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that circumstances had occurred which rendered it necessary for
him to repair to London immediately.

‘So goodbye,’ said Nicholas; ‘goodbye, goodbye.’
He was half-way downstairs before Mr Crummles had
sufficiently recovered his surprise to gasp out something about the

‘I can’t help it,’ replied Nicholas. ‘Set whatever I may have
earned this week against them, or if that will not repay you, say at
once what will. Quick, quick.’

‘We’ll cry quits about that,’ returned Crummles. ‘But can’t we
have one last night more?’

‘Not an hour--not a minute,’ replied Nicholas, impatiently.
‘Won’t you stop to say something to Mrs Crummles?’ asked the
manager, following him down to the door.

‘I couldn’t stop if it were to prolong my life a score of years,’
rejoined Nicholas. ‘Here, take my hand, and with it my hearty
thanks.--Oh! that I should have been fooling here!’

Accompanying these words with an impatient stamp upon the
ground, he tore himself from the manager’s detaining grasp, and
darting rapidly down the street was out of sight in an instant.

‘Dear me, dear me,’ said Mr Crummles, looking wistfully
towards the point at which he had just disappeared; ‘if he only
acted like that, what a deal of money he’d draw! He should have
kept upon this circuit; he’d have been very useful to me. But he
don’t know what’s good for him. He is an impetuous youth. Young
men are rash, very rash.’

Mr Crummles being in a moralising mood, might possibly have
moralised for some minutes longer if he had not mechanically put
his hand towards his waistcoat pocket, where he was accustomed

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