BOOK THE THIRD - GARNERING
8. Chapter Viii - Philosophical
THEY went back into the booth, Sleary shutting the door to keep
intruders out. Bitzer, still holding the paralysed culprit by the
collar, stood in the Ring, blinking at his old patron through the
darkness of the twilight.
'Bitzer,' said Mr. Gradgrind, broken down, and miserably submissive
to him, 'have you a heart?'
'The circulation, sir,' returned Bitzer, smiling at the oddity of
the question, 'couldn't be carried on without one. No man, sir,
acquainted with the facts established by Harvey relating to the
circulation of the blood, can doubt that I have a heart.'
'Is it accessible,' cried Mr. Gradgrind, 'to any compassionate
'It is accessible to Reason, sir,' returned the excellent young
man. 'And to nothing else.'
They stood looking at each other; Mr. Gradgrind's face as white as
'What motive - even what motive in reason - can you have for
preventing the escape of this wretched youth,' said Mr. Gradgrind,
'and crushing his miserable father? See his sister here. Pity
'Sir,' returned Bitzer, in a very business-like and logical manner,
'since you ask me what motive I have in reason, for taking young
Mr. Tom back to Coketown, it is only reasonable to let you know. I
have suspected young Mr. Tom of this bank-robbery from the first.
I had had my eye upon him before that time, for I knew his ways. I
have kept my observations to myself, but I have made them; and I
have got ample proofs against him now, besides his running away,
and besides his own confession, which I was just in time to
overhear. I had the pleasure of watching your house yesterday
morning, and following you here. I am going to take young Mr. Tom
back to Coketown, in order to deliver him over to Mr. Bounderby.
Sir, I have no doubt whatever that Mr. Bounderby will then promote
me to young Mr. Tom's situation. And I wish to have his situation,
sir, for it will be a rise to me, and will do me good.'