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Chapter 20

Wherein Nicholas at length encounters his Uncle, to
whom he expresses his Sentiments with much
Candour. His Resolution.

Little Miss La Creevy trotted briskly through divers streets
at the west end of the town, early on Monday morning--
the day after the dinner--charged with the important
commission of acquainting Madame Mantalini that Miss Nickleby
was too unwell to attend that day, but hoped to be enabled to
resume her duties on the morrow. And as Miss La Creevy walked
along, revolving in her mind various genteel forms and elegant
turns of expression, with a view to the selection of the very best in
which to couch her communication, she cogitated a good deal
upon the probable causes of her young friend’s indisposition.

‘I don’t know what to make of it,’ said Miss La Creevy. ‘Her eyes
were decidedly red last night. She said she had a headache;
headaches don’t occasion red eyes. She must have been crying.’

Arriving at this conclusion, which, indeed, she had established
to her perfect satisfaction on the previous evening, Miss La Creevy
went on to consider--as she had done nearly all night--what new
cause of unhappiness her young friend could possibly have had.

‘I can’t think of anything,’ said the little portrait painter.
‘Nothing at all, unless it was the behaviour of that old bear. Cross
to her, I suppose? Unpleasant brute!’

Relieved by this expression of opinion, albeit it was vented
upon empty air, Miss La Creevy trotted on to Madame Mantalini’s;

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