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side; repletion and starvation laid them down together.
But it was London; and the old country lady inside, who had
put her head out of the coach-window a mile or two this side
Kingston, and cried out to the driver that she was sure he must
have passed it and forgotten to set her down, was satisfied at last.
Nicholas engaged beds for himself and Smike at the inn where
the coach stopped, and repaired, without the delay of another
moment, to the lodgings of Newman Noggs; for his anxiety and
impatience had increased with every succeeding minute, and were
almost beyond control.
There was a fire in Newman’s garret; and a candle had been left
burning; the floor was cleanly swept, the room was as comfortably
arranged as such a room could be, and meat and drink were
placed in order upon the table. Everything bespoke the
affectionate care and attention of Newman Noggs, but Newman
himself was not there.
‘Do you know what time he will be home?’ inquired Nicholas,
tapping at the door of Newman’s front neighbour.
‘Ah, Mr Johnson!’ said Crowl, presenting himself. ‘Welcome, sir.
How well you’re looking! I never could have believed--’
‘Pardon me,’ interposed Nicholas. ‘My question--I am
extremely anxious to know.’
‘Why, he has a troublesome affair of business,’ replied Crowl,
‘and will not be home before twelve o’clock. He was very unwilling
to go, I can tell you, but there was no help for it. However, he left
word that you were to make yourself comfortable till he came
back, and that I was to entertain you, which I shall be very glad to
In proof of his extreme readiness to exert himself for the