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The Pickwick Papers 105







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The Pickwick Papers

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never yet wound up a clock, or worked a steam ingin. The next time you go out to a smoking party, young fellow, fill your pipe with that ere reflection; and for the present just put that bit of pink gingham into your pocket. Taint so handsome that you need keep waving it about, as if you was a tight-rope dancer. My man is in the right, said Mr. Pickwick, accosting Job, although his mode of expressing his opinion is somewhat homely, and occasionally incomprehensible. He is, sir, very right, said Mr. Trotter, and I will give way no longer. Very well, said Mr. Pickwick. Now, where is this boarding-school? It is a large, old, red brick house, just outside the town, Sir, replied Job Trotter. And when, said Mr. Pickwick--when is this villainous design to be carried into execution--when is this elopement to take place? To-night, Sir, replied Job. To-night! exclaimed Mr. Pickwick. This very night, sir, replied Job Trotter. That is what alarms me so much. Instant measures must be taken, said Mr. Pickwick. I will see the lady who keeps the establishment immediately. I beg your pardon, Sir, said Job, but that course of proceeding will never do. Why not? inquired Mr. Pickwick. My master, sir, is a very artful man. I know he is, said Mr. Pickwick. And he has so wound himself round the old ladys heart, Sir, resumed Job, that she would believe nothing to his prejudice, if you went down on your bare knees, and swore it; especially as you have no proof but the word of a servant, who, for anything she knows (and my master would be sure to say so), was discharged for some fault, and does this in revenge. What had better be done, then? said Mr. Pickwick. Nothing but taking him in the very act of eloping, will convince the old lady, sir, replied Job. All them old cats WILL run their heads agin milestones, observed Mr. Weller, in a parenthesis. But this taking him in the very act of elopement, would be a very difficult thing to accomplish, I fear, said Mr. Pickwick. I dont know, sir, said Mr. Trotter, after a few moments reflection. I think it might be very easily done. How? was Mr. Pickwicks inquiry. Why, replied Mr. Trotter, my master and I, being in the confidence of the two servants, will be secreted in the kitchen at ten oclock. When the family have retired to rest, we shall come out of the kitchen, and the young lady out of her bedroom. A post-chaise will be waiting, and away we go. Well? said Mr. Pickwick. Well, sir, I have been thinking that if you were in waiting in the garden behind, alone-- Alone, said Mr. Pickwick. Why alone? I thought it very natural, replied Job, that the old lady wouldnt like such an unpleasant discovery to be made before more persons than can possibly be helped. The young lady, too, sir--consider her feelings. You are very right, said Mr. Pickwick. The consideration evinces your delicacy of feeling. Go on; you are very right. Well, sir, I have been thinking that if you were waiting in the back garden alone, and I was to let you in, at the door which opens into it, from the end of the passage, at exactly half-past eleven oclock, you would be just in the very moment of time to assist me in frustrating the designs of this bad man, by whom I have been unfortunately ensnared. Here Mr. Trotter sighed deeply. Dont distress yourself on that account, said Mr. Pickwick; if he had one grain of the delicacy of feeling which distinguishes you, humble as your station is, I should have some hopes of him. Job Trotter bowed low; and in spite of Mr. Wellers previous remonstrance, the tears again rose to his eyes. I never see such a feller, said Sam, Blessed if I dont think hes got a main in his head as is always turned on. Sam, said Mr. Pickwick, with great severity, hold your tongue. Wery well, sir, replied Mr. Weller. I dont like this plan, said Mr. Pickwick, after deep meditation. Why cannot I communicate with the young ladys friends? Because they live one hundred miles from here, sir, responded Job Trotter. Thats a clincher, said Mr. Weller, aside. Then this garden, resumed Mr. Pickwick. How am I to get into it? The wall is very low, sir, and your servant will give you a leg up. My servant will give me a leg up, repeated Mr. Pickwick mechanically. You will be sure to

The Pickwick Papers page 104        The Pickwick Papers page 106