Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/88

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looked on in mute astonishment.… The widow dropped her fan; the stranger picked it up and presented it.… Returned with the Master of the Ceremonies; a little introductory pantomime; and the stranger and Mrs. Badger took their places in the quadrille.

"Doctor Slammer was paralysed. He, Doctor Slammer of the 97th, to be extinguished in a moment by a man whom nobody had ever seen before, and whom nobody knew even now! Doctor Slammer—Doctor Slammer of the 97th rejected! Impossible!"

And the final scene when the stranger, upon returning from his triumph, was accosted by the doctor, who, thirsting for his life, blazed forth with:

"'Sir!' said the Doctor, in an awful voice, producing a card, and retiring into an angle of the passage, 'my name is Slammer, Doctor Slammer, Sir—97th Regiment—Chatham Barracks—my card, Sir, my card.' He would have added more, but his indignation choked him.

"'Ah!' replied the stranger, coolly. 'Slammer—much obliged—polite attention—not ill now, Slammer—but when I am—knock you up.'

"'You—you're a shuffler, Sir,' gasped the furious Doctor, 'a poltroon—a coward—a liar—a—a—will nothing induce you to give me your card, Sir.'

"'Oh! I see,' said the stranger, half aside, 'negus too strong here—liberal landlord—very foolish—very; lemonade much better—hot rooms—elderly gentlemen—suffer for it in the morning—cruel—cruel'; and he moved on a step or two.

"'You are stopping in this house, Sir,' said the indignant