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guessed enough about its ways to think, that if he gave Miss La
Creevy one little kiss, perhaps she might not be the less kindly
disposed towards those he was leaving behind. So, he gave her
three or four with a kind of jocose gallantry, and Miss La Creevy
evinced no greater symptoms of displeasure than declaring, as she
adjusted her yellow turban, that she had never heard of such a
thing, and couldn’t have believed it possible.

Having terminated the unexpected interview in this satisfactory
manner, Nicholas hastily withdrew himself from the house. By the
time he had found a man to carry his box it was only seven o’clock,
so he walked slowly on, a little in advance of the porter, and very
probably with not half as light a heart in his breast as the man
had, although he had no waistcoat to cover it with, and had
evidently, from the appearance of his other garments, been
spending the night in a stable, and taking his breakfast at a pump.

Regarding, with no small curiosity and interest, all the busy
preparations for the coming day which every street and almost
every house displayed; and thinking, now and then, that it seemed
rather hard that so many people of all ranks and stations could
earn a livelihood in London, and that he should be compelled to
journey so far in search of one; Nicholas speedily arrived at the
Saracen’s Head, Snow Hill. Having dismissed his attendant, and
seen the box safely deposited in the coach-office, he looked into
the coffee-room in search of Mr Squeers.

He found that learned gentleman sitting at breakfast, with the
three little boys before noticed, and two others who had turned up
by some lucky chance since the interview of the previous day,
ranged in a row on the opposite seat. Mr Squeers had before him a
small measure of coffee, a plate of hot toast, and a cold round of

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