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why he never came to see them; and Mr Mantalini anathematising
the stairs with great volubility as he followed them down, in the
hope of inducing Kate to look round,--a hope, however, which was
destined to remain ungratified.

‘There!’ said Ralph when they got into the street; ‘now you’re
provided for.’

Kate was about to thank him again, but he stopped her.
‘I had some idea,’ he said, ‘of providing for your mother in a
pleasant part of the country--(he had a presentation to some
almshouses on the borders of Cornwall, which had occurred to
him more than once)--but as you want to be together, I must do
something else for her. She has a little money?’

‘A very little,’ replied Kate.
‘A little will go a long way if it’s used sparingly,’ said Ralph.
‘She must see how long she can make it last, living rent free. You
leave your lodgings on Saturday?’
‘You told us to do so, uncle.’
‘Yes; there is a house empty that belongs to me, which I can put
you into till it is let, and then, if nothing else turns up, perhaps I
shall have another. You must live there.’

‘Is it far from here, sir?’ inquired Kate.
‘Pretty well,’ said Ralph; ‘in another quarter of the town--at the
East end; but I’ll send my clerk down to you, at five o’clock on
Saturday, to take you there. Goodbye. You know your way?
Straight on.’

Coldly shaking his niece’s hand, Ralph left her at the top of
Regent Street, and turned down a by-thoroughfare, intent on
schemes of money-getting. Kate walked sadly back to their
lodgings in the Strand.

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