Our Mutual Friend

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OUR MUTUAL FRIEND

Charles Dickens

CONTENTS

Book the First

THE CUP AND THE LIP

1. ON THE LOOK OUT 2. THE MAN FROM SOMEWHERE 3. ANOTHER MAN 4. THE R. WILFER FAMILY 5. BOFFIN'S BOWER 6. CUT ADRIFT 7. MR WEGG LOOKS AFTER HIMSELF 8. MR BOFFIN IN CONSULTATION 9. MR AND MRS BOFFIN IN CONSULTATION 10. A MARRIAGE CONTRACT 11. PODSNAPPERY 12. THE SWEAT OF AN HONEST MAN'S BROW 13. TRACKING THE BIRD OF PREY 14. THE BIRD OF PREY BROUGHT DOWN 15. TWO NEW SERVANTS 16. MINDERS AND RE-MINDERS 17. A DISMAL SWAMP

Book the Second

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

1. OF AN EDUCATIONAL CHARACTER 2. STILL EDUCATIONAL 3. A PIECE OF WORK 4. CUPID PROMPTED 5. MERCURY PROMPTING 6. A RIDDLE WITHOUT AN ANSWER 7. IN WHICH A FRIENDLY MOVE IS ORIGINATED 8. IN WHICH AN INNOCENT ELOPEMENT OCCURS 9. IN WHICH THE ORPHAN MAKES HIS WILL 10. A SUCCESSOR 11. SOME AFFAIRS OF THE HEART 12. MORE BIRDS OF PREY 13. A SOLO AND A DUETT 14. STRONG OF PURPOSE 15. THE WHOLE CASE SO FAR 16. AN ANNIVERSARY OCCASION

Book the Third

A LONG LANE

1. LODGERS IN QUEER STREET 2. A RESPECTED FRIEND IN A NEW ASPECT 3. THE SAME RESPECTED FRIEND IN MORE ASPECTS THAN ONE 4. A HAPPY RETURN OF THE DAY 5. THE GOLDEN DUSTMAN FALLS INTO BAD COMPANY 6. THE GOLDEN DUSTMAN FALLS INTO WORSE COMPANY 7. THE FRIENDLY MOVE TAKES UP A STRONG POSITION 8. THE END OF A LONG JOURNEY 9. SOMEBODY BECOMES THE SUBJECT OF A PREDICTION 10. SCOUTS OUT 11. IN THE DARK 12. MEANING MISCHIEF 13. GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME, AND HANG HIM 14. MR WEGG PREPARES A GRINDSTONE FOR MR BOFFIN'S NOSE 15. THE GOLDEN DUSTMAN AT HIS WORST 16. THE FEAST OF THE THREE HOBGOBLINS 17. A SOCIAL CHORUS

Book the Fourth

A TURNING

1. SETTING TRAPS 2. THE GOLDEN DUSTMAN RISES A LITTLE 3. THE GOLDEN DUSTMAN SINKS AGAIN 4. A RUNAWAY MATCH 5. CONCERNING THE MENDICANT'S BRIDE 6. A CRY FOR HELP 7. BETTER TO BE ABEL THAN CAIN 8. A FEW GRAINS OF PEPPER 9. TWO PLACES VACATED 10. THE DOLLS' DRESSMAKER DISCOVERS A WORD 11. EFFECT IS GIVEN TO THE DOLLS' DRESSMAKER'S DISCOVERY 12. THE PASSING SHADOW 13. SHOWING HOW THE GOLDEN DUSTMAN HELPED TO SCATTER DUST 14. CHECKMATE TO THE FRIENDLY MOVE 15. WHAT WAS CAUGHT IN THE TRAPS THAT WERE SET 16. PERSONS AND THINGS IN GENERAL 17. THE VOICE OF SOCIETY

POSTSCRIPT, IN LIEU OF PREFACE

BOOK THE FIRST -- THE CUP AND THE LIP

Chapter 1

ON THE LOOK OUT

In these times of ours, though concerning the exact year there is no need to be precise, a boat of dirty and disreputable appearance, with two figures in it, floated on the Thames, between Southwark bridge which is of iron, and London Bridge which is of stone, as an autumn evening was closing in.

The figures in this boat were those of a strong man with ragged grizzled hair and a sun-browned face, and a dark girl of nineteen or twenty, sufficiently like him to be recognizable as his daughter. The girl rowed, pulling a pair of sculls very easily; the man, with the rudder-lines slack in his hands, and his hands loose in his waistband, kept an eager look out. He had no net, hook, or line, and he could not be a fisherman; his boat had no cushion for a sitter, no paint, no inscription, no appliance beyond a rusty boathook and a coil of rope, and he could not be a waterman; his boat was too crazy and too small to take in cargo for delivery, and he could not be a lighterman or river-carrier; there was no clue to what he looked for, but he looked for something, with a most intent and searching gaze. The tide, which had turned an hour before, was running down, and his eyes watched every little race and eddy in its broad sweep, as the boat made slight head-way against it, or drove stern foremost before it, according as he directed his daughter by a movement of his head. She watched his face as earnestly as he watched the river. But, in the intensity of her look there was a touch of dread or horror.

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