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The Pickwick Papers 305







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Books:

Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf




Hear him come the four cats in the wheel-barrow--four distinct cats, sir, I pledge you my honour. Now you know thats infernal clever! Damme, you cant help liking a man, when you see these traits about him. Hes only one fault--that little failing I mentioned to you, you know. As Mr. Smangle shook his head in a confidential and sympathising manner at this juncture, Mr. Pickwick felt that he was expected to say something, so he said, Ah! and looked restlessly at the door. Ah! echoed Mr. Smangle, with a long-drawn sigh. Hes delightful company, that man is, sir. I dont know better company anywhere; but he has that one drawback. If the ghost of his grandfather, Sir, was to rise before him this minute, hed ask him for the loan of his acceptance on an eightpenny stamp. Dear me! exclaimed Mr. Pickwick. Yes, added Mr. Smangle; and if hed the power of raising him again, he would, in two months and three days from this time, to renew the bill! Those are very remarkable traits, said Mr. Pickwick; but Im afraid that while we are talking here, my friends may be in a state of great perplexity at not finding me. Ill show em the way, said Smangle, making for the door. Good-day. I wont disturb you while theyre here, you know. By the bye-- As Smangle pronounced the last three words, he stopped suddenly, reclosed the door which he had opened, and, walking softly back to Mr. Pickwick, stepped close up to him on tiptoe, and said, in a very soft whisper-- You couldnt make it convenient to lend me half-a-crown till the latter end of next week, could you? Mr. Pickwick could scarcely forbear smiling, but managing to preserve his gravity, he drew forth the coin, and placed it in Mr. Smangles palm; upon which, that gentleman, with many nods and winks, implying profound mystery, disappeared in quest of the three strangers, with whom he presently returned; and having coughed thrice, and nodded as many times, as an assurance to Mr. Pickwick that he would not forget to pay, he shook hands all round, in an engaging manner, and at length took himself off. My dear friends, said Mr. Pickwick, shaking hands alternately with Mr. Tupman, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. Snodgrass, who were the three visitors in question, I am delighted to see you. The triumvirate were much affected. Mr. Tupman shook his head deploringly, Mr. Snodgrass drew forth his handkerchief, with undisguised emotion; and Mr. Winkle retired to the window, and sniffed aloud. Mornin, genlmn, said Sam, entering at the moment with the shoes and gaiters. Avay vith melincholly, as the little boy said ven his schoolmissus died. Velcome to the college, genlmn. This foolish fellow, said Mr. Pickwick, tapping Sam on the head as he knelt down to button up his masters gaiters--this foolish fellow has got himself arrested, in order to be near me. What! exclaimed the three friends. Yes, genlmn, said Sam, Im a--stand steady, sir, if you please--Im a prisoner, genlmn. Con-fined, as the lady said. A prisoner! exclaimed Mr. Winkle, with unaccountable vehemence. Hollo, sir! responded Sam, looking up. Wots the matter, Sir? I had hoped, Sam, that-- Nothing, nothing, said Mr. Winkle precipitately. There was something so very abrupt and unsettled in Mr. Winkles manner, that Mr. Pickwick involuntarily looked at his two friends for an explanation. We dont know, said Mr. Tupman, answering this mute appeal aloud. He has been much excited for two days past, and his whole demeanour very unlike what it usually is. We feared there must be something the matter, but he resolutely denies it. No, no, said Mr. Winkle, colouring beneath Mr. Pickwicks gaze; there is really nothing. I assure you there is nothing, my dear sir. It will be necessary for me to leave town, for a short time, on private business, and I had hoped to have prevailed upon you to allow Sam to accompany me. Mr. Pickwick looked more astonished than before. I think, faltered Mr. Winkle, that Sam would have had no objection to do so; but, of course, his being a prisoner here, renders it impossible. So I must go alone. As Mr. Winkle said these words, Mr. Pickwick felt, with some astonishment, that Sams fingers were trembling at the gaiters, as if he were rather surprised or startled. Sam looked up at Mr. Winkle, too, when he had

The Pickwick Papers page 304        The Pickwick Papers page 306