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The Pickwick Papers 383







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I know? retorted Mr. Weller; I thought they looked wery like it. Wot are they, then? Clerks, replied Sam. Wot are they all a-eatin ham sangwidges for? inquired his father. Cos its in their dooty, I suppose, replied Sam, its a part o the system; theyre alvays a-doin it here, all day long! Mr. Weller and his friends had scarcely had a moment to reflect upon this singular regulation as connected with the monetary system of the country, when they were rejoined by Pell and Wilkins Flasher, Esquire, who led them to a part of the counter above which was a round blackboard with a large W. on it. Wots that for, Sir? inquired Mr. Weller, directing Pells attention to the target in question. The first letter of the name of the deceased, replied Pell. I say, said Mr. Weller, turning round to the umpires, theres somethin wrong here. Wes our letter--this wont do. The referees at once gave it as their decided opinion that the business could not be legally proceeded with, under the letter W., and in all probability it would have stood over for one day at least, had it not been for the prompt, though, at first sight, undutiful behaviour of Sam, who, seizing his father by the skirt of the coat, dragged him to the counter, and pinned him there, until he had affixed his signature to a couple of instruments; which, from Mr. Wellers habit of printing, was a work of so much labour and time, that the officiating clerk peeled and ate three Ribstone pippins while it was performing. As the elder Mr. Weller insisted on selling out his portion forthwith, they proceeded from the bank to the gate of the Stock Exchange, to which Wilkins Flasher, Esquire, after a short absence, returned with a cheque on Smith, Payne, & Smith, for five hundred and thirty pounds; that being the money to which Mr. Weller, at the market price of the day, was entitled, in consideration of the balance of the second Mrs. Wellers funded savings. Sams two hundred pounds stood transferred to his name, and Wilkins Flasher, Esquire, having been paid his commission, dropped the money carelessly into his coat pocket, and lounged back to his office. Mr. Weller was at first obstinately determined on cashing the cheque in nothing but sovereigns; but it being represented by the umpires that by so doing he must incur the expense of a small sack to carry them home in, he consented to receive the amount in five-pound notes. My son, said Mr. Weller, as they came out of the banking- house--my son and me has a wery partickler engagement this arternoon, and I should like to have this here bisness settled out of hand, so lets jest go straight avay someveres, vere ve can hordit the accounts. A quiet room was soon found, and the accounts were produced and audited. Mr. Pells bill was taxed by Sam, and some charges were disallowed by the umpires; but, notwithstanding Mr. Pells declaration, accompanied with many solemn asseverations that they were really too hard upon him, it was by very many degrees the best professional job he had ever had, and one on which he boarded, lodged, and washed, for six months afterwards. The umpires having partaken of a dram, shook hands and departed, as they had to drive out of town that night. Mr. Solomon Pell, finding that nothing more was going forward, either in the eating or drinking way, took a friendly leave, and Sam and his father were left alone. There! said Mr. Weller, thrusting his pocket-book in his side pocket. Vith the bills for the lease, and that, theres eleven hundred and eighty pound here. Now, Samivel, my boy, turn the horses heads to the George and Wulter!

CHAPTER LVI

AN IMPORTANT CONFERENCE TAKES PLACE BETWEEN Mr. PICKWICK AND SAMUEL WELLER, AT WHICH HIS PARENT ASSISTS--AN OLD GENTLEMAN IN A SNUFF- COLOURED SUIT ARRIVES UNEXPECTEDLY

Mr. Pickwick was sitting alone, musing over many things, and thinking among other considerations how he could best provide for the young couple whose present unsettled condition was matter of constant regret and anxiety to him, when Mary stepped lightly into the room, and, advancing to the table, said, rather hastily-- Oh, if you please, Sir, Samuel is downstairs, and he says may his father see you? Surely, replied Mr. Pickwick. Thank you, Sir, said Mary, tripping towards the door again. Sam has not been here long, has he? inquired Mr. Pickwick. Oh, no, Sir, replied Mary

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