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The Pickwick Papers 258







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brass-headed stick o my wery respectable friend, Blazes, there. As to the wictim of oppression in the suit o brimstone, all I can say of him, is, that I hope hell get jist as good a berth as he deserves; in vitch case its wery little cold swarry as ever hell be troubled with agin. Here Sam sat down with a pleasant smile, and his speech having been vociferously applauded, the company broke up. Wy, you dont mean to say youre a-goin old feller? said Sam Weller to his friend, Mr. John Smauker. I must, indeed, said Mr. Smauker; I promised Bantam. Oh, wery well, said Sam; thats another thing. Praps hed resign if you disappinted him. You aint a-goin, Blazes? Yes, I am, said the man with the cocked hat. Wot, and leave three-quarters of a bowl of punch behind you! said Sam; nonsense, set down agin. Mr. Tuckle was not proof against this invitation. He laid aside the cocked hat and stick which he had just taken up, and said he would have one glass, for good fellowships sake. As the gentleman in blue went home the same way as Mr. Tuckle, he was prevailed upon to stop too. When the punch was about half gone, Sam ordered in some oysters from the green- grocers shop; and the effect of both was so extremely exhilarating, that Mr. Tuckle, dressed out with the cocked hat and stick, danced the frog hornpipe among the shells on the table, while the gentleman in blue played an accompaniment upon an ingenious musical instrument formed of a hair-comb upon a curl-paper. At last, when the punch was all gone, and the night nearly so, they sallied forth to see each other home. Mr. Tuckle no sooner got into the open air, than he was seized with a sudden desire to lie on the curbstone; Sam thought it would be a pity to contradict him, and so let him have his own way. As the cocked hat would have been spoiled if left there, Sam very considerately flattened it down on the head of the gentleman in blue, and putting the big stick in his hand, propped him up against his own street-door, rang the bell, and walked quietly home. At a much earlier hour next morning than his usual time of rising, Mr. Pickwick walked downstairs completely dressed, and rang the bell. Sam, said Mr. Pickwick, when Mr. Weller appeared in reply to the summons, shut the door. Mr. Weller did so. There was an unfortunate occurrence here, last night, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick, which gave Mr. Winkle some cause to apprehend violence from Mr. Dowler. So Ive heerd from the old lady downstairs, Sir, replied Sam. And Im sorry to say, Sam, continued Mr. Pickwick, with a most perplexed countenance, that in dread of this violence, Mr. Winkle has gone away. Gone avay! said Sam. Left the house early this morning, without the slightest previous communication with me, replied Mr. Pickwick. And is gone, I know not where. He should ha stopped and fought it out, Sir, replied Sam contemptuously. It wouldnt take much to settle that ere Dowler, Sir. Well, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick, I may have my doubts of his great bravery and determination also. But however that may be, Mr. Winkle is gone. He must be found, Sam. Found and brought back to me. And spose he wont come back, Sir? said Sam. He must be made, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick. Whos to do it, Sir? inquired Sam, with a smile. You, replied Mr. Pickwick. Wery good, Sir. With these words Mr. Weller left the room, and immediately afterwards was heard to shut the street door. In two hours time he returned with so much coolness as if he had been despatched on the most ordinary message possible, and brought the information that an individual, in every respect answering Mr. Winkles description, had gone over to Bristol that morning, by the branch coach from the Royal Hotel. Sam, said Mr. Pickwick, grasping his hand, youre a capital fellow; an invaluable fellow. You must follow him, Sam. Certnly, Sir, replied Mr. Weller. The instant you discover him, write to me immediately, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick. If he attempts to run away from you, knock him down, or lock him up. You have my full authority, Sam. Ill be wery careful, sir, rejoined Sam. Youll tell him, said Mr. Pickwick, that I am highly excited, highly displeased, and naturally indignant, at the very extraordinary course he has thought proper to pursue. I will, Sir, replied Sam. Youll

The Pickwick Papers page 257        The Pickwick Papers page 259