No Thoroughfare

No Thoroughfare
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Wilkie Collins. No Thoroughfare

THE OVERTURE

ACT I

THE CURTAIN RISES

ENTER THE HOUSEKEEPER

THE HOUSEKEEPER SPEAKS

NEW CHARACTERS ON THE SCENE

EXIT WILDING

ACT II

VENDALE MAKES LOVE

VENDALE MAKES MISCHIEF

ACT III

IN THE VALLEY

ON THE MOUNTAIN

ACT IV

THE CLOCK-LOCK

OBENREIZER’S VICTORY

THE CURTAIN FALLS

Отрывок из книги

In a court-yard in the City of London, which was No Thoroughfare either for vehicles or foot-passengers; a court-yard diverging from a steep, a slippery, and a winding street connecting Tower Street with the Middlesex shore of the Thames; stood the place of business of Wilding & Co., Wine Merchants. Probably as a jocose acknowledgment of the obstructive character of this main approach, the point nearest to its base at which one could take the river (if so inodorously minded) bore the appellation Break-Neck-Stairs. The court-yard itself had likewise been descriptively entitled in old time, Cripple Corner.

Years before the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, people had left off taking boat at Break-Neck-Stairs, and watermen had ceased to ply there. The slimy little causeway had dropped into the river by a slow process of suicide, and two or three stumps of piles and a rusty iron mooring-ring were all that remained of the departed Break-Neck glories. Sometimes, indeed, a laden coal barge would bump itself into the place, and certain laborious heavers, seemingly mud-engendered, would arise, deliver the cargo in the neighbourhood, shove off, and vanish; but at most times the only commerce of Break-Neck-Stairs arose out of the conveyance of casks and bottles, both full and empty, both to and from the cellars of Wilding & Co., Wine Merchants. Even that commerce was but occasional, and through three-fourths of its rising tides the dirty indecorous drab of a river would come solitarily oozing and lapping at the rusty ring, as if it had heard of the Doge and the Adriatic, and wanted to be married to the great conserver of its filthiness, the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor.

.....

“Well, you left off – but I wouldn’t excite myself, if I was you, by taking it up again just yet.”

“I’ll take care. I’ll take care. The singing in my head came on at where, Mr. Bintrey?”

.....

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