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The Pickwick Papers 366







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of our vagabond friends-- Jingle himself, my dear Sir. Will you see him? What do you think? inquired Mr. Pickwick, hesitating. Yes, I think you had better. Here, you Sir, whats your name, walk in, will you? In compliance with this unceremonious invitation, Jingle and Job walked into the room, but, seeing Mr. Pickwick, stopped short in some confusion. Well, said Perker, dont you know that gentleman? Good reason to, replied Mr. Jingle, stepping forward. Mr. Pickwick--deepest obligations--life preserver--made a man of me--you shall never repent it, Sir. I am happy to hear you say so, said Mr. Pickwick. You look much better. Thanks to you, sir--great change--Majestys Fleet--unwholesome place--very, said Jingle, shaking his head. He was decently and cleanly dressed, and so was Job, who stood bolt upright behind him, staring at Mr. Pickwick with a visage of iron. When do they go to Liverpool? inquired Mr. Pickwick, half aside to Perker. This evening, Sir, at seven oclock, said Job, taking one step forward. By the heavy coach from the city, Sir. Are your places taken? They are, sir, replied Job. You have fully made up your mind to go? I have sir, answered Job. With regard to such an outfit as was indispensable for Jingle, said Perker, addressing Mr. Pickwick aloud. I have taken upon myself to make an arrangement for the deduction of a small sum from his quarterly salary, which, being made only for one year, and regularly remitted, will provide for that expense. I entirely disapprove of your doing anything for him, my dear sir, which is not dependent on his own exertions and good conduct. Certainly, interposed Jingle, with great firmness. Clear head --man of the world--quite right--perfectly. By compounding with his creditor, releasing his clothes from the pawnbrokers, relieving him in prison, and paying for his passage, continued Perker, without noticing Jingles observation, you have already lost upwards of fifty pounds. Not lost, said Jingle hastily, Pay it all--stick to business-- cash up--every farthing. Yellow fever, perhaps--cant help that --if not-- Here Mr. Jingle paused, and striking the crown of his hat with great violence, passed his hand over his eyes, and sat down. He means to say, said Job, advancing a few paces, that if he is not carried off by the fever, he will pay the money back again. If he lives, he will, Mr. Pickwick. I will see it done. I know he will, Sir, said Job, with energy. I could undertake to swear it. Well, well, said Mr. Pickwick, who had been bestowing a score or two of frowns upon Perker, to stop his summary of benefits conferred, which the little attorney obstinately disregarded, you must be careful not to play any more desperate cricket matches, Mr. Jingle, or to renew your acquaintance with Sir Thomas Blazo, and I have little doubt of your preserving your health. Mr. Jingle smiled at this sally, but looked rather foolish notwithstanding; so Mr. Pickwick changed the subject by saying-- You dont happen to know, do you, what has become of another friend of yours--a more humble one, whom I saw at Rochester? Dismal Jemmy? inquired Jingle. Yes. Jingle shook his head. Clever rascal--queer fellow, hoaxing genius--Jobs brother. Jobs brother! exclaimed Mr. Pickwick. Well, now I look at him closely, there IS a likeness. We were always considered like each other, Sir, said Job, with a cunning look just lurking in the corners of his eyes, only I was really of a serious nature, and he never was. He emigrated to America, Sir, in consequence of being too much sought after here, to be comfortable; and has never been heard of since. That accounts for my not having received the "page from the romance of real life," which he promised me one morning when he appeared to be contemplating suicide on Rochester Bridge, I suppose, said Mr. Pickwick, smiling. I need not inquire whether his dismal behaviour was natural or assumed. He could assume anything, Sir, said Job. You may consider yourself very fortunate in having escaped him so easily. On intimate terms he would have been even a more dangerous acquaintance than-- Job looked at Jingle, hesitated, and finally added, than--than-myself even. A hopeful family yours, Mr. Trotter, said Perker, sealing a letter which he had just finished writing. Yes, Sir, replied Job. Very much so. Well, said the little man, laughing, I hope you are going to disgrace it. Deliver this letter to the agent when you reach Liverpool, and let me advise you, gentlemen, not to be too knowing in the West Indies. If you

The Pickwick Papers page 365        The Pickwick Papers page 367