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and I divined (God knows how) that though the two girls with the
shock heads of hair were Captain Hopkins's children, the dirty lady
was not married to Captain Hopkins. My timid station on his
threshold was not occupied more than a couple of minutes at most;
but I came down again with all this in my knowledge, as surely as
the knife and fork were in my hand.

There was something gipsy-like and agreeable in the dinner, after
all. I took back Captain Hopkins's knife and fork early in the
afternoon, and went home to comfort Mrs. Micawber with an account
of my visit. She fainted when she saw me return, and made a little
jug of egg-hot afterwards to console us while we talked it over.

I don't know how the household furniture came to be sold for the
family benefit, or who sold it, except that I did not. Sold it
was, however, and carried away in a van; except the bed, a few
chairs, and the kitchen table. With these possessions we encamped,
as it were, in the two parlours of the emptied house in Windsor
Terrace; Mrs. Micawber, the children, the Orfling, and myself; and
lived in those rooms night and day. I have no idea for how long,
though it seems to me for a long time. At last Mrs. Micawber
resolved to move into the prison, where Mr. Micawber had now
secured a room to himself. So I took the key of the house to the
landlord, who was very glad to get it; and the beds were sent over
to the King's Bench, except mine, for which a little room was hired
outside the walls in the neighbourhood of that Institution, very
much to my satisfaction, since the Micawbers and I had become too
used to one another, in our troubles, to part. The Orfling was
likewise accommodated with an inexpensive lodging in the same
neighbourhood. Mine was a quiet back-garret with a sloping roof,
commanding a pleasant prospect of a timberyard; and when I took
possession of it, with the reflection that Mr. Micawber's troubles
had come to a crisis at last, I thought it quite a paradise.

All this time I was working at Murdstone and Grinby's in the same
common way, and with the same common companions, and with the same
sense of unmerited degradation as at first. But I never, happily
for me no doubt, made a single acquaintance, or spoke to any of the
many boys whom I saw daily in going to the warehouse, in coming
from it, and in prowling about the streets at meal-times. I led
the same secretly unhappy life; but I led it in the same lonely,
self-reliant manner. The only changes I am conscious of are,
firstly, that I had grown more shabby, and secondly, that I was now
relieved of much of the weight of Mr. and Mrs. Micawber's cares;
for some relatives or friends had engaged to help them at their
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