I had a stupid intention of replying that I was going to wait, to hand her downstairs. I suppose I expressed it, somehow; for after she had looked at me attentively for a little while, she appeared to understand, and replied in a low tone:
'I know you will do as I ask you, if I tell you I am very earnest in it. Go away now, Trotwood, for my sake, and ask your friends to take you home.'
She had so far improved me, for the time, that though I was angry with her, I felt ashamed, and with a short 'Goori!' (which I intended for 'Good night!') got up and went away. They followed, and I stepped at once out of the box-door into my bedroom, where only Steerforth was with me, helping me to undress, and where I was by turns telling him that Agnes was my sister, and adjuring him to bring the corkscrew, that I might open another bottle of wine.
How somebody, lying in my bed, lay saying and doing all this over again, at cross purposes, in a feverish dream all night — the bed a rocking sea that was never still! How, as that somebody slowly settled down into myself, did I begin to parch, and feel as if my outer covering of skin were a hard board; my tongue the bottom of an empty kettle, furred with long service, and burning up over a slow fire; the palms of my hands, hot plates of metal which no ice could cool!
But the agony of mind, the remorse, and shame I felt when I became conscious next day! My horror of having committed a thousand offences I had forgotten, and which nothing could ever expiate — my recollection of that indelible look which Agnes had given me — the torturing impossibility of communicating with her, not knowing, Beast that I was, how she came to be in London, or where she stayed — my disgust of the very sight of the room where the revel had been held — my racking head — the smell of smoke, the sight of glasses, the impossibility of going out, or even getting up! Oh, what a day it was!
Oh, what an evening, when I sat down by my fire to a basin of mutton broth, dimpled all over with fat, and thought I was going the way of my predecessor, and should succeed to his dismal story as well as to his chambers, and had half a mind to rush express to Dover and reveal all! What an evening, when Mrs. Crupp, coming in to take away the broth-basin, produced one kidney on a cheese-plate as the entire remains of yesterday's feast, and I was really inclined to fall upon her nankeen breast and say, in heartfelt penitence, 'Oh, Mrs. Crupp, Mrs. Crupp, never mind the broken meats! I am very miserable!' — only that I doubted, even at that pass, if Mrs. Crupp were quite the sort of woman to confide in!