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Mentioning Mr. Baffle gives an instance of there being good in
persons where good is not expected, for it cannot be denied that Mr.
Buffle's manners when engaged in his business were not agreeable.
To collect is one thing, and to look about as if suspicious of the
goods being gradually removing in the dead of the night by a back
door is another, over taxing you have no control but suspecting is
voluntary. Allowances too must ever be made for a gentleman of the
Major's warmth not relishing being spoke to with a pen in the mouth,
and while I do not know that it is more irritable to my own feelings
to have a low-crowned hat with a broad brim kept on in doors than
any other hat still I can appreciate the Major's, besides which
without bearing malice or vengeance the Major is a man that scores
up arrears as his habit always was with Joshua Lirriper. So at last
my dear the Major lay in wait for Mr. Buffle, and it worrited me a
good deal. Mr. Buffle gives his rap of two sharp knocks one day and
the Major bounces to the door. "Collector has called for two
quarters' Assessed Taxes" says Mr. Buffle. "They are ready for him"
says the Major and brings him in here. But on the way Mr. Buffle
looks about him in his usual suspicious manner and the Major fires
and asks him "Do you see a Ghost sir?" "No sir" says Mr. Buffle.
"Because I have before noticed you" says the Major "apparently
looking for a spectre very hard beneath the roof of my respected
friend. When you find that supernatural agent, be so good as point
him out sir." Mr. Buffle stares at the Major and then nods at me.
"Mrs. Lirriper sir" says the Major going off into a perfect steam
and introducing me with his hand. "Pleasure of knowing her" says
Mr. Buffle. "A--hum!--Jemmy Jackman sir!" says the Major
introducing himself. "Honour of knowing you by sight" says Mr.
Buffle. "Jemmy Jackman sir" says the Major wagging his head
sideways in a sort of obstinate fury "presents to you his esteemed
friend that lady Mrs. Emma Lirriper of Eighty-one Norfolk Street
Strand London in the County of Middlesex in the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland. Upon which occasion sir," says the
Major, "Jemmy Jackman takes your hat off." Mr. Buffle looks at his
hat where the Major drops it on the floor, and he picks it up and
puts it on again. "Sir" says the Major very red and looking him
full in the face "there are two quarters of the Gallantry Taxes due
and the Collector has called." Upon which if you can believe my
words my dear the Major drops Mr. Buffle's hat off again. "This--"
Mr. Buffle begins very angry with his pen in his mouth, when the
Major steaming more and more says "Take your bit out sir! Or by the
whole infernal system of Taxation of this country and every
individual figure in the National Debt, I'll get upon your back and
ride you like a horse!" which it's my belief he would have done and
even actually jerking his neat little legs ready for a spring as it
was. "This," says Mr. Buffle without his pen "is an assault and
I'll have the law of you." "Sir" replies the Major "if you are a
man of honour, your Collector of whatever may be due on the
Honourable Assessment by applying to Major Jackman at the Parlours
Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings, may obtain what he wants in full at any