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'Well, he wasn't there at all,' said Mr. Dick, 'until he came up
behind her, and whispered. Then she turned round and fainted, and
I stood still and looked at him, and he walked away; but that he
should have been hiding ever since (in the ground or somewhere), is
the most extraordinary thing!'

'HAS he been hiding ever since?' I asked.

'To be sure he has,' retorted Mr. Dick, nodding his head gravely.
'Never came out, till last night! We were walking last night, and
he came up behind her again, and I knew him again.'

'And did he frighten my aunt again?'

'All of a shiver,' said Mr. Dick, counterfeiting that affection and
making his teeth chatter. 'Held by the palings. Cried. But,
Trotwood, come here,' getting me close to him, that he might
whisper very softly; 'why did she give him money, boy, in the

'He was a beggar, perhaps.'

Mr. Dick shook his head, as utterly renouncing the suggestion; and
having replied a great many times, and with great confidence, 'No
beggar, no beggar, no beggar, sir!' went on to say, that from his
window he had afterwards, and late at night, seen my aunt give this
person money outside the garden rails in the moonlight, who then
slunk away - into the ground again, as he thought probable - and
was seen no more: while my aunt came hurriedly and secretly back
into the house, and had, even that morning, been quite different
from her usual self; which preyed on Mr. Dick's mind.

I had not the least belief, in the outset of this story, that the
unknown was anything but a delusion of Mr. Dick's, and one of the
line of that ill-fated Prince who occasioned him so much
difficulty; but after some reflection I began to entertain the
question whether an attempt, or threat of an attempt, might have
been twice made to take poor Mr. Dick himself from under my aunt's
protection, and whether my aunt, the strength of whose kind feeling
towards him I knew from herself, might have been induced to pay a
price for his peace and quiet. As I was already much attached to
Mr. Dick, and very solicitous for his welfare, my fears favoured
this supposition; and for a long time his Wednesday hardly ever
came round, without my entertaining a misgiving that he would not
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