Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/76

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marrowfats. No? Well, then, sir, I should particular recommend a fowl with b'iled carrots and buttered sauce."

"Try a slice of Yorkshire ham grilled and a baked potato," suggested a man with a grey suit, whose plate touched my own, so narrow was the table. "From the States, I should think?"

There was no denying it; he had guessed right the first time. My American-English, as he afterward told me, had "given me away."

"I saw you at work, sir," he went on; "took a rather bad time, didn't you? I saw 'em climbing over your back. What's up? Working for the papers?"

"No, just making a sketch of where Mr. Pickwick had his quarters when he stopped in London. Bring the grilled ham, please, and a mug of bass"—this to the waiter, who bowed and backed away.

"Oh, that's it, is it; Dickens, eh!" resumed the man in the grey suit. "Well, it's all true. The club starts from here every year on that coaching trip for Rochester; same trip old Pickwick, Jingle, and the others made. You're going there, of course?"

I nodded in confirmation, adding my thanks for his suggestion regarding the grilled ham.

"Yes, you must. Don't forget to put up at The Bull when you go. They've torn this chop-house a good deal to pieces, all but the main doorway which you were working on, but you'll find The Bull about as it was."

My eye had been wandering around the room. "It doesn't look like the place," I rejoined, "that Mr. Pickwick would have picked out had he wanted to lead a quiet life."