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The Pickwick Papers 103







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and had taken his servant with him. Now, sir, argued Mr. Weller, when he had concluded his report, if I can get a talk with this here servant in the mornin, hell tell me all his masters concerns. How do you know that? interposed Mr. Pickwick. Bless your heart, sir, servants always do, replied Mr. Weller. Oh, ah, I forgot that, said Mr. Pickwick. Well. Then you can arrange whats best to be done, sir, and we can act accordingly. As it appeared that this was the best arrangement that could be made, it was finally agreed upon. Mr. Weller, by his masters permission, retired to spend the evening in his own way; and was shortly afterwards elected, by the unanimous voice of the assembled company, into the taproom chair, in which honourable post he acquitted himself so much to the satisfaction of the gentlemen-frequenters, that their roars of laughter and approbation penetrated to Mr. Pickwicks bedroom, and shortened the term of his natural rest by at least three hours. Early on the ensuing morning, Mr. Weller was dispelling all the feverish remains of the previous evenings conviviality, through the instrumentality of a halfpenny shower-bath (having induced a young gentleman attached to the stable department, by the offer of that coin, to pump over his head and face, until he was perfectly restored), when he was attracted by the appearance of a young fellow in mulberry-coloured livery, who was sitting on a bench in the yard, reading what appeared to be a hymn-book, with an air of deep abstraction, but who occasionally stole a glance at the individual under the pump, as if he took some interest in his proceedings, nevertheless. Youre a rum un to look at, you are! thought Mr. Weller, the first time his eyes encountered the glance of the stranger in the mulberry suit, who had a large, sallow, ugly face, very sunken eyes, and a gigantic head, from which depended a quantity of lank black hair. Youre a rum un! thought Mr. Weller; and thinking this, he went on washing himself, and thought no more about him. Still the man kept glancing from his hymn-book to Sam, and from Sam to his hymn-book, as if he wanted to open a conversation. So at last, Sam, by way of giving him an opportunity, said with a familiar nod-- How are you, governor? I am happy to say, I am pretty well, Sir, said the man, speaking with great deliberation, and closing the book. I hope you are the same, Sir? Why, if I felt less like a walking brandy-bottle I shouldnt be quite so staggery this mornin, replied Sam. Are you stoppin in this house, old un? The mulberry man replied in the affirmative. How was it you wornt one of us, last night? inquired Sam, scrubbing his face with the towel. You seem one of the jolly sort --looks as conwivial as a live trout in a lime basket, added Mr. Weller, in an undertone. I was out last night with my master, replied the stranger. Whats his name? inquired Mr. Weller, colouring up very red with sudden excitement, and the friction of the towel combined. Fitz-Marshall, said the mulberry man. Give us your hand, said Mr. Weller, advancing; I should like to know you. I like your appearance, old fellow. Well, that is very strange, said the mulberry man, with great simplicity of manner. I like yours so much, that I wanted to speak to you, from the very first moment I saw you under the pump. Did you though? Upon my word. Now, isnt that curious? Wery singler, said Sam, inwardly congratulating himself upon the softness of the stranger. Whats your name, my patriarch? Job. And a wery good name it is; only one I know that aint got a nickname to it. Whats the other name? Trotter, said the stranger. What is yours? Sam bore in mind his masters caution, and replied-- My names Walker; my masters names Wilkins. Will you take a drop o somethin this mornin, Mr. Trotter? Mr. Trotter acquiesced in this agreeable proposal; and having deposited his book in his coat pocket, accompanied Mr. Weller to the tap, where they were soon occupied in discussing an exhilarating compound, formed by mixing together, in a pewter vessel, certain quantities of British Hollands and the fragrant essence of the clove. And what sort of a place have you got? inquired Sam, as he filled his companions glass, for the second time. Bad, said Job, smacking his lips, very bad. You dont mean that? said Sam. I do, indeed. Worse

The Pickwick Papers page 102        The Pickwick Papers page 104