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is past, and night is comin’ on.’

‘My curse, my bitter, deadly curse, upon you, boy!’
‘Whence will curses come at your command? Or what avails a
curse or blessing from a man like you? I tell you, that misfortune
and discovery are thickening about your head; that the structures
you have raised, through all your ill-spent life, are crumbling into
dust; that your path is beset with spies; that this very day, ten
thousand pounds of your hoarded wealth have gone in one great

‘‘Tis false!’ cried Ralph, shrinking back.
‘‘Tis true, and you shall find it so. I have no more words to
waste. Stand from the door. Kate, do you go first. Lay not a hand
on her, or on that woman, or on me, or so much a brush their
garments as they pass you by!--You let them pass, and he blocks
the door again!’

Arthur Gride happened to be in the doorway, but whether
intentionally or from confusion was not quite apparent. Nicholas
swung him away, with such violence as to cause him to spin round
the room until he was caught by a sharp angle of the wall, and
there knocked down; and then taking his beautiful burden in his
arms rushed out. No one cared to stop him, if any were so
disposed. Making his way through a mob of people, whom a report
of the circumstances had attracted round the house, and carrying
Madeline, in his excitement, as easily as if she were an infant, he
reached the coach in which Kate and the girl were already
waiting, and, confiding his charge to them, jumped up beside the
coachman and bade him drive away.

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