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The Pickwick Papers 314







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The Pickwick Papers

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There is no deception now, Mr. Weller. Tears, said Job, with a look of momentary slyness--tears are not the only proofs of distress, nor the best ones. No, they aint, replied Sam expressively. They may be put on, Mr. Weller, said Job. I know they may, said Sam; some people, indeed, has em always ready laid on, and can pull out the plug wenever they likes. Yes, replied Job; but these sort of things are not so easily counterfeited, Mr. Weller, and it is a more painful process to get them up. As he spoke, he pointed to his sallow, sunken cheeks, and, drawing up his coat sleeve, disclosed an arm which looked as if the bone could be broken at a touch, so sharp and brittle did it appear, beneath its thin covering of flesh. Wot have you been a-doin to yourself? said Sam, recoiling. Nothing, replied Job. Nothin! echoed Sam. I have been doin nothing for many weeks past, said Job; and eating and drinking almost as little. Sam took one comprehensive glance at Mr. Trotters thin face and wretched apparel; and then, seizing him by the arm, commenced dragging him away with great violence. Where are you going, Mr. Weller? said Job, vainly struggling in the powerful grasp of his old enemy. Come on, said Sam; come on! He deigned no further explanation till they reached the tap, and then called for a pot of porter, which was speedily produced. Now, said Sam, drink that up, evry drop on it, and then turn the pot upside down, to let me see as youve took the medicine. But, my dear Mr. Weller, remonstrated Job. Down vith it! said Sam peremptorily. Thus admonished, Mr. Trotter raised the pot to his lips, and, by gentle and almost imperceptible degrees, tilted it into the air. He paused once, and only once, to draw a long breath, but without raising his face from the vessel, which, in a few moments thereafter, he held out at arms length, bottom upward. Nothing fell upon the ground but a few particles of froth, which slowly detached themselves from the rim, and trickled lazily down. Well done! said Sam. How do you find yourself arter it? Better, Sir. I think I am better, responded Job. O course you air, said Sam argumentatively. Its like puttin gas in a balloon. I can see with the naked eye that you gets stouter under the operation. Wot do you say to another o the same dimensions? I would rather not, I am much obliged to you, Sir, replied Job--much rather not. Vell, then, wot do you say to some wittles? inquired Sam. Thanks to your worthy governor, Sir, said Mr. Trotter, we have half a leg of mutton, baked, at a quarter before three, with the potatoes under it to save boiling. Wot! Has HE been a-purwidin for you? asked Sam emphatically. He has, Sir, replied Job. More than that, Mr. Weller; my master being very ill, he got us a room--we were in a kennel before--and paid for it, Sir; and come to look at us, at night, when nobody should know. Mr. Weller, said Job, with real tears in his eyes, for once, I could serve that gentleman till I fell down dead at his feet. I say! said Sam, Ill trouble you, my friend! None o that! Job Trotter looked amazed. None o that, I say, young feller, repeated Sam firmly. No man serves him but me. And now were upon it, Ill let you into another secret besides that, said Sam, as he paid for the beer. I never heerd, mind you, or read of in story-books, nor see in picters, any angel in tights and gaiters--not even in spectacles, as I remember, though that may ha been done for anythin I know to the contrairey--but mark my vords, Job Trotter, hes a reglar thoroughbred angel for all that; and let me see the man as wenturs to tell me he knows a better vun. With this defiance, Mr. Weller buttoned up his change in a side pocket, and, with many confirmatory nods and gestures by the way, proceeded in search of the subject of discourse. They found Mr. Pickwick, in company with Jingle, talking very earnestly, and not bestowing a look on the groups who were congregated on the racket-ground; they were very motley groups too, and worth the looking at, if it were only in idle curiosity. Well, said Mr. Pickwick, as Sam and his companion drew nigh, you will see how your

The Pickwick Papers page 313        The Pickwick Papers page 315