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The Pickwick Papers 206







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The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf




Wellers smile awakened no gleam of mirth in his masters countenance. Mr. Pickwick turned abruptly round, and led the way in silence. They had walked some distance, Mr. Pickwick trotting on before, plunged in profound meditation, and Sam following behind, with a countenance expressive of the most enviable and easy defiance of everything and everybody, when the latter, who was always especially anxious to impart to his master any exclusive information he possessed, quickened his pace until he was close at Mr. Pickwicks heels; and, pointing up at a house they were passing, said-- Wery nice pork-shop that ere, sir. Yes, it seems so, said Mr. Pickwick. Celebrated sassage factory, said Sam. Is it? said Mr. Pickwick. Is it! reiterated Sam, with some indignation; I should rayther think it was. Why, sir, bless your innocent eyebrows, thats where the mysterious disappearance of a spectable tradesman took place four years ago. You dont mean to say he was burked, Sam? said Mr. Pickwick, looking hastily round. No, I dont indeed, sir, replied Mr. Weller, I wish I did; far worse than that. He was the master o that ere shop, sir, and the inwentor o the patent-never-leavin-off sassage steam-ingin, as ud swaller up a pavin stone if you put it too near, and grind it into sassages as easy as if it was a tender young babby. Wery proud o that machine he was, as it was natral he should be, and hed stand down in the celler a-lookin at it wen it was in full play, till he got quite melancholy with joy. A wery happy man hed ha been, Sir, in the procession o that ere ingin and two more lovely hinfants besides, if it hadnt been for his wife, who was a most owdacious wixin. She was always a-follerin him about, and dinnin in his ears, till at last he couldnt stand it no longer. "Ill tell you what it is, my dear," he says one day; "if you persewere in this here sort of amusement," he says, "Im blessed if I dont go away to Merriker; and thats all about it." "Youre a idle willin," says she, "and I wish the Merrikins joy of their bargain." Arter which she keeps on abusin of him for half an hour, and then runs into the little parlour behind the shop, sets to a-screamin, says hell be the death on her, and falls in a fit, which lasts for three good hours--one o them fits wich is all screamin and kickin. Well, next mornin, the husband was missin. He hadnt taken nothin from the till--hadnt even put on his greatcoat--so it was quite clear he warnt gone to Merriker. Didnt come back next day; didnt come back next week; missis had bills printed, sayin that, if hed come back, he should be forgiven everythin (which was very liberal, seein that he hadnt done nothin at all); the canals was dragged, and for two months arterwards, wenever a body turned up, it was carried, as a reglar thing, straight off to the sassage shop. Howsever, none on em answered; so they gave out that hed run away, and she kep on the bisness. One Saturday night, a little, thin, old genlmn comes into the shop in a great passion and says, "Are you the missis o this here shop?" "Yes, I am," says she. "Well, maam," says he, "then Ive just looked in to say that me and my family aint a-goin to be choked for nothin; and more than that, maam," he says, "youll allow me to observe that as you dont use the primest parts of the meat in the manafacter o sassages, Id think youd find beef come nearly as cheap as buttons." "As buttons, Sir!" says she. "Buttons, maam," says the little, old gentleman, unfolding a bit of paper, and showin twenty or thirty halves o buttons. "Nice seasonin for sassages, is trousers buttons, maam." "Theyre my husbands buttons!" says the widder beginnin to faint, "What!" screams the little old genlmn, turnin wery pale. "I see it all," says the widder; "in a fit of temporary insanity he rashly converted hisself into sassages!" And so he had, Sir, said Mr. Weller, looking steadily into Mr. Pickwicks horror-stricken countenance, or else hed been drawd into the ingin; but however that might ha been, the little, old genlmn, who had been remarkably partial to sassages all his life, rushed out o the shop in a wild state, and was never heerd on arterwards! The relation of

The Pickwick Papers page 205        The Pickwick Papers page 207