Do you know the poulterers in the next street but one, at the corner? Scrooge enquired.
I should hope I did, replied the lad.
An intelligent boy! said Scrooge. A remarkable boy! Do you know whether theyve sold the prize turkey that was hanging up there? Not the little prize turkey: the big one?
What! the one as big as me? returned the boy.
What a delightful boy! said Scrooge. Its a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck!
Its hanging there now, replied the boy.
Is it? said Scrooge. Go and buy it.
No, no, said Scrooge. I am in earnest. Go and buy it, and tell em to bring it here, that I may give them the directions where to take it. Come back with the man, and Ill give you a shilling. Come back with him in less than five minutes, and Ill give you half a crown!
The boy was off like a shot. He must have had a steady hand at a trigger who could have got a shot off half as fast.
Ill send it to Bob Cratchits, whispered Scrooge, rubbing his hands, and splitting with a laugh. He shant know who sends it. Its twice the size of Tiny Tim. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bobs will be!
The hand in which he wrote the address was not a steady one; but write it he did, somehow, and went downstairs to open the street-door, ready for the coming of the poulterers man. As he stood there, waiting his arrival, the knocker caught his eye.
I shall love it as long as I live! cried Scrooge, patting it with his hand. I scarcely ever looked at it before. What an honest expression it has in its face! Its a wonderful knocker! Heres the turkey. Hallo! Whoop! How are you! Merry Christmas!
It was a turkey! He never could have stood upon his legs, that bird. He would have snapped em short off in a minute, like sticks of sealing-wax.
Why, its impossible to carry that to Camden Town, said
Scrooge. You must have a cab.
The chuckle with which he said this, and the chuckle with which he paid for the turkey, and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab, and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy, were only to be exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathless in his chair again, and chuckled till he cried.
Shaving was not an easy task, for his hand continued to shake very much; and shaving requires attention, even when you dont dance while you are at it. But if he had cut the end of his nose off, he would have put a piece of sticking-plaster over it, and been quite satisfied.
He dressed himself all in his best, and at last got out into the streets. The people were by this time pouring forth, as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present; and, walking with his hands behind him, Scrooge regarded everyone with a delighted smile. He looked so irresistibly pleasant, in a word, that three or four good-humoured fellows said, Good-morning, sir! A merry Christmas to you!
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