion?"
    "And have I not kept my pledge?" cried Tidkins. "Has a word ever escaped my lips to do you an injury? Why, there is still a reward of three thousand pounds to be got  "
    "No  no," Interrupted Tomlinson; "you are wrong. My affairs are all wound up in respect to the bank  and a dividend has been paid."
    "A precious small one, I'll be bound," observed Tidkins. "However,  reward or no reward,  it wouldn't place you in a very comfortable situation if I was to take a policeman with me, and just call at a particular house in Thomas Street, where an old gentleman named Nelson  "
    "Enough!" cried Tomlinson: "I see you know all. My God I when shall I be released from this peril? when shall I know a moment's comfort?"
    "When you've brought me down a couple of hundred pounds to-morrow night," answered the Resurrection Man, knocking out the ashes from his pipe. "And, then  if you like to make it worth my while  I tell you what I'll do for you."
    "What?" asked the stock-broker, gasping for breath.
    "I'll entice the old fellow down here, and either lock him up in one of my cells, or else settle his bash in such a way that he shall only be fit to sell to the surgeons," returned the Resurrection Man, fixing his snake-like eyes on the stock-broker's countenance, as if to ascertain the precise impression which this proposal made.
    "Monster!" ejaculated Tomlinson, shrinking from the bare idea of such an atrocity  for he was more or less attached to Michael Martin, in consequence of the immense sacrifice which the old man had made on his account: "no  never will I imbrue my lands with blood, nor suborn another to play the assassin's part for me! To-morrow evening you shall receive the amount you demand; and heaven grant that all connexion between us may cease."
    "Be it so," observed the Resurrection Man, coolly, as he brewed himself a glass of grog.
    "You have nothing more to say to me?" asked Tomlinson, rising to depart.
    The reply was a negative; and the stock-broker hurried away from a dwelling where crime seemed to proclaim its presence trumpet-tongued  where every look that eyes shot forth, and every word that lips uttered, and every thought that brains conceived  all, all appeared to feel the noxious atmosphere of blackest turpitude.
    In a house where a person has lately died, everything seems to exhale a sickly odour as of a corpse; and if you touch the wall with your fingers, you feel a clammy and fetid moisture which makes your blood run cold within you. So was it with the dwelling of the Resurrection Man: the taint of crime impregnated the very atmosphere; and Tomlinson shook himself when he gained the open air, as if he could thus throw off some pestilential influence which had seized hold of him.
    Tomlinson had not left the house many minutes, when a low, but peculiar knock at the door brought the Resurrection Man down to answer the summons.
    "Who is it?" he demanded, ere he opened.
    "Me," growled a voice which Tidkins immediately recognised to be that of the Lully Prig.
    This individual was forthwith admitted; and when the two villains were seated by the fire in the back room, the Resurrection Man asked "What news?"
    "Just as you wished," was the reply. " I called at the chandlery shop in Pitfield Street, Hoxton, and axed for a nounce of bakker. The woman served me; and I soon see that she was alone. Then says I, 'If so be no one's within 'earing, I want a word with you.'  She looked frightened, but said nothing wotsomover.  'All I have to tell you is just this,' says I: 'Tony Tidkins knows where you be and all about you. But he says, says he, that if you take no notice of him in case you sees him, and says nothing to nobody its case you 'ears of him, he'll leave you alone.'  Lor! how she did turn pale and tremble when I mentioned your name; and she seemed so glad when I told her that you wouldn't do her no harm, if so be she didn't try to do you none.  'If he won't come near me, I'll never even breathe his name,' she says.  'And you'll never utter a word about the crib at Globe Town,' says I.  'Never, never,' says she.  'Well, then,' says I, 'all will go on well; and you can sleep as sound in your bed as if there wasn't such a man as Tony Tidkins in the world. But if so be you peaches, or says a word,' says I, 'that may get Tony into trouble, he's got plenty of friends as will awenge him, and the fust is me.'  So she swore eyes and limbs, she'd keep all close; and in that way I left her."
    "So far, so good," observed the Resurrection Man. "She's frightened, and will keep a close tongue. That's all I want. When I have finished the different things I have in hand, and don't care about staying in London any longer, I will punish her for what she did to me. But my revenge will keep for the present. Now, what about Crankey Jem?"
    "He still lives in the court in Drury Lane, and stays at home all day," answered the Lully Prig. "But at night he goes out for some hours, and I can't find out where. For three evenin's follering I watched him; and every time I missed him at last somehow or another."
    "Which way did he go?" demanded the Resurrection Man.
    "Different ways  not always up one street and down another  now here, then there, as if he hadn't no partickler motive, but merely went out a walkin' for the fun of it."
    [-240-] "I tell you what it is, Lully," said the Resurrection Man, gloomily, "you're not so wide awake as I am. That fellow has some object in wandering about zigzag and crosswise in that manner. He has got a scent of me; and he's following it up. But at the same time he's afraid that I may have a scent of him; and so he dodges about. It's as clear as day-light  'cause it's just what I should do."
    "And you're a downy cove enough, Tony," observed the Lully Prig; "although I do think arter all you've let that damned parley-woo French feller do us about them Bank notes."
    'It's very strange the Buffer doesn't return," said the Resurrection Man. "I'd take my davy that he wouldn't chouse us out of our reglars. But time will show. Now look here, Lully,  as you've made that same remark a dozen times since the thing took place,  and just see how the matter stood. We got four thousand pounds clear  "
    "Yes  a thousand a-piece," said the Lully Prig, assentingly: "and a precious jolly catch it was."
    "Well," continued the Resurrection Man, "the Bank notes were of no more use to us than so much waste paper, because Greenwood was sure to stop them the moment he got back to London: at least I should think so. Now when that French fellow Lafleur offered to let you, me, the Buffer, and Long Bob share the gold, and he would go to France to smash the notes at the money-changer's that he told us about in Paris, and then take his thousand beyond his fifth share of the produce of the notes, it was the best thing we could do to accept his proposal  particularly as he said that any one of us might go with him."
    "But if he sticks to the whole sixteen thousand pounds, what a deuced good pull he has over us," observed the Lully Prig.
    "So he has," said the Resurrection Man; "and again I tell you that if he hadn't offered to go to France and change the notes, we must have destroyed them in the very chalk-pit where we divided the swag. They were no use to us  but a great danger. It was better to trust to the chance of Lafleur doing the thing that's right; and if he don't, the Buffer will drop down on him, in spite of all the gulloteens*[-*Guillotines-] and Johnny-darmies*[-*Gendarmes-] in France."
    "Well, we won't quarrel about it, Tony," said the Lully Prig. "You and the Buffer let me in for a good thing; and I ought not to grumble. You see, I've follered your advice, and kept the blunt in a safe place, without wasting it as Long Bob is doing. He's never been sober since the thing took place."
    "Where is he now!" asked the Resurrection Man.
    "Oh! he's knocking about at all the flash cribs, spending his tin as fast as he can," answered the Lully Prig.
    "Don't let him know of this place of mine for the world," said Tidkins. "A drunken chap like that isn't to be trusted in any shape. I only hope he won't wag his tongue too free about the business that put all the money into his pocket."
    "Not he!" cried the Lully Prig: "he's as close at the door of Newgate about them kind of things, even when he's as drunk as a pig. But I don't want to have nothing more to do with him; I'll stick to you and the Buffer; and when you've settled all the things you say you have in hand, we'll be off to Americky."
    "So we will, Lully. But this fellow Crankey Jim annoys me. You must go on watching him. Or p'rhaps it would be better to get the Bully Grand to set some of his Forty Thieves after him!" added the Resurrection Man.
    "No  no," cried the Lully Prig, whose pride was somewhat hurt at this suggestion, which seemed to cast a doubt upon his own skill and ability in performing the service required: "leave him in my hands, and I'll find out what dodge he's upon sooner or later."
    Scarcely were these words uttered, when a knock at the front door fell on the ears of the two villains.
    The Resurrection Man descended; and, to the usual inquiry ere the door was opened, the well-known voice of the Buffer answered, "It is me."
    "Well  what luck?" demanded the Resurrection Man, hastily  his avarice prompting the question even before his accomplice in iniquity had scarcely time to utter a reply to the first query.
    "Sold  regularly sold  done brown!" returned the Buffer, closing and bolting the door behind him.
    "Damnation!" cried the Resurrection Man, who, now that the faint hope of obtaining a further share of the plunder of Greenwood's tin-case was annihilated, manifested a fiercer rage than would have been expected after his cool reasoning with the Lully Prig upon the special point.
    "You may well swear, Tony," said the Buffer, sulkily, as he ascended the stairs; "for we never was so completely done in all our lives. That snivelling Mounseer was one too many for us."
    "Ah! I see how it is," observed the Lully Prig, when the two men entered the room where he had remained; "and I can't say it's more than I expected. But how did he do it!"
    "Why, he gave me the slip at last," answered the Buffer, pouring himself out half a tumbler of raw spirit, which he drank without winking, just as if it were so much water. "You see, he kept me humbugging about in Paris week after week, always saying that it wasn't prudent to begin smashing the notes yet awhile; and I stuck to him like a leech. I shan't make a long story on it now  I'm too wexed: all I'll tell you at present is that four days ago he gave me the slip; and so I twigged that it was all gammon. He'd done us brown  that was wery clear;  and so I come back."
    We shall leave the three villains to discuss this disappointment, together with divers other matters interesting to themselves, and continue the thread of our narrative in another quarter.
    It is, however, as well to observe that all these comings and goings at the house of the Resurrection Man were watched by an individual, who for several nights had been lurking about that neighbourhood for the purpose, but who had exercised so much caution that he was never perceived by any one of the gang.
    This person was Crankey Jem.

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