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A Christmas carol Charles DICKENS - Pitbook.com

A Christmas carol Charles DICKENS - Pitbook.com

Stave 3: The Second of

Stave 3: The Second of the Three SpiritsAwaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore,and sitting up in bed to get his thoughts together, Scroogehad no occasion to be told that the bell was again uponthe stroke of One. He felt that he was restored toconsciousness in the right nick of time, for the especialpurpose of holding a conference with the secondmessenger despatched to him through Jacob Marley'sintervention. But, finding that he turned uncomfortablycold when he began to wonder which of his curtains thisnew spectre would draw back, he put them every oneaside with his own hands, and lying down again,established a sharp look-out all round the bed. For, hewished to challenge the Spirit on the moment of itsappearance, and did not wish to be taken by surprise, andmade nervous.Gentlemen of the free-and-easy sort, who plumethemselves on being acquainted with a move or two, andbeing usually equal to the time-of-day, express the widerange of their capacity for adventure by observing thatthey are good for anything from pitch-and-toss tomanslaughter; between which opposite extremes, nodoubt, there lies a tolerably wide and comprehensiverange of subjects. Without venturing for Scrooge quite ashardily as this, I don't mind calling on you to believe that

he was ready for a good broad field of strangeappearances, and that nothing between a baby andrhinoceros would have astonished him very much.Now, being prepared for almost anything, he was not byany means prepared for nothing; and, consequently, whenthe Bell struck One, and no shape appeared, he was takenwith a violent fit of trembling. Five minutes, ten minutes,a quarter of an hour went by, yet nothing came. All thistime, he lay upon his bed, the very core and centre of ablaze of ruddy light, which streamed upon it when theclock proclaimed the hour; and which, being only light,was more alarming than a dozen ghosts, as he waspowerless to make out what it meant, or would be at; andwas sometimes apprehensive that he might be at that verymoment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion,without having the consolation of knowing it. At last,however, he began to think -- as you or I would havethought at first; for it is always the person not in thepredicament who knows what ought to have been done init, and would unquestionably have done it too -- at last, Isay, he began to think that the source and secret of thisghostly light might be in the adjoining room, fromwhence, on further tracing it, it seemed to shine. This ideataking full possession of his mind, he got up softly andshuffled in his slippers to the door.The moment Scrooge's hand was on the lock, a strangevoice called him by his name, and bade him enter. Heobeyed.

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