`You see this toothpick?' said Scrooge, returning quickly to the charge, for the reason just assigned; and wishing, though it were only for a second, to divert the vision's stony gaze from himself.
`Well!' returned Scrooge, `I have but to swallow this, and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins, all of my own creation.
At this the spirit raised a frightful cry, and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise, that Scrooge held on tight to his chair, to save himself from falling in a swoon.
Scrooge fell upon his knees, and clasped his hands before his face.
Scrooge glanced about him on the floor, in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing.
`It comes from other regions, Ebenezer Scrooge, and is conveyed by other ministers, to other kinds of men.
It was a habit with Scrooge, whenever he became thoughtful, to put his hands in his breeches pockets.
`You must have been very slow about it, Jacob,' Scrooge observed, in a business-like manner, though with humility and deference.
`Seven years dead,' mused Scrooge. `And travelling all the time!'
`You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years,' said Scrooge.
`But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.
Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at this rate, and began to quake exceedingly.
`I will,' said Scrooge. `But don't be hard upon me!
Scrooge shivered, and wiped the perspiration from his brow.
`You were always a good friend to me,' said Scrooge. `Thank `ee!'