'Here you are, sir,' shouted a strange specimen of the human race, in a sackcloth coat, and apron of the same, who, with a brass label and number round his neck, looked as if he were catalogued in some collection of rarities. This was the porter. 'Here you are, sir. Now, then, first cab!' And the first cabbie having been fetched from the public-house, where he had been smoking his first pipe, Mr Pickwick and his portmanteau were thrown into the vehicle.
'Golden Cross,' said Mr Pickwick.
'Only a bob's worth, Tommy,' cried the driver sulkily, for the information of his friend the porter, as the cab drove off.
'How old is that horse, my friend?' inquired Mr Pickwick, rubbing his nose with the shilling he had reserved for the fare.
'Forty-two,' replied the driver, eyeing him askance.
'What!' exclaimed Mr Pickwick, laying his hand upon his note-book. The driver reiterated his statement. Mr Pickwick looked very hard at the man's face, but his features were immovable, so he noted down the fact forthwith. 'And how long do you take him out at a time?' inquired Mr Pickwick, searching for further information.
Sackcloth: Very cheap fabric for clothes.
Apron: Something worn over the front of clothes to protect them.
Cabbie: Taxi driver.
Portmanteau: Cloth suitcase.
Bob's worth: A 'bob' is a shilling - the driver is saying that his passenger will only need to pay 12 pence
Sulk: Quiet because you are upset.
Fare: The price of a journey.
Eying askance: Giving a look showing displeasure
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