The Stryver clerk, who never assisted at these conferences, had gone home, and the Stryver principal opened the door. He had his slippers on, and a loose bed-gown, and his throat was bare for his greater ease. He had that rather wild, strained, seared marking about the eyes, which may be observed in all free livers of his class, from the portrait of Jeffries downward, and which can be traced, under various disguises of Art, through the portraits of every Drinking Age.
`You are a little late, Memory,' said Stryver.
`About the usual time; it may be a quarter of an hour later.'
They went into a dingy room lined with books and littered with papers, where there was a blazing fire. A kettle steamed upon the hob, and in the midst of the wreck of papers a table shone, with plenty of wine upon it, and brandy, and rum, and sugar, and lemons.
`You have had your bottle, I perceive, Sydney.'
`Two to-night, I think. I have been dining with the day's client; or seeing him dine--it's all one!'
`That was a rare point, Sydney, that you brought to bear upon the identification. How did you come by it? When did it strike you?'
`I thought he was rather a handsome fellow, and I thought I should have been much the same sort of fellow, if I had had any luck.'