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The Pickwick Papers 368







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The Pickwick Papers

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I hope you are well, Sir. I thought I knew the face, said Fogg, drawing up a chair, and looking round him with a smile. Mr. Pickwick bent his head very slightly, in answer to these salutations, and, seeing Fogg pull a bundle of papers from his coat pocket, rose and walked to the window. Theres no occasion for Mr. Pickwick to move, Mr. Perker, said Fogg, untying the red tape which encircled the little bundle, and smiling again more sweetly than before. Mr. Pickwick is pretty well acquainted with these proceedings. There are no secrets between us, I think. He! he! he! Not many, I think, said Dodson. Ha! ha! ha! Then both the partners laughed together--pleasantly and cheerfully, as men who are going to receive money often do. We shall make Mr. Pickwick pay for peeping, said Fogg, with considerable native humour, as he unfolded his papers. The amount of the taxed costs is one hundred and thirty-three, six, four, Mr. Perker. There was a great comparing of papers, and turning over of leaves, by Fogg and Perker, after this statement of profit and loss. Meanwhile, Dodson said, in an affable manner, to Mr. Pickwick-- I dont think you are looking quite so stout as when I had the pleasure of seeing you last, Mr. Pickwick. Possibly not, Sir, replied Mr. Pickwick, who had been flashing forth looks of fierce indignation, without producing the smallest effect on either of the sharp practitioners; I believe I am not, Sir. I have been persecuted and annoyed by scoundrels of late, Sir. Perker coughed violently, and asked Mr. Pickwick whether he wouldnt like to look at the morning paper. To which inquiry Mr. Pickwick returned a most decided negative. True, said Dodson, I dare say you have been annoyed in the Fleet; there are some odd gentry there. Whereabouts were your apartments, Mr. Pickwick? My one room, replied that much-injured gentleman, was on the coffee-room flight. Oh, indeed! said Dodson. I believe that is a very pleasant part of the establishment. Very,replied Mr. Pickwick drily. There was a coolness about all this, which, to a gentleman of an excitable temperament, had, under the circumstances, rather an exasperating tendency. Mr. Pickwick restrained his wrath by gigantic efforts; but when Perker wrote a cheque for the whole amount, and Fogg deposited it in a small pocket-book, with a triumphant smile playing over his pimply features, which communicated itself likewise to the stern countenance of Dodson, he felt the blood in his cheeks tingling with indignation. Now, Mr. Dodson, said Fogg, putting up the pocket-book and drawing on his gloves, I am at your service. Very good, said Dodson, rising; I am quite ready. I am very happy, said Fogg, softened by the cheque, to have had the pleasure of making Mr. Pickwicks acquaintance. I hope you dont think quite so ill of us, Mr. Pickwick, as when we first had the pleasure of seeing you. I hope not, said Dodson, with the high tone of calumniated virtue. Mr. Pickwick now knows us better, I trust; whatever your opinion of gentlemen of our profession may be, I beg to assure you, sir, that I bear no ill-will or vindictive feeling towards you for the sentiments you thought proper to express in our office in Freemans Court, Cornhill, on the occasion to which my partner has referred. Oh, no, no; nor I, said Fogg, in a most forgiving manner. Our conduct, Sir, said Dodson, will speak for itself, and justify itself, I hope, upon every occasion. We have been in the profession some years, Mr. Pickwick, and have been honoured with the confidence of many excellent clients. I wish you good- morning, Sir. Good-morning, Mr. Pickwick, said Fogg. So saying, he put his umbrella under his arm, drew off his right glove, and extended the hand of reconciliation to that most indignant gentleman; who, thereupon, thrust his hands beneath his coat tails, and eyed the attorney with looks of scornful amazement. Lowten! cried Perker, at this moment. Open the door. Wait one instant, said Mr. Pickwick. Perker, I WILL speak. My dear Sir, pray let the matter rest where it is, said the little attorney, who had been in a state of nervous apprehension during the whole interview; Mr. Pickwick, I beg-- I will not be put down, Sir, replied Mr. Pickwick hastily. Mr. Dodson, you have addressed some remarks to me. Dodson turned round, bent his head meekly, and smiled. Some remarks to me, repeated Mr. Pickwick, almost breathless; and your partner has tendered me his

The Pickwick Papers page 367        The Pickwick Papers page 369