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handkerchief, spotted with blood, drawn over the crown of his
head and tied under his chin: stared ruefully at Ralph in silence,
until his feelings found a vent in this pithy sentence:

‘I say, young fellow, you’ve been and done it now; you have!’
‘What’s the matter with your head?’ asked Ralph.

‘Why, your man, your informing kidnapping man, has been and
broke it,’ rejoined Squeers sulkily; ‘that’s what’s the matter with it.
You’ve come at last, have you?’

‘Why have you not sent to me?’ said Ralph. ‘How could I come
till I knew what had befallen you?’

‘My family!’ hiccuped Mr Squeers, raising his eye to the ceiling:
‘my daughter, as is at that age when all the sensibilities is a-
coming out strong in blow--my son as is the young Norval of
private life, and the pride and ornament of a doting willage--
here’s a shock for my family! The coat-of-arms of the Squeerses is
tore, and their sun is gone down into the ocean wave!’

‘You have been drinking,’ said Ralph, ‘and have not yet slept
yourself sober.’

‘I haven’t been drinking your health, my codger,’ replied Mr
Squeers; ‘so you have nothing to do with that.’

Ralph suppressed the indignation which the schoolmaster’s
altered and insolent manner awakened, and asked again why he
had not sent to him.

‘What should I get by sending to you?’ returned Squeers. ‘To be
known to be in with you wouldn’t do me a deal of good, and they
won’t take bail till they know something more of the case, so here
am I hard and fast: and there are you, loose and comfortable.’

‘And so must you be in a few days,’ retorted Ralph, with
affected good-humour. ‘They can’t hurt you, man.’

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