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29. Chapter Twenty-nine (continued)
'Upon my life, you know, this is a very singular circumstance,' said Mould, quite delighted. 'This is the sort of thing, my dear, I wouldn't have missed on any account. It tickles one. It's interesting. It's almost a little play, you know. Ah! There he is! To be sure. Looks poorly, Mrs M., don't he?'
Mrs Mould assented.
'He's coming our way, perhaps, after all,' said Mould. 'Who knows! I feel as if I ought to show him some little attention, really. He don't seem a stranger to me. I'm very much inclined to move my hat, my dear.'
'He's looking hard this way,' said Mrs Mould.
'Then I will!' cried Mould. 'How d'ye do, sir! I wish you good day. Ha! He bows too. Very gentlemanly. Mrs Gamp has the cards in her pocket, I have no doubt. This is very singular, my dear--and very pleasant. I am not superstitious, but it really seems as if one was destined to pay him those little melancholy civilities which belong to our peculiar line of business. There can be no kind of objection to your kissing your hand to him, my dear.'
Mrs Mould did so.
'Ha!' said Mould. 'He's evidently gratified. Poor fellow! I am quite glad you did it, my love. Bye bye, Mrs Gamp!' waving his hand. 'There he goes; there he goes!'
So he did; for the coach rolled off as the words were spoken. Mr and Mrs Mould, in high good humour, went their merry way. Mr Bailey retired with Poll Sweedlepipe as soon as possible; but some little time elapsed before he could remove his friend from the ground, owing to the impression wrought upon the barber's nerves by Mrs Prig, whom he pronounced, in admiration of her beard, to be a woman of transcendent charms.
When the light cloud of bustle hanging round the coach was thus dispersed, Nadgett was seen in the darkest box of the Bull coffee- room, looking wistfully up at the clock--as if the man who never appeared were a little behind his time.
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