The travellers' room at the White Horse Cellar is of course uncomfortable; it would be no travellers' room if it were not. It is the right-hand parlour, into which an aspiring kitchen fire-place appears to have walked, accompanied by a rebellious poker, tongs, and shovel. It is divided into boxes, for the solitary confinement of travellers, and is furnished with a clock, a looking-glass, and a live waiter: which latter article is kept in a small kennel for washing glasses, in a corner of the apartment.
One of these boxes was occupied, on this particular occasion, by a stern-eyed man of about five-and- forty, who had a bald and glossy forehead, with a good deal of black hair at the sides and back of his head, and large black whiskers. He was buttoned up to the chin in a brown coat; and had a large seal- skin travelling cap, and a great-coat and cloak, lying on the seat beside him. He looked up from his breakfast as Mr. Pickwick entered, with a fierce and peremptory air, which was very dignified; and having scrutinised that gentleman and his companions to his entire satisfaction, hummed a tune, in a manner which seemed to say that he rather suspected somebody wanted to take advantage of him, but it wouldn't do.
"Waiter," said the gentleman with the whiskers.
"Sir?" replied a man with a dirty complexion, and a towel of the same, emerging from the kennel before mentioned.
"Some more toast."
"Buttered toast, mind," said the gentleman, fiercely.
"D'rectly, sir," replied the waiter.
The gentleman with the whiskers hummed a tune in the same manner as before, and pending the arrival of the toast, advanced to the front of the fire, and, taking his coat tails under his arms, looked at his boots, and ruminated.
"I wonder whereabouts in Bath this coach puts up," said Mr. Pickwick, mildly addressing Mr. Winkle.
"Hum--eh--what's that?" said the strange man.
"I made an observation to my friend, sir," replied Mr. Pickwick, always ready to enter into conversation. "I wondered at what house the Bath coach put up. Perhaps you can inform me."
"Are you going to Bath?" said the strange man.
"I am, sir," replied Mr. Pickwick.
"And those other gentleman?"
"They are going also," said Mr. Pickwick.
"Not inside--I'll be damned if you're going inside," said the strange man.
"Not all of us," said Mr. Pickwick.
"No, not all of you," said the strange man emphatically. "I've taken two places. If they try to squeeze six people into an infernal box that only holds four, I'll take a post-chaise and bring an action. I've paid my fare. It won't do; I told the clerk when I took my places that it wouldn't do. I know these things have been done. I know they are done every day; but I never was done, and I never will be. Those who know
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