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Master Humphrey's Clock

Chapter 5
Mr. Weller's Watch
IT SEEMS that the housekeeper and the two Mr. Wellers were no sooner left
together on the occasion of their first becoming acquainted, than the
housekeeper called to her assistance Mr. Slithers the barber, who had been
lurking in the kitchen in expectation of her summons; and with many smiles and
much sweetness introduced him as one who would assist her in the responsible
office of entertaining her distinguished visitors.
'Indeed,' said she, 'without Mr. Slithers I should have been placed in quite an
awkward situation.'
'There is no call for any hock'erdness, mum,' said Mr. Weller with the utmost
politeness; 'no call wotsumever. A lady,' added the old gentleman, looking about
him with the air of one who establishes an incontrovertible position, - 'a lady can't
be hock'erd. Natur' has otherwise purwided.'
The housekeeper inclined her head and smiled yet more sweetly. The barber,
who had been fluttering about Mr. Weller and Sam in a state of great anxiety to
improve their acquaintance, rubbed his hands and cried, 'Hear, hear! Very true,
sir;' whereupon Sam turned about and steadily regarded him for some seconds in
silence.
'I never knew,' said Sam, fixing his eyes in a ruminative manner upon the
blushing barber, - 'I never knew but vun o' your trade, but HE wos worth a dozen,
and wos indeed dewoted to his callin'!'
'Was he in the easy shaving way, sir,' inquired Mr. Slithers; 'or in the cutting and
curling line?'
'Both,' replied Sam; 'easy shavin' was his natur', and cuttin' and curlin' was his
pride and glory. His whole delight wos in his trade. He spent all his money in
bears, and run in debt for 'em besides, and there they wos a growling avay down
in the front cellar all day long, and ineffectooally gnashing their teeth, vile the
grease o' their relations and friends wos being re-tailed in gallipots in the shop
above, and the first-floor winder wos ornamented vith their heads; not to speak o'
the dreadful aggrawation it must have been to 'em to see a man alvays a walkin'
up and down the pavement outside, vith the portrait of a bear in his last agonies,
and underneath in large letters, "Another fine animal wos slaughtered yesterday
at Jinkinson's!" Hows'ever, there they wos, and there Jinkinson wos, till he wos
 
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