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The Pickwick Papers 4

Elisha Cuthbert Photos


Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

werry tight, and takes him in werry short, so as he cant werry well fall down; and weve got a pair o precious large wheels on, so ven he does move, they run after him, and he must go on--he cant help it. Mr. Pickwick entered every word of this statement in his note- book, with the view of communicating it to the club, as a singular instance of the tenacity of life in horses under trying circumstances. The entry was scarcely completed when they reached the Golden Cross. Down jumped the driver, and out got Mr. Pickwick. Mr. Tupman, Mr. Snodgrass, and Mr. Winkle, who had been anxiously waiting the arrival of their illustrious leader, crowded to welcome him. Heres your fare, said Mr. Pickwick, holding out the shilling to the driver. What was the learned mans astonishment, when that unaccountable person flung the money on the pavement, and requested in figurative terms to be allowed the pleasure of fighting him (Mr. Pickwick) for the amount! You are mad, said Mr. Snodgrass. Or drunk, said Mr. Winkle. Or both, said Mr. Tupman. Come on! said the cab-driver, sparring away like clockwork. Come on--all four on you. Heres a lark! shouted half a dozen hackney coachmen. Go to vork, Sam!--and they crowded with great glee round the party. Whats the row, Sam? inquired one gentleman in black calico sleeves. Row! replied the cabman, what did he want my number for? I didnt want your number, said the astonished Mr. Pickwick. What did you take it for, then? inquired the cabman. I didnt take it, said Mr. Pickwick indignantly. Would anybody believe, continued the cab-driver, appealing to the crowd, would anybody believe as an informerud go about in a mans cab, not only takin down his number, but evry word he says into the bargain (a light flashed upon Mr. Pickwick--it was the note-book). Did he though? inquired another cabman. Yes, did he, replied the first; and then arter aggerawatin me to assault him, gets three witnesses here to prove it. But Ill give it him, if Ive six months for it. Come on! and the cabman dashed his hat upon the ground, with a reckless disregard of his own private property, and knocked Mr. Pickwicks spectacles off, and followed up the attack with a blow on Mr. Pickwicks nose, and another on Mr. Pickwicks chest, and a third in Mr. Snodgrasss eye, and a fourth, by way of variety, in Mr. Tupmans waistcoat, and then danced into the road, and then back again to the pavement, and finally dashed the whole temporary supply of breath out of Mr. Winkles body; and all in half a dozen seconds. Wheres an officer? said Mr. Snodgrass. Put em under the pump, suggested a hot-pieman. You shall smart for this, gasped Mr. Pickwick. Informers! shouted the crowd. Come on, cried the cabman, who had been sparring without cessation the whole time. The mob hitherto had been passive spectators of the scene, but as the intelligence of the Pickwickians being informers was spread among them, they began to canvass with considerable vivacity the propriety of enforcing the heated pastry-vendors proposition: and there is no saying what acts of personal aggression they might have committed, had not the affray been unexpectedly terminated by the interposition of a new-comer. Whats the fun? said a rather tall, thin, young man, in a green coat, emerging suddenly from the coach-yard. informers! shouted the crowd again. We are not, roared Mr. Pickwick, in a tone which, to any dispassionate listener, carried conviction with it. Aint you, though--aint you? said the young man, appealing to Mr. Pickwick, and making his way through the crowd by the infallible process of elbowing the countenances of its component members. That learned man in a few hurried words explained the real state of the case. Come along, then, said he of the green coat, lugging Mr. Pickwick after him by main force, and talking the whole way. Here, No. 924, take your fare, and take yourself off--respectable gentleman--know him well--none of your nonsense--this way, sir--wheres your friends?--all a mistake, I see--never mind-- accidents will happen--best regulated families--never say die-- down upon your luck--Pull him UP--Put that in his pipe--like the flavour--damned rascals. And with a lengthened string of similar broken sentences, delivered with extraordinary volubility, the stranger led the way to the travellers waiting-room, whither he was closely followed by Mr. Pickwick and his disciples. Here, waiter! shouted the stranger, ringing the bell with tremendous violence, glasses round--brandy-and-water, hot and strong, and sweet, and plenty,--eye damaged, Sir? Waiter! raw beef-steak for the gentlemans eye--nothing like raw beef-steak for a bruise, sir; cold lamp-post very good, but

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