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Chapter 60

The Dangers thicken, and the Worst is told.

Instead of going home, Ralph threw himself into the first street
cabriolet he could find, and, directing the driver towards the
police-office of the district in which Mr Squeers’s misfortunes
had occurred, alighted at a short distance from it, and, discharging
the man, went the rest of his way thither on foot. Inquiring for the
object of his solicitude, he learnt that he had timed his visit well;
for Mr Squeers was, in fact, at that moment waiting for a hackney
coach he had ordered, and in which he purposed proceeding to his
week’s retirement, like a gentleman.

Demanding speech with the prisoner, he was ushered into a
kind of waiting-room in which, by reason of his scholastic
profession and superior respectability, Mr Squeers had been
permitted to pass the day. Here, by the light of a guttering and
blackened candle, he could barely discern the schoolmaster, fast
asleep on a bench in a remote corner. An empty glass stood on a
table before him, which, with his somnolent condition and a very
strong smell of brandy and water, forewarned the visitor that Mr
Squeers had been seeking, in creature comforts, a temporary
forgetfulness of his unpleasant situation.

It was not a very easy matter to rouse him: so lethargic and
heavy were his slumbers. Regaining his faculties by slow and faint
glimmerings, he at length sat upright; and, displaying a very
yellow face, a very red nose, and a very bristly beard: the joint
effect of which was considerably heightened by a dirty white

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