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‘Smart!’ interposed the young lord. ‘Upon my soul, Hawk, she’s
a perfect beauty--a--a picture, a statue, a--a--upon my soul she

‘Well,’ replied Sir Mulberry, shrugging his shoulders and
manifesting an indifference, whether he felt it or not; ‘that’s a
matter of taste; if mine doesn’t agree with yours, so much the

‘Confound it!’ reasoned the lord, ‘you were thick enough with
her that day, anyhow. I could hardly get in a word.’

‘Well enough for once, well enough for once,’ replied Sir
Mulberry; ‘but not worth the trouble of being agreeable to again. If
you seriously want to follow up the niece, tell the uncle that you
must know where she lives and how she lives, and with whom, or
you are no longer a customer of his. He’ll tell you fast enough.’

‘Why didn’t you say this before?’ asked Lord Verisopht, ‘instead
of letting me go on burning, consuming, dragging out a miserable
existence for an a-age!’

‘I didn’t know it, in the first place,’ answered Sir Mulberry
carelessly; ‘and in the second, I didn’t believe you were so very
much in earnest.’

Now, the truth was, that in the interval which had elapsed since
the dinner at Ralph Nickleby’s, Sir Mulberry Hawk had been
furtively trying by every means in his power to discover whence
Kate had so suddenly appeared, and whither she had disappeared.
Unassisted by Ralph, however, with whom he had held no
communication since their angry parting on that occasion, all his
efforts were wholly unavailing, and he had therefore arrived at the
determination of communicating to the young lord the substance

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