‘Oh! that’s another thing,’ said Nicholas; ‘you should have told me that, too.’ ‘I dare say you didn’t know, indeed!’ retorted Miss La Creevy. ‘But, now I look at you again, you seem thinner than when I saw you last, and your face is haggard and pale. And how come you to have left Yorkshire?’ She stopped here; for there was so much heart in her altered tone and manner, that Nicholas was quite moved. ‘I need look somewhat changed,’ he said, after a short si- lence; ‘for I have undergone some suffering, both of mind and body, since I left London. I have been very poor, too, and have even suffered from want.’ ‘Good Heaven, Mr Nicholas!’ exclaimed Miss La Creevy, ‘what are you telling me?’ ‘Nothing which need distress you quite so much,’ answered Nicholas, with a more sprightly air; ‘neither did I come here to bewail my lot, but on matter more to the purpose. I wish to meet my uncle face to face. I should tell you that first.’ ‘Then all I have to say about that is,’ interposed Miss La Creevy, ‘that I don’t envy you your taste; and that sitting in the same room with his very boots, would put me out of humour for a fortnight.’ ‘In the main,’ said Nicholas, ‘there may be no great differ- ence of opinion between you and me, so far; but you will understand, that I desire to confront him, to justify myself, and to cast his duplicity and malice in his throat.’ ‘That’s quite another matter,’ rejoined Miss La Creevy. ‘Heaven forgive me; but I shouldn’t cry my eyes quite out of my head, if they choked him. Well?’ ‘To this end, I called upon him this morning,’ said Nicho- las. ‘He only returned to town on Saturday, and I knew noth- ing of his arrival until late last night.’ ‘And did you see him?’ asked Miss La Creevy. ‘No,’ replied Nicholas. ‘He had gone out.’ ‘Hah!’ said Miss La Creevy; ‘on some kind, charitable busi- ness, I dare say.’ ‘I have reason to believe,’ pursued Nicholas, ‘from what has been told me, by a friend of mine who is acquainted with his movements, that he intends seeing my mother and sister to- day, and giving them his version of the occurrences that have befallen me. I will meet him there.’
248 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF NICHOLAS NICKLEBY ‘That’s right,’ said Miss La Creevy, rubbing her hands. ‘And yet, I don’t know,’ she added, ‘there is much to be thought of—others to be considered.’ ‘I have considered others,’ rejoined Nicholas; ‘but as hon- esty and honour are both at issue, nothing shall deter me.’ ‘You should know best,’ said Miss La Creevy. ‘In this case I hope so,’ answered Nicholas. ‘And all I want you to do for me, is, to prepare them for my coming. They think me a long way off, and if I went wholly unexpected, I should frighten them. If you can spare time to tell them that you have seen me, and that I shall be with them in a quarter of an hour afterwards, you will do me a great service.’ ‘I wish I could do you, or any of you, a greater,’ said Miss La Creevy; ‘but the power to serve, is as seldom joined with the will, as the will is with the power, I think.’ Talking on very fast and very much, Miss La Creevy fin-
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 812 pages?