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The Pickwick Papers 123

Elisha Cuthbert Photos


Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

to take aim; and I will say this, that the best shot in existence could not have done it more beautifully. You are an older hand at this than I thought you, Tupman; you have been out before. It was in vain for Mr. Tupman to protest, with a smile of self- denial, that he never had. The very smile was taken as evidence to the contrary; and from that time forth his reputation was established. It is not the only reputation that has been acquired as easily, nor are such fortunate circumstances confined to partridge-shooting. Meanwhile, Mr. Winkle flashed, and blazed, and smoked away, without producing any material results worthy of being noted down; sometimes expending his charge in mid-air, and at others sending it skimming along so near the surface of the ground as to place the lives of the two dogs on a rather uncertain and precarious tenure. As a display of fancy-shooting, it was extremely varied and curious; as an exhibition of firing with any precise object, it was, upon the whole, perhaps a failure. It is an established axiom, that every bullet has its billet. If it apply in an equal degree to shot, those of Mr. Winkle were unfortunate foundlings, deprived of their natural rights, cast loose upon the world, and billeted nowhere. Well, said Wardle, walking up to the side of the barrow, and wiping the streams of perspiration from his jolly red face; smoking day, isnt it? It is, indeed, replied Mr. Pickwick. The sun is tremendously hot, even to me. I dont know how you must feel it. Why, said the old gentleman, pretty hot. Its past twelve, though. You see that green hill there? Certainly. Thats the place where we are to lunch; and, by Jove, theres the boy with the basket, punctual as clockwork! So he is, said Mr. Pickwick, brightening up. Good boy, that. Ill give him a shilling, presently. Now, then, Sam, wheel away. Hold on, sir, said Mr. Weller, invigorated with the prospect of refreshments. Out of the vay, young leathers. If you walley my precious life dont upset me, as the genlmn said to the driver when they was a-carryin him to Tyburn. And quickening his pace to a sharp run, Mr. Weller wheeled his master nimbly to the green hill, shot him dexterously out by the very side of the basket, and proceeded to unpack it with the utmost despatch. Weal pie, said Mr. Weller, soliloquising, as he arranged the eatables on the grass. Wery good thing is weal pie, when you know the lady as made it, and is quite sure it aint kittens; and arter all though, wheres the odds, when theyre so like weal that the wery piemen themselves dont know the difference? Dont they, Sam? said Mr. Pickwick. Not they, sir, replied Mr. Weller, touching his hat. I lodged in the same house vith a pieman once, sir, and a wery nice man he was--reglar clever chap, too--make pies out o anything, he could. "What a number o cats you keep, Mr. Brooks," says I, when Id got intimate with him. "Ah," says he, "I do--a good many," says he, "You must be wery fond o cats," says I. "Other people is," says he, a-winkin at me; "they aint in season till the winter though," says he. "Not in season!" says I. "No," says he, "fruits is in, cats is out." "Why, what do you mean?" says I. "Mean!" says he. "That Ill never be a party to the combination o the butchers, to keep up the price o meat," says he. "Mr. Weller," says he, a-squeezing my hand wery hard, and vispering in my ear--"dont mention this here agin--but its the seasonin as does it. Theyre all made o them noble animals," says he, a-pointin to a wery nice little tabby kitten, "and I seasons em for beefsteak, weal or kidney, cording to the demand. And more than that," says he, "I can make a weal a beef-steak, or a beef- steak a kidney, or any one on em a mutton, at a minutes notice, just as the market changes, and appetites wary!" He must have been a very ingenious young man, that, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick, with a slight shudder. Just was, sir, replied Mr. Weller, continuing his occupation of emptying the basket, and the pies was beautiful. Tongue--, well thats a wery good thing when it aint a womans.

The Pickwick Papers page 122        The Pickwick Papers page 124