Charlie retired into another room with the trowsers in question. Here he was joined by Kinch, who went into fits of laughter over Charlie’s pea-jacket, as he offensively called the new coat.
“Why, Charlie,” said he, “it fits you like a shirt on a bean-pole, or rather it’s like a sentry’s box—it don’t touch you any where. But get into these pants,” said he, almost choking with the laughter that Charlie’s vexed look caused him to suppress—“get into the pants;” at the same time tying a string round Charlie’s neck.
“What are you doing that for?” exclaimed Charlie, in an irritated tone; “I shouldn’t have thought you would make fun of me!”
“Oh,” said Kinch, assuming a solemn look, “don’t they always tie a rope round a man’s body when they are going to lower him into a pit? and how on earth do you ever expect we shall find you in the legs of them trowsers, unless something is fastened to you?” Here Charlie was obliged to join in the laugh that Kinch could no longer restrain.
“Stop that playing, boys,” cried Mrs. Ellis, as their noisy mirth reached her in the adjoining room; “you forget I am waiting for you.”
Charlie hastily drew on the trousers, and found that their dimensions fully justified the precaution Kinch was desirous of taking to secure him from sinking into oblivion.
“Oh, I can’t wear these things,” said Charlie, tears of vexation starting from his eyes. “Why, they are so large I can’t even keep them up; and just look at the legs, will you—they’ll have to be turned up a quarter of a yard at least.”
“Here,” said Kinch, seizing a large pillow, “I’ll stuff this in. Oh, golly, how you look! if you ain’t a sight to see!” and he shouted with laughter as he surveyed Charlie, to whom the pillow had imparted the appearance of a London alderman. “If you don’t look like Squire Baker now, I’ll give it up. You are as big as old Daddy Downhill. You are a regular Daniel Lambert!”
The idea of looking like Squire Baker and Daddy Downhill, who were the “fat men” of their acquaintance, amused Charlie as much as it did his companion, and making the house ring with their mirth, they entered the room where Mr. Ellis and the girls had joined Mrs. Ellis.
“What on earth is the matter with the child?” exclaimed Mr. Ellis, as he gazed upon the grotesque figure Charlie presented. “What has the boy been doing to himself?” Hereupon Kinch explained how matters stood, to the infinite amusement of all parties.
“Oh, Ellen,” said Mr. Ellis, “you must have them altered; they’re a mile too big for him. I really believe they would fit me.”
“They do look rather large,” said Mrs. Ellis, reluctantly; “but it seems such a waste to take them in, as he grows so fast.”
“He would not grow enough in two years to fill that suit,” rejoined Mr. Ellis; “and he will have worn them out in less than six months;” and so, to the infinite satisfaction of Charlie, it was concluded that they should be sent back to the tailor’s for the evidently necessary alterations.