Christmas Carol 45 recto




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better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child Himself. Stop! There
was[??] first a game at blindman’s buff. Of course there was. And I no more believe Topper blind man
was really blind than I believe he had eyes in his kneesboots. My opinion is, that
it was a done thing between him and Scrooge’s nephew, and that the Ghost of Christmas Present knew it. The way he went after that plump sister in the lace
tucker, was most an outrage on the credulity of human nature. Knocking down the
fire irons, tumbling over the chairs, [running ?i? ??f]bumping up against the
piano, [crossing] against the[wa??]smothering himself among the curtains, -[]wherever
theyshe went, there went he. He always knew where the plump sister was. He wouldn’t
catch anybody else. If you fellhad fallen up against him, as some of them did; and stood there; he made a feinthe would have
made a feint of endeavouring to [call]seize you, which would have been an
affront to your understanding; and would instantly have sidled off in the
direction of the plump sister. She often cried out that it wasn’t fair; and
it really wasn't not. But when heat last, he caught her; when, in spite of
all her [whiskings away and rapid]silken rustlings and her rapid []flutterings past him; he fe???? hergot her
into a corner whence there was no escape; then his conduct was the most
execrable. For his pretending not to know her; his pretending that it was ne-
cessary to touch her head dress, and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing
a certain ring upon her finger and a certain chain about her neck; was
vile, monstrous![? he?as def???.] No doubt she told him[? ????? ]in plain her opinion of it, when,they
after[]another blindman []being in office,
[]they were so very confidential together, behind the curtains.
Scrooge’s niece [] [??????ed ]not[] this gamewas not one of the blindman’s buff party, but was made
comfortable, inwith a large chair and a footstool, in a cornersnug corner, where
the Ghost and Scrooge stoodwere close behind her. But she playedjoined in the
forfeits, and loved her lord to admiration with all the letters of the alpha-
bet. Likewise at the game of How, When, and Where, she was very
great, and to the greatsecret joy of Scrooge’s nephew, beat her sisters hol-
low—though they were sharp girls too, as Topper knew that [enspe??]could have told you. There
might have been twenty people there, young and old, but they all
[do?n?]played, and so did Scrooge; for [quite?] []wholly forgetting [???????s], in
the interest he had in what was going on, that his voice made no
sound in their ears, he sometimes came out with his guess quite loud; [and] and
very often guessed right too, for he was asthe sharpestas a needle—best
Whitechapel, warranted not to cut in the eye—was not sharper
[??nd kn?? of ???]
than Scrooge: blunt as he was, in his [[s?? ??np??]]took it in his head to be.
The Ghost was greatly pleased to find him doingin thisbusiness? mood,
and looked upon him with []such favor that he begged, like a boy, to be allowed to
stay until the guests departed. But this the Spirit said, could not be done.

“Here’s a new game,” said Scrooge. “One [minute]half hour, Spirit, only one!”

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