Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/33

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


hundred and thirty pounds of Wardle's money, and where Sam Weller first met Mr. Pickwick."

"And the English-speaking race as well," I added.

"And the English-speaking race as well," came the echoing laugh. "It's just over our heads."

"If you had your 'Pickwick' with you," she said, my coffee finished, "you'd find that nothing has been changed in the bedroom." This came with a sort of reproof. Not to put a copy of "Pickwick" in one's pocket when visiting the "George" was like being in Westminster Abbey during morning service without a prayer-book.

I followed her up-stairs, strode into the famous room, and looked about me. Nothing was changed so far as my own memory served, and I had reread the passages the night before. The bed with its high posts and the short flight of steps leading to its mattress and pillows were still in place—just the kind of bed the famous spinster would have rejoiced in—dreaming dreams of her wedding on the morrow. And so were the chairs and the big rocker and rag-carpet rug and large fireplace, with its appropriate fittings.

I could even hear old Wardle's voice denouncing the scoundrel, and smooth Perker's cautious reminders, and Mr. Pickwick's bland inquiry regarding the nature of the compromise offered by "Mr. Perker of Gray's Inn," when:

"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 in a chair, covered her face with her hands. Mr. Jingle crumpled up the licence, and thrust it into his coat-pocket.