Page:Marietta, or the Two Students.djvu/40

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city He is the most combustible piece of counter furniture—and by furniture I mean clerks—in all Clerkdom."

"The merest smile ever formed upon a pair of pretty lips, will make him throw down his pen, and transform him at once into a fashionable gallant. His vanity is nauseating, and equalled only by his want of sense. Do you observe how erect is his head? 'Tis the lightest and most unsubstantial part of him, and you see," she continued, "it is fast seeking a medium of its own density, or rather rarity. 'Tis a perfect-vacuum; it is almost a miracle why it has not collapsed by the pressure of air on the outside. Invert him, and the next instant he will fly back to his present position, without effort. But I lose time; let me make the attack at once, and carry him by storm. Now see how quickly I will capture him."

Saying this in an under tone to her companion, she darted off in pursuit of the tall clerk, while the student, with some considerable curiosity, watched her movements. She was soon at his elbow, and touching him lightly with the tip of her finger, giving him one of her most affective smiles, wished him a good evening.

The effect was electrical. He made a full stop—actually carried his hand to his hat and attempted to bow, which brought the trunk in an angle of forty-five degrees with the inferior extremities. It was altogether farcical. He smiled, too, in the French style—he would not smile in English—that tall clerk—and then assuming the air, gentlemanly offered, his arm to his shrewd enamorata.

But she was not satisfied with this, she wished her companion to know for a certainty that she had triumphed, and accordingly signified her desire to go in an opposite direction, which he instantly consenting to, she returned leading, or being led by his clerkship.

Giving a sly wink at them as she passed, they were soon lost in the winding of the street; the former, probably, forgetting that there was such things as ink and paper, or a master or a counter. Charming abstraction from the cares of life!


In which are several Dilemmas.

Levator was now near the termination of Salem Street, and the residence of Dr. G. He was passing Sheafe Street when he heard a voice which sounded familiar. He instinctively paused, thinking it might possibly be the person of whom he was in search. Looking up the street from whence the sound proceeded, he saw through the surrounding gloom the outlines os two persons, who appeared to be engaged in low and earnest conversation. Approaching as near as he dared, for fear of being seen, he put himself once more in the attitude of a listener. He could scarcely restrain an exclamation of surprise when he recognized Thick as one of the parties. He felt an irresistable desire to hear the subject of their conversation. Protected from observation by the shadow of the houses upon either side, he moved within earshot of the parties. What was his surprise to hear his own name mentioned, and his curiosity was excited still more when he learned that the other individual was a constable. "The body," said Thick, glancing cautiously about him. "is now on M—— Street. I discovered it there to-day in the manner first related. If you go there immediately you can surprise him in his horrid work. He is at this moment unconcious of danger, making the dissection. But you must remember the conditions on which I make these statements. Do not for your life let him know that I betrayed the secret."

"Rest assured that your name shall not be mentioned in connection with the affair," replied the constable.