Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/34

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The unwelcome visitors advanced into the middle of the room.

"'You—you are a nice rascal, ar'n't 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. Scandalum magnatum, 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. 'He's my lawyer, Mr. Perker, of Gray's Inn. Perker, I'll have this fellow prosecuted—indicted—I'll—I'll—damme, I'll 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 lady's bill, d'ye hear—d'ye hear?'

"'Cert'nly, Sir,' replied Sam, who had answered Wardie's violent ringing of the bell with a degree of celerity, which must have appeared marvellous to anybody who didn't know that his eye had been applied to the outside of the key-hole during the whole interview.