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The Pickwick Papers
The Sea Wolf
they went, leaving Mr. Pickwick snoring most comfortably in the shade. That Mr. Pickwick would have continued to snore in the shade until his friends came back, or, in default thereof, until the shades of evening had fallen on the landscape, there appears no reasonable cause to doubt; always supposing that he had been suffered to remain there in peace. But he was NOT suffered to remain there in peace. And this was what prevented him. Captain Boldwig was a little fierce man in a stiff black neckerchief and blue surtout, who, when he did condescend to walk about his property, did it in company with a thick rattan stick with a brass ferrule, and a gardener and sub-gardener with meek faces, to whom (the gardeners, not the stick) Captain Boldwig gave his orders with all due grandeur and ferocity; for Captain Boldwigs wifes sister had married a marquis, and the captains house was a villa, and his land grounds, and it was all very high, and mighty, and great. Mr. Pickwick had not been asleep half an hour when little Captain Boldwig, followed by the two gardeners, came striding along as fast as his size and importance would let him; and when he came near the oak tree, Captain Boldwig paused and drew a long breath, and looked at the prospect as if he thought the prospect ought to be highly gratified at having him to take notice of it; and then he struck the ground emphatically with his stick, and summoned the head-gardener. Hunt, said Captain Boldwig. Yes, Sir, said the gardener. Roll this place to-morrow morning--do you hear, Hunt? Yes, Sir. And take care that you keep this place in good order--do you hear, Hunt? Yes, Sir. And remind me to have a board done about trespassers, and spring guns, and all that sort of thing, to keep the common people out. Do you hear, Hunt; do you hear? Ill not forget it, Sir. I beg your pardon, Sir, said the other man, advancing, with his hand to his hat. Well, Wilkins, whats the matter with you? said Captain Boldwig. I beg your pardon, sir--but I think there have been trespassers here to-day. Ha! said the captain, scowling around him. Yes, sir--they have been dining here, I think, sir. Why, damn their audacity, so they have, said Captain Boldwig, as the crumbs and fragments that were strewn upon the grass met his eye. They have actually been devouring their food here. I wish I had the vagabonds here! said the captain, clenching the thick stick. I wish I had the vagabonds here, said the captain wrathfully. Beg your pardon, sir, said Wilkins, but-- But what? Eh? roared the captain; and following the timid glance of Wilkins, his eyes encountered the wheel-barrow and Mr. Pickwick. Who are you, you rascal? said the captain, administering several pokes to Mr. Pickwicks body with the thick stick. Whats your name? Cold punch, murmured Mr. Pickwick, as he sank to sleep again. What? demanded Captain Boldwig. No reply. What did he say his name was? asked the captain. Punch, I think, sir, replied Wilkins. Thats his impudence--thats his confounded impudence, said Captain Boldwig. Hes only feigning to be asleep now, said the captain, in a high passion. Hes drunk; hes a drunken plebeian. Wheel him away, Wilkins, wheel him away directly. Where shall I wheel him to, sir? inquired Wilkins, with great timidity. Wheel him to the devil, replied Captain Boldwig. Very well, sir, said Wilkins. Stay, said the captain. Wilkins stopped accordingly. Wheel him, said the captain--wheel him to the pound; and let us see whether he calls himself Punch when he comes to himself. He shall not bully me--he shall not bully me. Wheel him away. Away Mr. Pickwick was wheeled in compliance with this imperious mandate; and the great Captain Boldwig, swelling with indignation, proceeded on his walk. Inexpressible was the astonishment of the little party when they returned, to find that Mr. Pickwick had disappeared, and taken the wheel-barrow with him. It was the most mysterious and unaccountable thing that was ever heard of For a lame man to have got upon his legs without any previous notice, and walked off, would have been most extraordinary; but when it came to his wheeling a heavy barrow before him, by way of amusement, it grew positively miraculous. They searched every nook and corner round, together and separately; they shouted, whistled, laughed, called--and all with the same result. Mr. Pickwick was not to be found. After some hours of fruitless search, they arrived at the unwelcome conclusion that they must go home without him. Meanwhile Mr.
The Pickwick Papers page 124 The Pickwick Papers page 126