He hurriedly wrapped himself in a travelling-shawl and dressing - gown, and proceeded downstairs. An old woman and a couple of waiters were cleaning the coffee room, and an officer in undress uniform was looking out of the window. He turned round as Mr Winkle entered, and made a stiff inclination of the head. Having ordered the attendants to retire, and closed the door very carefully, he said, 'Mr Winkle, I presume?'
'My name is Winkle, sir.'
'You will not be surprised, sir, when I inform you that I have called here this morning on behalf of my friend, Doctor Slammer, of the 97th.'
'Doctor Slammer!' said Mr Winkle.
'Doctor Slammer. He begged me to express his opinion that your conduct of last evening was of a description which no gentleman could endure; and' he added 'which no one gentleman should exhibit to another.'
Mr Winkle's astonishment was too real, and too evident, to escape the observation of Doctor Slammer's friend; he therefore proceeded - 'My friend, Doctor Slammer, requested me to add, that he was firmly persuaded you were intoxicated during a portion of the evening, and possibly unconscious of the extent of the insult you were guilty of. He commissioned me to say, that should this be pleaded as an excuse for your behaviour, he will consent to accept a written apology, to be penned by you, from my dictation.'
Shawl: A small blanket for the shoulders
Undress uniform: i.e. not his formal uniform.
Retire: Here it means 'leave'
On behalf: Done for someone else'
Unconscious: Not knowing
Commissioned: Told to do
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