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The Pickwick Papers 61







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The Pickwick Papers

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came under his immediate superintendence. Theres a vooden leg in number six; theres a pair of Hessians in thirteen; theres two pair of halves in the commercial; theres these here painted tops in the snuggery inside the bar; and five more tops in the coffee-room. Nothing more? said the little man. Stop a bit, replied Sam, suddenly recollecting himself. Yes; theres a pair of Vellingtons a good deal worn, and a pair o ladys shoes, in number five. What sort of shoes? hastily inquired Wardle, who, together with Mr. Pickwick, had been lost in bewilderment at the singular catalogue of visitors. Country make, replied Sam. Any makers name? Brown. Where of? Muggleton. It is them, exclaimed Wardle. By heavens, weve found them. Hush! said Sam. The Vellingtons has gone to Doctors Commons. No, said the little man. Yes, for a licence. Were in time, exclaimed Wardle. Show us the room; not a moment is to be lost. Pray, my dear sir--pray, said the little man; caution, caution. He drew from his pocket a red silk purse, and looked very hard at Sam as he drew out a sovereign. Sam grinned expressively. Show us into the room at once, without announcing us, said the little man, and its yours. Sam threw the painted tops into a corner, and led the way through a dark passage, and up a wide staircase. He paused at the end of a second passage, and held out his hand. Here it is, whispered the attorney, as he deposited the money on the hand of their guide. The man stepped forward for a few paces, followed by the two friends and their legal adviser. He stopped at a door. Is this the room? murmured the little gentleman. Sam nodded assent. Old Wardle opened the door; and the whole three walked into the room just as Mr. Jingle, who had that moment returned, had produced the licence to the spinster aunt. The spinster uttered a loud shriek, and throwing herself into a chair, covered her face with her hands. Mr. Jingle crumpled up the licence, and thrust it into his coat pocket. The unwelcome visitors advanced into the middle of the room. You--you are a nice rascal, arnt you? exclaimed Wardle, breathless with passion. My dear Sir, my dear sir, said the little man, laying his hat on the table, pray, consider--pray. Defamation of character: action for damages. Calm yourself, my dear sir, pray-- How dare you drag my sister from my house? said the old man. Ay--ay--very good, said the little gentleman, you may ask that. How dare you, sir?--eh, sir? Who the devil are you? inquired Mr. Jingle, in so fierce a tone, that the little gentleman involuntarily fell back a step or two. Who is he, you scoundrel, interposed Wardle. Hes my lawyer, Mr. Perker, of Grays Inn. Perker, Ill have this fellow prosecuted--indicted--Ill--Ill--Ill ruin him. And you, continued Mr. Wardle, turning abruptly round to his sister--you, Rachael, at a time of life when you ought to know better, what do you mean by running away with a vagabond, disgracing your family, and making yourself miserable? Get on your bonnet and come back. Call a hackney-coach there, directly, and bring this ladys bill, dye hear--dye hear? Certnly, Sir, replied Sam, who had answered Wardles violent ringing of the bell with a degree of celerity which must have appeared marvellous to anybody who didnt know that his eye had been applied to the outside of the keyhole during the whole interview. Get on your bonnet, repeated Wardle. Do nothing of the kind, said Jingle. Leave the room, Sir-- no business here--ladys free to act as she pleases--more than one-and-twenty. More than one-and-twenty! ejaculated Wardle contemptuously. More than one-and-forty! I aint, said the spinster aunt, her indignation getting the better of her determination to faint. You are, replied Wardle; youre fifty if youre an hour. Here the spinster aunt uttered a loud shriek, and became senseless. A glass of water, said the humane Mr. Pickwick, summoning the landlady. A glass of water! said the passionate Wardle. Bring a bucket, and throw it all over her; itll do her good, and she richly deserves it. Ugh, you brute! ejaculated the kind-hearted landlady. Poor dear. And with sundry ejaculations of Come now, theres a dear --drink a little of this--itll do you good--dont give way so-- theres a love, etc. etc., the landlady, assisted by a chambermaid, proceeded to vinegar the forehead, beat the hands, titillate the nose, and unlace the stays of the spinster aunt, and to administer such other restoratives as are usually applied by

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