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‘Why, I suppose they can’t do much to me, if I explain how it
was that I got into the good company of that there cadaverous old
Slider,’ replied Squeers viciously, ‘who I wish was dead and
buried, and resurrected and dissected, and hung upon wires in a
anatomical museum, before ever I’d had anything to do with her.
This is what him with the powdered head says this morning, in so
many words: “Prisoner! As you have been found in company with
this woman; as you were detected in possession of this document;
as you were engaged with her in fraudulently destroying others,
and can give no satisfactory account of yourself; I shall remand
you for a week, in order that inquiries may be made, and evidence
got. And meanwhile I can’t take any bail for your appearance.”
Well then, what I say now is, that I can give a satisfactory account
of myself; I can hand in the card of my establishment and say, “I
am the Wackford Squeers as is therein named, sir. I am the man
as is guaranteed, by unimpeachable references, to be a out-and-
outer in morals and uprightness of principle. Whatever is wrong in
this business is no fault of mine. I had no evil design in it, sir. I was
not aware that anything was wrong. I was merely employed by a
friend, my friend Mr Ralph Nickleby, of Golden Square. Send for
him, sir, and ask him what he has to say; he’s the man; not me!”’

‘What document was it that you had?’ asked Ralph, evading, for
the moment, the point just raised.

‘What document? Why, the document,’ replied Squeers. ‘The
Madeline What’s-her-name one. It was a will; that’s what it was.’

‘Of what nature, whose will, when dated, how benefiting her, to
what extent?’ asked Ralph hurriedly.

‘A will in her favour; that’s all I know,’ rejoined Squeers, ‘and
that’s more than you’d have known, if you’d had them bellows on

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