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WHEN THE MAIL got successfully to Dover, in the course of the
forenoon, the head drawer at the Royal George Hotel opened the
coach-door as his custom was. He did it with some flourish of
ceremony, for a mail journey from London in winter was an
achievement to congratulate an adventurous traveller upon.

By that time, there was only one adventurous traveller left to be
congratulated: for the two others had been set down at their
respective roadside destinations. The mildewy inside of the coach,
with its damp and dirty straw, its disagreeable smell, and its
obscurity, was rather like a larger dog-kennel. Mr. Lorry, the
passenger, shaking himself out of it in chains of straw, a tangle of
shaggy wrapper, flapping hat, and muddy legs, was rather like a
larger sort of dog.

“There will be a packet to Calais, to-morrow, drawer?” “Yes, sir, if
the weather holds and the wind sets tolerable fair. The tide will
serve pretty nicely at about two in the afternoon, sir. Bed, sir?” “I
shall not go to bed till night; but I want a bedroom, and a barber.”
“And then breakfast, sir? Yes, sir. That way, sir, if you please.
Show Concord! Gentleman’s valise and hot water to Concord. Pull
off gentleman’s boots in Concord. (You will find a fine sea-coal
fire, sir.) Fetch barber to Concord. Stir about there, now, for

The Concord bed-chamber being always assigned to a passenger
by the mail, and passengers by the mail being always heavily
wrapped up from head to foot, the room had the odd interest for
the establishment of the Royal George, that although but one kind
of man was seen to go into it, all kinds and varieties of men came
out of it. Consequently, another drawer, and two porters, and
several maids and the landlady, were an loitering by accident at
various points of the road between the Concord and the coffee-
room, when a gentleman of sixty, formally dressed in a brown suit
of clothes, pretty well worn. but very well kept, with large square
cuffs and large flaps to the pockets, passed along on his way to his

The coffee-room had no other occupant, that forenoon, than the
gentleman in brown. His breakfast-table was drawn before the fire,
and as he sat, with its light shining on him, waiting for the meal, he
sat so still, that he might have been sitting for his portrait.

Very orderly and methodical he looked, with a hand on each knee,
and a loud watch ticking a sonorous sermon under his flapped
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