He, therefore, first requesting Mr Pancks to remember his voluntary declaration that his proprietor
had no part in the disclosure, and that his own intentions were good (two declarations which that coaly little gentleman with the greatest ardour repeated), openly told him that as to the Dorrit lineage or former place of habitation, he had no information to communicate, and that his knowledge of the family did not extend beyond the fact that it appeared to be now reduced to five members; namely, to two brothers, of whom one was single, and one a widower with three children.
But between the office and the cloak room was a small private room without other outlet, sometimes used by the proprietor for delicate and important matters, such as lending a duke a thousand pounds or declining to lend him sixpence.
Taking the slow step first: it certainly was not the step of the proprietor. Men of his type walk with a rapid waddle, or they sit still.
He remembered that the proprietor had told him that he should lock the door, and would come later to release him.
When the twelve guests first trooped into their seats it was the custom (for some unknown reason) for all the fifteen waiters to stand lining the wall like troops presenting arms to the king, while the fat proprietor stood and bowed to the club with radiant surprise, as if he had never heard of them before.
The gait of the good proprietor was indeed his usual gait, but his face was by no means usual.
The proprietor repeated the open-handed gesture with even greater helplessness and in a flash all the men at the table were on their feet.
The proprietor turned upon him, quaking in a kind of palsy of surprise.
Most of the Fishermen followed the proprietor to the front room to demand news of any exit.
All the other men present drifted away to carry the recovered silver to their comrades, or to consult the proprietor about the queer condition of affairs.
In the proprietor's private quarters he called out breezily for a syphon of soda water, saying he was thirsty.