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The Pickwick Papers 205







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Mr. Snodgrass, and slipped the paper and the shilling into his hand. Mr. Tupman had witnessed this process in silent astonishment, when Jackson, turning sharply upon him, said-- I think I aint mistaken when I say your names Tupman, am I? Mr. Tupman looked at Mr. Pickwick; but, perceiving no encouragement in that gentlemans widely-opened eyes to deny his name, said-- Yes, my name is Tupman, Sir. And that other gentlemans Mr. Winkle, I think? said Jackson. Mr. Winkle faltered out a reply in the affirmative; and both gentlemen were forthwith invested with a slip of paper, and a shilling each, by the dexterous Mr. Jackson. Now, said Jackson, Im afraid youll think me rather troublesome, but I want somebody else, if it aint inconvenient. I have Samuel Wellers name here, Mr. Pickwick. Send my servant here, waiter, said Mr. Pickwick. The waiter retired, considerably astonished, and Mr. Pickwick motioned Jackson to a seat. There was a painful pause, which was at length broken by the innocent defendant. I suppose, Sir, said Mr. Pickwick, his indignation rising while he spoke--I suppose, Sir, that it is the intention of your employers to seek to criminate me upon the testimony of my own friends? Mr. Jackson struck his forefinger several times against the left side of his nose, to intimate that he was not there to disclose the secrets of the prison house, and playfully rejoined-- Not knowin, cant say. For what other reason, Sir, pursued Mr. Pickwick, are these subpoenas served upon them, if not for this? Very good plant, Mr. Pickwick, replied Jackson, slowly shaking his head. But it wont do. No harm in trying, but theres little to be got out of me. Here Mr. Jackson smiled once more upon the company, and, applying his left thumb to the tip of his nose, worked a visionary coffee-mill with his right hand, thereby performing a very graceful piece of pantomime (then much in vogue, but now, unhappily, almost obsolete) which was familiarly denominated taking a grinder. No, no, Mr. Pickwick, said Jackson, in conclusion; Perkers people must guess what weve served these subpoenas for. If they cant, they must wait till the action comes on, and then theyll find out. Mr. Pickwick bestowed a look of excessive disgust on his unwelcome visitor, and would probably have hurled some tremendous anathema at the heads of Messrs. Dodson & Fogg, had not Sams entrance at the instant interrupted him. Samuel Weller? said Mr. Jackson, inquiringly. Vun o the truest things as youve said for many a long year, replied Sam, in a most composed manner. Heres a subpoena for you, Mr. Weller, said Jackson. Whats that in English? inquired Sam. Heres the original, said Jackson, declining the required explanation. Which? said Sam. This, replied Jackson, shaking the parchment. Oh, thats the rignal, is it? said Sam. Well, Im wery glad Ive seen the rignal, cos its a gratifyin sort o thing, and eases vuns mind so much. And heres the shilling, said Jackson. Its from Dodson and Foggs. And its uncommon handsome o Dodson and Fogg, as knows so little of me, to come down vith a present, said Sam. I feel it as a wery high compliment, sir; its a wery honorable thing to them, as they knows how to reward merit werever they meets it. Besides which, its affectin to ones feelins. As Mr. Weller said this, he inflicted a little friction on his right eyelid, with the sleeve of his coat, after the most approved manner of actors when they are in domestic pathetics. Mr. Jackson seemed rather puzzled by Sams proceedings; but, as he had served the subpoenas, and had nothing more to say, he made a feint of putting on the one glove which he usually carried in his hand, for the sake of appearances; and returned to the office to report progress. Mr. Pickwick slept little that night; his memory had received a very disagreeable refresher on the subject of Mrs. Bardells action. He breakfasted betimes next morning, and, desiring Sam to accompany him, set forth towards Grays Inn Square. Sam! said Mr. Pickwick, looking round, when they got to the end of Cheapside. Sir? said Sam, stepping up to his master. Which way? Up Newgate Street. Mr. Pickwick did not turn round immediately, but looked vacantly in Sams face for a few seconds, and heaved a deep sigh. Whats the matter, sir? inquired Sam. This action, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick, is expected to come on, on the fourteenth of next month. Remarkable coincidence that ere, sir, replied Sam. Why remarkable, Sam? inquired Mr. Pickwick. Walentines day, sir, responded Sam; reglar good day for a breach o promise trial. Mr.

The Pickwick Papers page 204        The Pickwick Papers page 206