“Murder and turf!” cried the man, “but that was the devil’s own plaister that you gave me here for my back, and it left me as raw as a turnip, taking every bit of my skin off me entirely, foreby my lying in bed for a whole week, and losing my day’s work.”
“I really do not recollect supplying you with a plaister, my good man,” replied Mr Brookes.
“Then by the piper that played before Moses, if you don’t recollect it, I’ve an idea that I shall never forget it. Sure enough, it cured me, but wasn’t I quite kilt before I was cured?”
“It must have been some other shop,” observed Mr Brookes. “You have made a mistake.”
“Devil a bit of a mistake, except in selling me the plaister. Didn’t I get it of a lad in this same shop?”
“Nobody sells things out of this shop without my knowledge.”
The Irishman was puzzled—he looked round the shop. “Well, then, if this a’n’t the shop, it was own sister to it.”
“Timothy,” called Mr Brookes.
“And sure enough there was a Timothy in the other shop, for I heard the boy call the other by the name; however, it’s no matter, if it took off the skin, it also took away the thumbago, so the morning to you, Mr Pottykarry.”
When the Irishman departed, we made our appearance. “Japhet, did you sell a plaister to an Irishman?”
“Yes—don’t you recollect, last Saturday? and I gave you the shilling.”
“Very true; but what did he ask for?”
“He asked for a plaister, but he was very tipsy. I showed him a blister, and he took it;” and then I looked at Timothy and laughed.
“You must not play such tricks,” said Mr Brookes. “I see what you have been about—it was a joke to you, but not to him.”
Mr Brookes, who imagined we had sold it to the Irishman out of fun, then gave us a very severe lecture, and threatened to acquaint Mr Cophagus, if ever we played such tricks again. Thus the affair blew over, and it made me very careful; and, as every day I knew more about medicines, I was soon able to mix them, so as to be of service to those who applied, and before eighteen months had expired, I was trusted with the mixing up all the prescriptions. At the end of that period Mr Brookes left us, and I took the whole of his department upon myself, giving great satisfaction to Mr Cophagus.
And now that I have announced my promotion, it will perhaps be as well that I give the reader some idea of my personal appearance, upon which I have hitherto been silent. I was thin, between fifteen and sixteen years old, very tall for my age, and of my figure I had no reason to be ashamed; a large beaming eye, with a slightly aquiline nose, a high forehead, fair in complexion, but with very dark hair. I was always what may be termed a remarkably clean-looking boy, from the peculiarity of my skin and complexion; my teeth were small, but were transparent, and I had a very deep dimple in my chin. Like all embryo