“Bad job, Japhet,” said Mr Cophagus to me.
“Very bad indeed, sir; but it might have been worse.”
“Worse—um—no, nothing worse—not possible.”
“Why, sir, you might have been killed.”
“Pooh!—didn’t mean that—mean Pleggit—rascal—um—kill me if he can—sha’n’t though—soon get rid of him—and so on.”
“You will not require his further attendance now that your shoulder is reduced. I can very well attend upon you.”
“Very true, Japhet;—but won’t go—sure of that—damned rascal—quite pleased—I saw it—um—eyes twinkled—smile checked—and so on.”
That evening Mr Pleggit called in as Mr Cophagus said that he would, and the latter showed a great deal of impatience; but Mr Pleggit repeated his visits over and over again, and I observed that Mr Cophagus no longer made any objection; on the contrary, seemed anxious for his coming, and still more so, after he was convalescent, and able to sit at his table. But the mystery was soon divulged. It appeared that Mr Cophagus, although he was very glad that other people should suffer from mad bulls, and come to be cured, viewed the case in a very different light when the bull thought proper to toss him, and having now realised a comfortable independence, he had resolved to retire from business, and from a site attended with so much danger. A hint of this escaping him when Mr Pleggit was attending him on the third day after his accident, the latter, who knew the value of the locale, also hinted that if Mr Cophagus was inclined so to do, that he would be most happy to enter into an arrangement with him. Self-interest will not only change friendship into enmity, in this rascally world, but also turn enmity into friendship. All Mr Pleggit’s enormities, and all Mr Cophagus’ shameful conduct, were mutually forgotten. In less than ten minutes it was, “My dear Mr Pleggit, and so on,” and “My dear brother Cophagus.”
In three weeks every thing had been arranged between them, and the shop, fixtures, stock in trade, and good will, were all the property of our ancient antagonist. But although Mr Pleggit could shake hands with Mr Cophagus for his fixtures and good will, yet as Timothy and I were not included in the good will, neither were we included among the fixtures, and Mr Cophagus could not, of course, interfere with Mr Pleggit’s private arrangements. He did all he could do in the way of recommendation, but Mr Pleggit had not forgotten my occasional impertinences or the battle of the bottles. I really believe that his ill will against Timothy was one reason for purchasing the good will of Mr Cophagus, and we were very gently told by Mr Pleggit that he would have no occasion for our services.