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He went on, from this point, in a still more humble tone, and
spoke in a very low voice; pointing to Ralph as he resumed.

‘He had used me ill--cruelly--I reminded him in what, not long
ago when I met him in the street--and I hated him. I brought the
child home to his own house, and lodged him in the front garret.
Neglect had made him very sickly, and I was obliged to call in a
doctor, who said he must be removed for change of air, or he
would die. I think that first put it in my head. I did it then. He was
gone six weeks, and when he came back, I told him--with every
circumstance well planned and proved; nobody could have
suspected me--that the child was dead and buried. He might have
been disappointed in some intention he had formed, or he might
have had some natural affection, but he was grieved at that, and I
was confirmed in my design of opening up the secret one day, and
making it a means of getting money from him. I had heard, like
most other men, of Yorkshire schools. I took the child to one kept
by a man named Squeers, and left it there. I gave him the name of
Smike. Year by year, I paid twenty pounds a-year for him for six
years; never breathing the secret all the time; for I had left his
father’s service after more hard usage, and quarrelled with him
again. I was sent away from this country. I have been away nearly
eight years. Directly I came home again, I travelled down into
Yorkshire, and, skulking in the village of an evening-time, made
inquiries about the boys at the school, and found that this one,
whom I had placed there, had run away with a young man bearing
the name of his own father. I sought his father out in London, and
hinting at what I could tell him, tried for a little money to support
life; but he repulsed me with threats. I then found out his clerk,
and, going on from little to little, and showing him that there were

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