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THE PICKWICK CLUB

47

"Who is Slumkey?" whispered Mr. Tupman.

"I don't know," replied Mr. Pickwick, in the same tone.

"Hush! Don't ask any questions. It's always best on these occasions to do what the mob do."

"But suppose there are two mobs?" suggested Mr. Snodgrass.

"Shout with the largest," replied Mr. Pickwick.

Volumes could not have said more.

They entered the house, the crowd opening right and left to et them pass, and cheering vociferously. The first object of consideration was to secure quarters for the night.

"Can we have beds here?" inquired Mr. Pickwick, summoning the waiter.

"Don't know, sir," replied the man; "afraid we're full, sir. I'll inquire, sir." Away he went for that purpose, and presently returned, to ask whether the gentlemen were "Blue."

As neither Mr. Pickwick nor his companions took any vital interest in the cause of either candidate, the question was rather a difficult one to answer. In this dilemma Mr. Pickwick bethought himself of his new friend, Mr. Perker

"Do you know a gentleman of the name of Perker?" inquired Mr. Pickwick.

"Certainly, sir; Honourable Mr. Samuel Slumkey's agent."

"He is Blue I think?"

"Oh yes, sir."

"Then we are Blue," said Mr. Pickwick; but observing that the man looked rather doubtful at this accommodating *) announcement, he gave him his card, and desired 8) him to pre-

1. Mr. Perker: the name is meant to make the reader think of perky: self-assertive, and of to perk: to move briskly with a consciousness of one's importance.

2. accommodating: obliging, doing what people wish one to do, or even thinking what people wish one to think.

3. to desire: to request.

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