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doubt whether he would not have found Miss La Creevy a more
dangerous opponent than even Newman Noggs himself.

‘God forgive me for saying so,’ said Miss La Creevy, as a wind-
up to all her expressions of anger, ‘but I really feel as if I could
stick this into him with pleasure.’

It was not a very awful weapon that Miss La Creevy held, it
being in fact nothing more nor less than a black-lead pencil; but
discovering her mistake, the little portrait painter exchanged it for
a mother-of-pearl fruit knife, wherewith, in proof of her desperate
thoughts, she made a lunge as she spoke, which would have
scarcely disturbed the crumb of a half-quartern loaf.

‘She won’t stop where she is after tonight,’ said Newman.
‘That’s a comfort.’

‘Stop!’ cried Miss La Creevy, ‘she should have left there, weeks

‘--If we had known of this,’ rejoined Newman. ‘But we didn’t.
Nobody could properly interfere but her mother or brother. The
mother’s weak--poor thing--weak. The dear young man will be
here tonight.’

‘Heart alive!’ cried Miss La Creevy. ‘He will do something
desperate, Mr Noggs, if you tell him all at once.’

Newman left off rubbing his hands, and assumed a thoughtful

‘Depend upon it,’ said Miss La Creevy, earnestly, ‘if you are not
very careful in breaking out the truth to him, he will do some
violence upon his uncle or one of these men that will bring some
terrible calamity upon his own head, and grief and sorrow to us

‘I never thought of that,’ rejoined Newman, his countenance

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