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he stood at the pony's head, rubbing his chin with it, and looking
up at us in the chaise.
'Is Mr. Wickfield at home, Uriah Heep?' said my aunt.
'Mr. Wickfield's at home, ma'am,' said Uriah Heep, 'if you'll
please to walk in there' - pointing with his long hand to the room
We got out; and leaving him to hold the pony, went into a long low
parlour looking towards the street, from the window of which I
caught a glimpse, as I went in, of Uriah Heep breathing into the
pony's nostrils, and immediately covering them with his hand, as if
he were putting some spell upon him. Opposite to the tall old
chimney-piece were two portraits: one of a gentleman with grey hair
(though not by any means an old man) and black eyebrows, who was
looking over some papers tied together with red tape; the other, of
a lady, with a very placid and sweet expression of face, who was
looking at me.
I believe I was turning about in search of Uriah's picture, when,
a door at the farther end of the room opening, a gentleman entered,
at sight of whom I turned to the first-mentioned portrait again, to
make quite sure that it had not come out of its frame. But it was
stationary; and as the gentleman advanced into the light, I saw
that he was some years older than when he had had his picture
'Miss Betsey Trotwood,' said the gentleman, 'pray walk in. I was
engaged for a moment, but you'll excuse my being busy. You know my
motive. I have but one in life.'
Miss Betsey thanked him, and we went into his room, which was
furnished as an office, with books, papers, tin boxes, and so
forth. It looked into a garden, and had an iron safe let into the
wall; so immediately over the mantelshelf, that I wondered, as I
sat down, how the sweeps got round it when they swept the chimney.
'Well, Miss Trotwood,' said Mr. Wickfield; for I soon found that it
was he, and that he was a lawyer, and steward of the estates of a
rich gentleman of the county; 'what wind blows you here? Not an
ill wind, I hope?'
'No,' replied my aunt. 'I have not come for any law.'