|THE FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES OF MOLL FLANDERS||69|
If this woman had known my real circumstances, she would never have laid so many snares, and taken so many weary steps, to catch a poor desolate creature that was good for little when it was caught; and indeed I, whose case was almost desperate, and thought I could not be much worse, was not very anxious about what might befall me, provided they did me no personal injury; so I suffered myself, though not without a great deal of invitation, and great professions of sincere friendship and real kindness—I say, I suffered myself to be prevailed upon to go with her, and accordingly I put myself in a posture for a journey, though I did not absolutely know whither I was to go.
And now I found myself in great distress; what little I had in the world was all in money, except, as before, a little plate, some linen, and my clothes; as for household stuff, I had little or none, for I had lived always in lodgings; but I had not one friend in the world with whom to trust that little I had, or to direct me how to dispose of it. I thought of the bank, and of the other companies in London, but I had no friend to commit the management of it to, and to keep and carry about me bank bills, tallies, orders, and such things, I looked upon as unsafe; that if they were lost, my money was lost, and then I was undone; and, on the other hand, I might be robbed, and perhaps murdered in a strange place for them; and what to do I knew not.
It came into my thoughts one morning that I would go to the bank myself, where I had often been to receive the interests of some bills I had, and where I had found the clerk, to whom I applied myself, very honest to me, and particularly so fair one time, that when I had mistold my money, and taken less than my due, and was coming away, he set me to rights and gave me the rest, which he might have put into his own pocket.
I went to him and asked if he would trouble himself to be my adviser, who was a poor friendless widow, and knew not what to do. He told me, if I desired his opinion of anything within the reach of his business, he would do his endeavour that I should not be wronged, but that he would also help me to a good, sober person of his acquaintance, who was a clerk in such business too, though not in their house, whose judgment was good, and whose honesty I might depend upon; 'for', added he, 'I will answer for him, and for every step he takes; if he wrongs you, madam, of one farthing, it shall lie at my door; and he delights to assist people in such cases—he does it as an act of charity.'
I was a little at a stand at this discourse; but after some pause I told him I had rather have depended upon him, because I had found him honest, but if that could not be, I would take his recommendation sooner than any one's else. 'I dare say, madam', says he, 'that you will be as well satisfied with my friend as with me, and he is thoroughly able to assist you, which I am not.' It seems he had his hands full of the business of the bank, and had engaged to meddle with no other business than that of his office: he added, that his friend should take nothing of me for his advice or assistance, and this indeed encouraged me.
He appointed the same evening, after the bank was shut, for me to meet him and his friend. As soon as I saw his friend, and he began but to talk of the affair, I was fully satisfied I had a very honest man to deal with; his countenance spoke it; and his character, as I heard afterwards, was everywhere so good, that I had no room for any more doubts upon me.
After the first meeting, in which I only said what I had said before, he