"Well, sir," said Mannering, without the slightest smile of sympathy, "but to the purpose. You say that this lady had power to settle her estate on Miss Bertram, and that she did so?"
"Even so, Colonel," replied Glossin. "I think I should understand the law--I have followed it for many years, and though I have given it up to retire upon a handsome competence, I did not throw away that knowledge which is pronounced better than house and land, and which I take to be the knowledge of the law, since, as our common rhyme has it,
"'Tis most excellent, To win the land that's gone and spent.
No, no, I love the smack of the whip--I have a little, a very little law yet, at the service of my friends."
"Glossin ran on in this manner, thinking he had made a favourable impression on Mannering. The Colonel indeed reflected that this might be a most important crisis for Miss Bertram's interest, and resolved that his strong inclination to throw Glossin out at window, or at door, should not interfere with it. He put a strong curb on his temper, and resolved to listen with patience at least, if without complacency. He therefore let Mr. Glossin get to the end of his self-congratulations, and then asked him if he knew where the deed was?"
"I know--that is, I think--I believe I can recover it--In such cases custodiers have sometimes made a charge."
"We won't differ as to that, sir," said the Colonel, taking out his pocket-book.
"But, my dear sir, you take me so very short--I said some persons might make such a claim--I mean for payment of the expenses of the deed, trouble in the affair, etc. But I, for my own part, only wish Miss Bertram and her friends to be satisfied that I am acting towards her with honour. There's the paper, sir! It would have been a satisfaction to me to have delivered it into Miss Bertram's own hands, and to have wished her joy of the prospects which it opens. But since her prejudices on the subject are invincible, it only remains for me to transmit her my best wishes through you, Colonel Mannering, and to express that I shall willingly give my testimony in support of that deed when I shall be called upon. I have the honour to wish you a good morning, sir."