My Holidays-especially one Happy Afternoon
When we arrived before day at the inn where the mail stopped, which was not the inn where my friend the waiter lived, I was shown up to a nice little bedroom, with Dolphin painted on the door. Very cold I was, I know, notwithstanding the hot tea they had given me before a large fire down-stairs, and very glad I was to turn into the Dolphins bed, pull the Dolphins blankets round my head, and go to sleep.
Mr. Barkis, the carrier, was to call for me in the morning at nine oclock. I got up at eight, a little giddy from the shortness of my nights rest, and was ready for him before the appointed time. He received me exactly as if not five minutes had elapsed since we were last together, and I had only been into the hotel to get change for sixpence, or something of that sort.
As soon as I and my box were in the cart, and the carrier seated, the lazy horse walked away with us all at his accustomed pace.
You look very well, Mr. Barkis, I said, thinking he would like to know it.
Mr. Barkis rubbed his cheek with his cuff, and then looked at his cuff as if he expected to find some of the bloom upon it, but made no other acknowledgment of the compliment.
I gave your message, Mr. Barkis, I said; I wrote to Peggotty.
Ah! said Mr. Barkis.
Mr. Barkis seemed gruff, and answered drily.
Wasnt it right, Mr. Barkis? I asked, after a little hesitation.
Why, no, said Mr. Barkis.
Not the message?
The message was right enough, perhaps, said Mr. Barkis; but it come to an end there.
Not understanding what he meant, I repeated inquisitively: Came to an end, Mr. Barkis?
Nothing come of it, he explained, looking at me sideways. No answer.
There was an answer expected, was there, Mr. Barkis? said I, opening my eyes. For this was a new light to me.
When a man says hes willin, said Mr. Barkis, turning his glance slowly on me again, its as much as to say, that mans a-waitin for a answer.
Well, Mr. Barkis?
Well, said Mr. Barkis, carrying his eyes back to his horses ears, that mans been a-waitin for a answer ever since.
Have you told her so, Mr. Barkis?
Nno, growled Mr. Barkis, reflecting about it. I aint got no call to go and tell her so. I never said six words to her myself. I aint a-goin to tell her so.
Would you like me to do it, Mr. Barkis? said I, doubtfully.
You might tell her, if you would, said Mr. Barkis, with another slow look at me, that Barkis was a-waitin for a answer. Says youwhat name is it?
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|