He was also glad to see Mr Merdle, glad to see Bishop, glad to see Bar, glad to see Physician, glad to see Tite Barnacle, glad to see Chorus, glad to see Ferdinand his private secretary.
Ferdinand Barnacle laughed, and said oh yes, he believed so.
Ferdinand Barnacle laughed in his easy way, and airily said they were a nice set of fellows.
'I only know this much,' said Ferdinand, 'that he has given the Department with which I have the honour to be associated;' this sparkling young Barnacle threw off the phrase sportively, as who should say, We know all about these forms of speech, but we must keep it up, we must keep the game alive; 'no end of trouble, and has put us into innumerable fixes.'
'What,' said Lord Decimus, 'was the character of his business; what was the nature of these--a--Fixes, Ferdinand?'
It was in vain for the engaging Ferdinand to bring Lord Decimus to look at the bronze horses near Mr Merdle.
'Did you ever see such a thing as this?' said Ferdinand to Bar when he had been baffled twenty times.
'Unless I butt one of them into an appointed corner, and you butt the other,' said Ferdinand,'it will not come off after all.'
Bishop, who had just now made a third with Bar and Ferdinand, but whose innocence had again cut him out of the subject and washed him in sweet oil, was seen to approach Lord Decimus and glide into conversation.
'I must get Merdle's doctor to catch and secure him, I suppose,' said Ferdinand; 'and then I must lay hold of my illustrious kinsman, and decoy him if I can--drag him if I can't--to the conference.'
Ferdinand, meanwhile, was the only one of the party who skirmished on the outside of the circle; he kept about mid-way between it and the two, as if some sort of surgical operation were being performed by Lord Decimus on Mr Merdle, or by Mr Merdle on Lord Decimus, and his services might at any moment be required as Dresser.
All the grave importance that was buttoned up in Mr Tite Barnacle, took itself away next; and Ferdinand took himself away next, to the opera.