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you leave here my career with you will have closed.’

‘Closed!’ cried Mrs Crummles, raising her hands in

‘Closed!’ cried Miss Snevellicci, trembling so much in her tights
that she actually laid her hand upon the shoulder of the
manageress for support.

‘Why he don’t mean to say he’s going!’ exclaimed Mrs Grudden,
making her way towards Mrs Crummles. ‘Hoity toity! Nonsense.’

The phenomenon, being of an affectionate nature and moreover
excitable, raised a loud cry, and Miss Belvawney and Miss
Bravassa actually shed tears. Even the male performers stopped in
their conversation, and echoed the word ‘Going!’ although some
among them (and they had been the loudest in their
congratulations that day) winked at each other as though they
would not be sorry to lose such a favoured rival; an opinion,
indeed, which the honest Mr Folair, who was ready dressed for the
savage, openly stated in so many words to a demon with whom he
was sharing a pot of porter.

Nicholas briefly said that he feared it would be so, although he
could not yet speak with any degree of certainty; and getting away
as soon as he could, went home to con Newman’s letter once more,
and speculate upon it afresh.

How trifling all that had been occupying his time and thoughts
for many weeks seemed to him during that sleepless night, and
how constantly and incessantly present to his imagination was the
one idea that Kate in the midst of some great trouble and distress
might even then be looking--and vainly too--for him!

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