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'And another shilling or so in biscuits, and another in fruit, eh?'
said Steerforth. 'I say, young Copperfield, you're going it!'
I smiled because he smiled, but I was a little troubled in my mind,
'Well!' said Steerforth. 'We must make it stretch as far as we
can; that's all. I'll do the best in my power for you. I can go
out when I like, and I'll smuggle the prog in.' With these words
he put the money in his pocket, and kindly told me not to make
myself uneasy; he would take care it should be all right.
He was as good as his word, if that were all right which I had a
secret misgiving was nearly all wrong - for I feared it was a waste
of my mother's two half-crowns - though I had preserved the piece
of paper they were wrapped in: which was a precious saving. When
we went upstairs to bed, he produced the whole seven
shillings'worth, and laid it out on my bed in the moonlight,
'There you are, young Copperfield, and a royal spread you've got.'
I couldn't think of doing the honours of the feast, at my time of
life, while he was by; my hand shook at the very thought of it. I
begged him to do me the favour of presiding; and my request being
seconded by the other boys who were in that room, he acceded to it,
and sat upon my pillow, handing round the viands - with perfect
fairness, I must say - and dispensing the currant wine in a little
glass without a foot, which was his own property. As to me, I sat
on his left hand, and the rest were grouped about us, on the
nearest beds and on the floor.
How well I recollect our sitting there, talking in whispers; or
their talking, and my respectfully listening, I ought rather to
say; the moonlight falling a little way into the room, through the
window, painting a pale window on the floor, and the greater part
of us in shadow, except when Steerforth dipped a match into a
phosphorus-box, when he wanted to look for anything on the board,
and shed a blue glare over us that was gone directly! A certain
mysterious feeling, consequent on the darkness, the secrecy of the
revel, and the whisper in which everything was said, steals over me
again, and I listen to all they tell me with a vague feeling of
solemnity and awe, which makes me glad that they are all so near,
and frightens me (though I feign to laugh) when Traddles pretends
to see a ghost in the corner.