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The Pickwick Papers 298







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asserted Sam: I knowd that, afore I came. Why, theyll eat him up alive, Sammy,exclaimed Mr. Weller. Sam nodded his concurrence in the opinion. He goes in rayther raw, Sammy, said Mr. Weller metaphorically, and hell come out, done so ex-ceedin brown, that his most formiliar friends wont know him. Roast pigeons nothin to it, Sammy. Again Sam Weller nodded. It oughtnt to be, Samivel, said Mr. Weller gravely. It mustnt be, said Sam. Certnly not, said Mr. Weller. Vell now, said Sam, youve been a-prophecyin away, wery fine, like a red-faced Nixon, as the sixpenny books gives picters on. Who wos he, Sammy? inquired Mr. Weller. Never mind who he was, retorted Sam; he warnt a coachman; thats enough for you. I knowd a ostler o that name, said Mr. Weller, musing. It warnt him, said Sam. This here genlmn was a prophet. Wots a prophet? inquired Mr. Weller, looking sternly on his son. Wy, a man as tells whats a-goin to happen, replied Sam. I wish Id knowd him, Sammy, said Mr. Weller. Praps he might ha throwd a small light on that ere liver complaint as we wos a-speakin on, just now. Howsever, if hes dead, and aint left the bisness to nobody, theres an end on it. Go on, Sammy, said Mr. Weller, with a sigh. Well, said Sam, youve been a-prophecyin avay about wotll happen to the govner if hes left alone. Dont you see any way o takin care on him? No, I dont, Sammy, said Mr. Weller, with a reflective visage. No vay at all? inquired Sam. No vay, said Mr. Weller, unless--and a gleam of intelligence lighted up his countenance as he sank his voice to a whisper, and applied his mouth to the ear of his offspring--unless it is getting him out in a turn-up bedstead, unbeknown to the turnkeys, Sammy, or dressin him up like a old ooman vith a green wail. Sam Weller received both of these suggestions with unexpected contempt, and again propounded his question. No, said the old gentleman; if he vont let you stop there, I see no vay at all. Its no thoroughfare, Sammy, no thoroughfare. Well, then, Ill tell you wot it is, said Sam, Ill trouble you for the loan of five-and-twenty pound. Wot goodll that do? inquired Mr. Weller. Never mind, replied Sam. Praps you may ask for it five minits arterwards; praps I may say I vont pay, and cut up rough. You vont think o arrestin your own son for the money, and sendin him off to the Fleet, will you, you unnatral wagabone? At this reply of Sams, the father and son exchanged a complete code of telegraph nods and gestures, after which, the elder Mr. Weller sat himself down on a stone step and laughed till he was purple. Wot a old image it is! exclaimed Sam, indignant at this loss of time. What are you a-settin down there for, con-wertin your face into a street-door knocker, wen theres so much to be done. Wheres the money? In the boot, Sammy, in the boot, replied Mr. Weller, composing his features. Hold my hat, Sammy. Having divested himself of this encumbrance, Mr. Weller gave his body a sudden wrench to one side, and by a dexterous twist, contrived to get his right hand into a most capacious pocket, from whence, after a great deal of panting and exertion, he extricated a pocket-book of the large octavo size, fastened by a huge leathern strap. From this ledger he drew forth a couple of whiplashes, three or four buckles, a little sample-bag of corn, and, finally, a small roll of very dirty bank-notes, from which he selected the required amount, which he handed over to Sam. And now, Sammy, said the old gentleman, when the whip- lashes, and the buckles, and the samples, had been all put back, and the book once more deposited at the bottom of the same pocket, now, Sammy, I know a genlmn here, asll do the rest o the bisness for us, in no time--a limb o the law, Sammy, as has got brains like the frogs, dispersed all over his body, and reachin to the wery tips of his fingers; a friend of the Lord Chancellorships, Sammy, whod only have to tell him what he wanted, and hed lock you up for life, if that wos all. I say, said Sam, none o that. None o wot? inquired Mr. Weller. Wy, none o them unconstitootional ways o doin it, retorted Sam. The have-his-carcass, next to the perpetual motion, is

The Pickwick Papers page 297        The Pickwick Papers page 299