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there--quick. Do you hear?’

Newman gave a dogged kind of nod to express an affirmative
reply, and, leaving the room for a few seconds, returned with his
hat. Having made various ineffective attempts to fit the parcel
(which was some two feet square) into the crown thereof, Newman
took it under his arm, and after putting on his fingerless gloves
with great precision and nicety, keeping his eyes fixed upon Mr
Ralph Nickleby all the time, he adjusted his hat upon his head
with as much care, real or pretended, as if it were a bran-new one
of the most expensive quality, and at last departed on his errand.

He executed his commission with great promptitude and
dispatch, only calling at one public-house for half a minute, and
even that might be said to be in his way, for he went in at one door
and came out at the other; but as he returned and had got so far
homewards as the Strand, Newman began to loiter with the
uncertain air of a man who has not quite made up his mind
whether to halt or go straight forwards. After a very short
consideration, the former inclination prevailed, and making
towards the point he had had in his mind, Newman knocked a
modest double knock, or rather a nervous single one, at Miss La
Creevy’s door.

It was opened by a strange servant, on whom the odd figure of
the visitor did not appear to make the most favourable impression
possible, inasmuch as she no sooner saw him than she very nearly
closed it, and placing herself in the narrow gap, inquired what he
wanted. But Newman merely uttering the monosyllable ‘Noggs,’
as if it were some cabalistic word, at sound of which bolts would
fly back and doors open, pushed briskly past and gained the door
of Miss La Creevy’s sitting-room, before the astonished servant

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