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The Pickwick Papers 145

Elisha Cuthbert Photos


Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

There they was, a-passin resolutions, and wotin supplies, and all sorts o games. Well, what with your mother-in-law a-worrying me to go, and what with my looking forard to seein some queer starts if I did, I put my name down for a ticket; at six oclock on the Friday evenin I dresses myself out wery smart, and off I goes with the old ooman, and up we walks into a fust-floor where there was tea-things for thirty, and a whole lot o women as begins whisperin to one another, and lookin at me, as if theyd never seen a rayther stout genlmn of eight-and-fifty afore. By and by, there comes a great bustle downstairs, and a lanky chap with a red nose and a white neckcloth rushes up, and sings out, "Heres the shepherd a-coming to wisit his faithful flock;" and in comes a fat chap in black, vith a great white face, a-smilin avay like clockwork. Such goins on, Sammy! "The kiss of peace," says the shepherd; and then he kissed the women all round, and ven hed done, the man vith the red nose began. I was just a-thinkin whether I hadnt better begin too--specially as there was a wery nice lady a-sittin next me--ven in comes the tea, and your mother-in-law, as had been makin the kettle bile downstairs. At it they went, tooth and nail. Such a precious loud hymn, Sammy, while the tea was a brewing; such a grace, such eatin and drinkin! I wish you could ha seen the shepherd walkin into the ham and muffins. I never see such a chap to eat and drink-- never. The red-nosed man warnt by no means the sort of person youd like to grub by contract, but he was nothin to the shepherd. Well; arter the tea was over, they sang another hymn, and then the shepherd began to preach: and wery well he did it, considerin how heavy them muffins must have lied on his chest. Presently he pulls up, all of a sudden, and hollers out, "Where is the sinner; where is the misrable sinner?" Upon which, all the women looked at me, and began to groan as if they was a-dying. I thought it was rather singler, but howsoever, I says nothing. Presently he pulls up again, and lookin wery hard at me, says, "Where is the sinner; where is the misrable sinner?" and all the women groans again, ten times louder than afore. I got rather savage at this, so I takes a step or two forard and says, "My friend," says I, "did you apply that ere obserwation to me?" Stead of beggin my pardon as any genlmn would ha done, he got more abusive than ever:--called me a wessel, Sammy--a wessel of wrath--and all sorts o names. So my blood being reglarly up, I first gave him two or three for himself, and then two or three more to hand over to the man with the red nose, and walked off. I wish you could ha heard how the women screamed, Sammy, ven they picked up the shepherd from underneath the table--Hollo! heres the governor, the size of life. As Mr. Weller spoke, Mr. Pickwick dismounted from a cab, and entered the yard. Fine mornin, Sir, said Mr. Weller, senior. Beautiful indeed, replied Mr. Pickwick. Beautiful indeed, echoes a red-haired man with an inquisitive nose and green spectacles, who had unpacked himself from a cab at the same moment as Mr. Pickwick. Going to Ipswich, Sir? I am, replied Mr. Pickwick. Extraordinary coincidence. So am I. Mr. Pickwick bowed. Going outside? said the red-haired man. Mr. Pickwick bowed again. Bless my soul, how remarkable--I am going outside, too, said the red-haired man; we are positively going together. And the red-haired man, who was an important-looking, sharp-nosed, mysterious-spoken personage, with a bird-like habit of giving his head a jerk every time he said anything, smiled as if he had made one of the strangest discoveries that ever fell to the lot of human wisdom. I am happy in the prospect of your company, Sir, said Mr. Pickwick. Ah, said the new-comer, its a good thing for both of us, isnt it? Company, you see--company--is--is--its a very different thing from solitude--aint it? Theres no denying that ere, said Mr. Weller, joining in the conversation, with an affable smile. Thats what I call a self- evident proposition, as the dogs-meat man said, when the housemaid told him he warnt a gentleman. Ah, said the red-haired man,

The Pickwick Papers page 144        The Pickwick Papers page 146