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PinkMonkey.com-Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens




1063

their rest.

At first, Smike was strong enough to walk about, for short
distances at a time, with no other support or aid than that which
Nicholas could afford him. At this time, nothing appeared to
interest him so much as visiting those places which had been most
familiar to his friend in bygone days. Yielding to this fancy, and
pleased to find that its indulgence beguiled the sick boy of many
tedious hours, and never failed to afford him matter for thought
and conversation afterwards, Nicholas made such spots the scenes
of their daily rambles: driving him from place to place in a little
pony-chair, and supporting him on his arm while they walked
slowly among these old haunts, or lingered in the sunlight to take
long parting looks of those which were most quiet and beautiful.

It was on such occasions as these, that Nicholas, yielding almost
unconsciously to the interest of old associations, would point out
some tree that he had climbed, a hundred times, to peep at the
young birds in their nest; and the branch from which he used to
shout to little Kate, who stood below terrified at the height he had
gained, and yet urging him higher still by the intensity of her
admiration. There was the old house too, which they would pass
every day, looking up at the tiny window through which the sun
used to stream in and wake him on the summer mornings--they
were all summer mornings then--and climbing up the garden-wall
and looking over, Nicholas could see the very rose-bush which had
come, a present to Kate, from some little lover, and she had
planted with her own hands. There were the hedgerows where the
brother and sister had so often gathered wild flowers together, and
the green fields and shady paths where they had so often strayed.
There was not a lane, or brook, or copse, or cottage near, with


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