January 1.—I had intended concluding my diary last week; but
a most important event has happened, so I shall continue for a little
while longer on the fly-leaves attached to the end of my last year’s
diary. It had just struck half-past one, and I was on the point
of leaving the office to have my dinner, when I received a message that
Mr. Perkupp desired to see me at once. I must confess that my
heart commenced to beat and I had most serious misgivings.
Mr. Perkupp was in his room writing, and he said: “Take a seat,
Mr. Pooter, I shall not be moment.”
I replied: “No, thank you, sir; I’ll stand.”
I watched the clock on the mantelpiece, and I was waiting quite twenty
minutes; but it seemed hours. Mr. Perkupp at last got up himself.
I said: “I hope there is nothing wrong, sir?”
He replied: “Oh dear, no! quite the reverse, I hope.”
What a weight off my mind! My breath seemed to come back again
in an instant.
Mr. Perkupp said: “Mr. Buckling is going to retire, and there
will be some slight changes in the office. You have been with
us nearly twenty-one years, and, in consequence of your conduct during
that period, we intend making a special promotion in your favour.
We have not quite decided how you will be placed; but in any case there
will be a considerable increase in your salary, which, it is quite unnecessary
for me to say, you fully deserve. I have an appointment at two;
but you shall hear more to-morrow.”
He then left the room quickly, and I was not even allowed time or
thought to express a single word of grateful thanks to him. I
need not say how dear Carrie received this joyful news. With perfect
simplicity she said: “At last we shall be able to have a chimney-glass
for the back drawing-room, which we always wanted.” I added:
“Yes, and at last you shall have that little costume which you
saw at Peter Robinson’s so cheap.”