The Banker

013    A Billiard-marker, whose skill was immense,
014        Might perhaps have won more than his share—
015    But a Banker, engaged at enormous expense,
016        Had the whole of their cash in his care.

077    The Beaver’s best course was, no doubt, to procure
078        A second-hand dagger-proof coat—
079    So the Baker advised it— and next, to insure
080        Its life in some Office of note:

081    This the Banker suggested, and offered for hire
082        (On moderate terms), or for sale,
083    Two excellent Policies, one Against Fire,
084        And one Against Damage From Hail.

269    Then the Banker endorsed a blank cheque (which he crossed),
270        And changed his loose silver for notes.
271    The Baker with care combed his whiskers and hair,
272        And shook the dust out of his coats.

489    They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
490        They pursued it with forks and hope;
491    They threatened its life with a railway-share;
492        They charmed it with smiles and soap.

493    And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new
494        It was matter for general remark,
495    Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view
496        In his zeal to discover the Snark

497    But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,
498        A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
499    And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,
500        For he knew it was useless to fly.

501    He offered large discount—he offered a cheque
502        (Drawn “to bearer”) for seven-pounds-ten:
503    But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck
504        And grabbed at the Banker again.

505    Without rest or pause—while those frumious jaws
506        Went savagely snapping around-
507    He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped,
508        Till fainting he fell to the ground.

509    The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared
510        Led on by that fear-stricken yell:
511    And the Bellman remarked “It is just as I feared!”
512        And solemnly tolled on his bell.

513    He was black in the face, and they scarcely could trace
514        The least likeness to what he had been:
515    While so great was his fright that his waistcoat turned white
516        A wonderful thing to be seen!

517    To the horror of all who were present that day.
518        He uprose in full evening dress,
519    And with senseless grimaces endeavoured to say
520        What his tongue could no longer express.

521    Down he sank in a chair—ran his hands through his hair—
522        And chanted in mimsiest tones
523    Words whose utter inanity proved his insanity,
524        While he rattled a couple of bones.

525    “Leave him here to his fate—it is getting so late!”
526        The Bellman exclaimed in a fright.
527    “We have lost half the day. Any further delay,
528        And we sha’nt catch a Snark before night!”

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