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tight on with both hands, raised a pretty brisk alarm. Not thinking
it necessary to abide the issue of the noise, Nicholas gave vent to
an indignant defiance, and stalked from the room and from the
house. Arthur Gride watched him across the street, and then,
drawing in his head, fastened the window as before, and sat down
to take breath.

‘If she ever turns pettish or ill-humoured, I’ll taunt her with that
spark,’ he said, when he had recovered. ‘She’ll little think I know
about him; and, if I manage it well, I can break her spirit by this
means and have her under my thumb. I’m glad nobody came. I
didn’t call too loud. The audacity to enter my house, and open
upon me! But I shall have a very good triumph tomorrow, and
he’ll be gnawing his fingers off: perhaps drown himself or cut his
throat! I shouldn’t wonder! That would make it quite complete,
that would: quite.’

When he had become restored to his usual condition by these
and other comments on his approaching triumph, Arthur Gride
put away his book, and, having locked the chest with great
caution, descended into the kitchen to warn Peg Sliderskew to
bed, and scold her for having afforded such ready admission to a

The unconscious Peg, however, not being able to comprehend
the offence of which she had been guilty, he summoned her to
hold the light, while he made a tour of the fastenings, and secured
the street-door with his own hands.

‘Top bolt,’ muttered Arthur, fastening as he spoke, ‘bottom bolt,
chain, bar, double lock, and key out to put under my pillow! So, if
any more rejected admirers come, they may come through the
keyhole. And now I’ll go to sleep till half-past five, when I must get

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