There appeared to be another shaking of hands in consequence, and when it was over, the old gentleman said that, though he said it who should not, he believed no son had ever been a greater comfort to his parents than Abel Garland had been to his.
'You see, Mr Witherden,' said the old lady, 'that Abel has not been brought up like the run of young men.
'Mr Abel's feelings did credit to his nature, and credit to your nature, ma'am, and his father's nature, and human nature.
There was a short silence, apparently, while Mr Abel went through the prescribed form, and then the shaking of hands and shuffling of feet were renewed, and shortly afterwards there was a clinking of wine-glasses and a great talkativeness on the part of everybody.
Mr Abel, who had a quaint old-fashioned air about him, looked nearly of the same age as his father, and bore a wonderful resemblance to him in face and figure, though wanting something of his full, round, cheerfulness, and substituting in its place a timid reserve.
Abel thought, like the servants at The Shrubs, that the strange man belonged to the unpleasant "kin" who are among the troubles of the rich; she had at first referred the kinship to Mr.
Abel and her husband can relieve or aid me, if necessary."
"When I presented myself before you for the first time in London, it was to ask you what had become of my fortune; the second time it was to demand who had sullied my name; and this time I come before you to ask a question far more terrible than any other, to say to you as God said to the first murderer: `Cain, what hast thou done to thy brother Abel
?' My lord, what have you done with your sister -- your sister, who was my mother?"
Cain's envy was the more vile and malignant, towards his brother Abel
, because when his sacrifice was better accepted, there was no body to look on.
"Magwitch," he answered, in the same tone; "chrisen'd Abel."
"I have been informed by a person named Abel Magwitch, that he is the benefactor so long unknown to me."