"How de do, sir?" said Mr. Jackson, nodding to Mr. Pickwick.
That gentleman bowed, and looked somewhat surprised, for the physiognomy of Mr. Jackson dwelt not in his recollection.
"I have called from Dodson and Fogg's," said Mr. Jackson, in an explanatory tone.
Mr. Pickwick roused at the name. "I refer you to my attorney, sir: Mr. Perker, of Gray's Inn," said he. "Waiter, show this gentleman out."
"Beg your pardon, Mr. Pickwick," said Jackson, deliberately depositing his hat on the floor, and drawing from his pocket the strip of parchment. "But personal service, by clerk or agent, in these cases, you know, Mr. Pickwick--nothing like caution, sir, in all legal forms?"
Here Mr. Jackson cast his eye on the parchment; and, resting his hands on the table, and looking round with a winning and persuasive smile, said: "Now, come; don't let's have no words about such a little matter as this. Which of you gentlemen's name's Snodgrass?"
At this inquiry Mr. Snodgrass gave such a very undisguised and palpable start, that no further reply was needed.
"Ah! I thought so," said Mr. Jackson, more affably than before. "I've got a little something to trouble you with, sir."
"Me!" exclaimed Mr. Snodgrass.
"It's only a subpoena in Bardell and Pickwick on behalf of the plaintiff," replied Jackson, singling out one of the slips of paper, and producing a shilling from his waistcoat pocket. "It'll come on, in the settens after Term; fourteenth of Febooary, we expect; we've marked it a special jury cause, and it's only ten down the paper. That's yours, Mr. Snodgrass." As Jackson said this he presented the parchment before the eyes of Mr. Snodgrass, and slipped the paper and the shilling into his hand.
Mr. Tupman had witnessed this process in silent astonishment, when Jackson, turning sharply upon him, said:
"I think I ain't mistaken when I say your name's Tupman, am I?"
Mr. Tupman looked at Mr. Pickwick; but, perceiving no encouragement in that gentleman's widely-opened eyes to deny his name, said:
"Yes, my name is Tupman, sir."
"And that other gentleman's Mr. Winkle, I think?" said Jackson.
Mr. Winkle faltered out a reply in the affirmative; and both gentlemen were forthwith invested with a slip of paper, and a shilling each, by the dexterous Mr. Jackson.
"Now," said Jackson, "I'm afraid you'll think me rather troublesome, but I want somebody else, if it ain't inconvenient. I have Samuel Weller's name here, Mr. Pickwick."
"Send my servant here, waiter," said Mr. Pickwick. The waiter retired, considerably astonished, and Mr. Pickwick motioned Jackson to a seat.
There was a painful pause, which was at length broken by the innocent defendant.
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