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who had been engaged in a manner in which every reader may
imagine for himself or herself, was hurrying downstairs in
obedience to his angry summons, when he encountered a new

On his way down, he overtook, in one of the passages, a
stranger genteelly dressed in black, who was also moving towards
the dining-room. As he was rather lame, and walked slowly,
Nicholas lingered behind, and was following him step by step,
wondering who he was, when he suddenly turned round and
caught him by both hands.

‘Newman Noggs!’ cried Nicholas joyfully
‘Ah! Newman, your own Newman, your own old faithful
Newman! My dear boy, my dear Nick, I give you joy--health,
happiness, every blessing! I can’t bear it--it’s too much, my dear
boy--it makes a child of me!’

‘Where have you been?’ said Nicholas. ‘What have you been
doing? How often have I inquired for you, and been told that I
should hear before long!’

‘I know, I know!’ returned Newman. ‘They wanted all the
happiness to come together. I’ve been helping ’em. I--I--look at
me, Nick, look at me!’

‘You would never let me do that,’ said Nicholas in a tone of
gentle reproach.

‘I didn’t mind what I was, then. I shouldn’t have had the heart
to put on gentleman’s clothes. They would have reminded me of
old times and made me miserable. I am another man now, Nick.
My dear boy, I can’t speak. Don’t say anything to me. Don’t think
the worse of me for these tears. You don’t know what I feel today;
you can’t, and never will!’

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