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the world, it being perfectly clear that, for the moment, Newman
was operating on Sir Mulberry Hawk, and had quite lost sight of
his real patient.
This martyrdom over, Nicholas arranged with Newman that
while he was otherwise occupied next morning, arrangements
should be made for his mother’s immediately quitting her present
residence, and also for dispatching Miss La Creevy to break the
intelligence to her. He then wrapped himself in Smike’s greatcoat,
and repaired to the inn where they were to pass the night, and
where (after writing a few lines to Ralph, the delivery of which was
to be intrusted to Newman next day), he endeavoured to obtain
the repose of which he stood so much in need.
Drunken men, they say, may roll down precipices, and be quite
unconscious of any serious personal inconvenience when their
reason returns. The remark may possibly apply to injuries
received in other kinds of violent excitement: certain it is, that
although Nicholas experienced some pain on first awakening next
morning, he sprung out of bed as the clock struck seven, with very
little difficulty, and was soon as much on the alert as if nothing
Merely looking into Smike’s room, and telling him that
Newman Noggs would call for him very shortly, Nicholas
descended into the street, and calling a hackney coach, bade the
man drive to Mrs Wititterly’s, according to the direction which
Newman had given him on the previous night.
It wanted a quarter to eight when they reached Cadogan Place.
Nicholas began to fear that no one might be stirring at that early
hour, when he was relieved by the sight of a female servant,
employed in cleaning the door-steps. By this functionary he was