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“YOU KNOW the Old Bailey, well, no doubt?” said one of the
oldest of clerks to Jerry the messenger.

“Ye-es, sir.” returned Jerry, in something of a dogged manner. “I
do know the Bailey.” “Just so. And you know Mr. Lorry.” “I know
Mr. Lorry, sir, much better than I know the Bailey. Much better,”
said Jerry, not unlike a reluctant witness at the establishment in
question, “than I, as a honest tradesman, wish to know the Bailey.”
“Very well. Find the door where the witnesses go in, and show the
doorkeeper this note for Mr. Lorry. He will then let you in.” “Into
the court, sir?” “Into the court.” Mr. Cruncher’s eyes seemed to get
a little closer to one another, and to interchange the inquiry, “What
do you think of this?” “Am I to wait in the court, sir?” he asked, as
the result of that conference.

“I am going to tell you. The door-keeper will pass the note to Mr.
Lorry, and do you make any gesture that will attract Mr. Lorry’s
attention, and show him where you stand. Then what you have to
do, is, to remain there until he wants you.” “Is that all, sir?” “That’s
all. He wishes to have a messenger at hand. This is to tell him you
are there.” As the ancient clerk deliberately folded and
superscribed the note, Mr. Cruncher, after surveying him in
silence until he came to the blotting-paper stage, remarked: “I
suppose they’ll be trying Forgeries this morning?” “Treason!”
“That’s quartering,” said Jerry. “Barbarous!” “It is the law,”
remarked the ancient clerk, turning his surprised spectacles upon
him. “It is the law.” “It’s hard in the law to spile a man, I think. It’s
hard enough to kill him, but it’s very hard to spile him, sir.” “Not
at all,” returned the ancient clerk. “Speak well of the law. Take care
of your chest and voice, my good friend, and leave the law to take
care of itself. I give you that advice.”

“It’s the damp, sir, what settles on my chest and voice,” said Jerry.
“I leave you to judge what a damp way of earning a living mine
is.” “Well, well,” said the old clerk; “we an have our various ways
of gaining a livelihood. Some of us have damp ways, and some of
us have dry ways. Here is the letter. Go along.” Jerry took the
letter, and, remarking to himself with less internal deference than
he made an outward show of, “You are a lean old one, too,” made
his bow, informed his son, in passing, of his destination, and went
his way.

They hanged at Tyburn, in those days, so the street outside
Newgate had not obtained one infamous notoriety that has since
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