"It'll never be the last time till it's quite worn out," rejoined the shopman. "It's grown yellow in the service as it is."
"Its master has grown yellow in the service, if you mean that, my friend," said Mr. Tigg; "in the patriotic service of an ungrateful country. You are making it two-and-six, I think?"
"I'm making it," returned the shopman, "what it always has been—two shillings. Same name as usual, I suppose?"
"Still the same name," said Mr. Tigg; "my claim to the dormant peerage not being yet established by the House of Lords."
"The old address?"
"Not at all," said Mr. Tigg; "I have removed my town establishment from thirty-eight, Mayfair, to number fifteen-hundred-and-forty-two, Park Lane."
"Come, I'm not going to put down that, you know," said the shopman with a grin.
"You may put down what you please, my friend," quoth Mr. Tigg. "The fact is still the same. The apartments for the under-butler and the fifth footman being of a most confounded low and vulgar kind at thirty-eight, Mayfair, I have been compelled, in my regard for the feelings which do them so much honour, to take on lease for seven, fourteen, or twenty-one years, renewable at the option of the tenant, the elegant and commodious family mansion, number fifteen-hundred-and-forty-two Park Lane. Make it two-and-six, and come and see me!"
The shopman was so highly entertained by this piece of humour that Mr. Tigg himself could not repress some little show of exultation. It vented itself, in part, in a desire to see how the occupant of the next box received his pleasantry; to ascertain which he glanced round the partition, and immediately, by the gaslight, recognized Martin.
"I wish I may die," said Mr. Tigg, stretching out his body so far that his head was as much in Martin's little cell as Martin's own head was, "but this is one of the most tremendous meetings in Ancient or Modern History! How are you? What is the news from the agricultural districts? How are our friends the P.'s? Ha, ha! David, pay particular attention to this gentleman immediately, as a friend of mine, I beg."
"Here! Please to give me the most you can for this," said Martin, handing the watch to the shopman. "I want money sorely."
"He wants money, sorely!" cried Mr. Tigg with excessive sympathy. "David, will you have the goodness to do your very utmost for my friend, who wants money sorely. You will deal with my friend as if he were myself. A gold hunting-watch, David, engine-turned, capped and jewelled in four holes, escape movement, horizontal lever, and warranted to perform correctly, upon my personal reputation, who have observed it narrowly for many years, under the most trying circumstances—" here he winked at Martin, that he might understand this recommendation would have an immense effect upon the shopman; "what do you say, David, to my friend? Be very particular to deserve my custom and recommendation, David."
"I can lend you three pounds on this, if you like," said the shopman to Martin, confidentially. "It is very old-fashioned. I couldn't say more."