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The Pickwick Papers 127

Elisha Cuthbert Photos


Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

formed the entrance to the court, and on the outer side of this glass door, Mr. Pickwick, closely followed by Sam Weller, presented himself on the Friday morning succeeding the occurrence of which a faithful narration is given in the last chapter. Come in, cant you! cried a voice from behind the partition, in reply to Mr. Pickwicks gentle tap at the door. And Mr. Pickwick and Sam entered accordingly. Mr. Dodson or Mr. Fogg at home, sir? inquired Mr. Pickwick, gently, advancing, hat in hand, towards the partition. Mr. Dodson aint at home, and Mr. Foggs particularly engaged, replied the voice; and at the same time the head to which the voice belonged, with a pen behind its ear, looked over the partition, and at Mr. Pickwick. it was a ragged head, the sandy hair of which, scrupulously parted on one side, and flattened down with pomatum, was twisted into little semi-circular tails round a flat face ornamented with a pair of small eyes, and garnished with a very dirty shirt collar, and a rusty black stock. Mr. Dodson aint at home, and Mr. Foggs particularly engaged, said the man to whom the head belonged. When will Mr. Dodson be back, sir? inquired Mr. Pickwick. Cant say. Will it be long before Mr. Fogg is disengaged, Sir? Dont know. Here the man proceeded to mend his pen with great deliberation, while another clerk, who was mixing a Seidlitz powder, under cover of the lid of his desk, laughed approvingly. I think Ill wait, said Mr. Pickwick. There was no reply; so Mr. Pickwick sat down unbidden, and listened to the loud ticking of the clock and the murmured conversation of the clerks. That was a game, wasnt it? said one of the gentlemen, in a brown coat and brass buttons, inky drabs, and bluchers, at the conclusion of some inaudible relation of his previous evenings adventures. Devilish good--devilish good, said the Seidlitz-powder man. Tom Cummins was in the chair, said the man with the brown coat. It was half-past four when I got to Somers Town, and then I was so uncommon lushy, that I couldnt find the place where the latch-key went in, and was obliged to knock up the old ooman. I say, I wonder what old Fogg ud say, if he knew it. I should get the sack, I spose--eh? At this humorous notion, all the clerks laughed in concert. There was such a game with Fogg here, this mornin, said the man in the brown coat, while Jack was upstairs sorting the papers, and you two were gone to the stamp-office. Fogg was down here, opening the letters when that chap as we issued the writ against at Camberwell, you know, came in--whats his name again? Ramsey, said the clerk who had spoken to Mr. Pickwick. Ah, Ramsey--a precious seedy-looking customer. "Well, sir," says old Fogg, looking at him very fierce--you know his way-- "well, Sir, have you come to settle?" "Yes, I have, sir," said Ramsey, putting his hand in his pocket, and bringing out the money, "the debts two pound ten, and the costs three pound five, and here it is, Sir;" and he sighed like bricks, as he lugged out the money, done up in a bit of blotting-paper. Old Fogg looked first at the money, and then at him, and then he coughed in his rum way, so that I knew something was coming. "You dont know theres a declaration filed, which increases the costs materially, I suppose," said Fogg. "You dont say that, sir," said Ramsey, starting back; "the time was only out last night, Sir." "I do say it, though," said Fogg, "my clerks just gone to file it. Hasnt Mr. Jackson gone to file that declaration in Bullman and Ramsey, Mr. Wicks?" Of course I said yes, and then Fogg coughed again, and looked at Ramsey. "My God!" said Ramsey; "and here have I nearly driven myself mad, scraping this money together, and all to no purpose." "None at all," said Fogg coolly; "so you had better go back and scrape some more together, and bring it here in time." "I cant get it, by God!" said Ramsey, striking the desk with his fist. "Dont bully me, sir," said Fogg, getting into a passion on purpose. "I am not bullying you, sir," said Ramsey. "You are," said Fogg; "get out, sir; get out of this office, Sir, and come back, Sir, when you know how to behave yourself." Well, Ramsey tried

The Pickwick Papers page 126        The Pickwick Papers page 128