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CHAPTER 60: The Dangers thicken, and the Worst is told (continued)
'My family!' hiccuped Mr Squeers, raising his eye to the ceiling: 'my daughter, as is at that age when all the sensibilities is a-coming out strong in blow--my son as is the young Norval of private life, and the pride and ornament of a doting willage--here's a shock for my family! The coat-of-arms of the Squeerses is tore, and their sun is gone down into the ocean wave!'
'You have been drinking,' said Ralph, 'and have not yet slept yourself sober.'
'I haven't been drinking YOUR health, my codger,' replied Mr Squeers; 'so you have nothing to do with that.'
Ralph suppressed the indignation which the schoolmaster's altered and insolent manner awakened, and asked again why he had not sent to him.
'What should I get by sending to you?' returned Squeers. 'To be known to be in with you wouldn't do me a deal of good, and they won't take bail till they know something more of the case, so here am I hard and fast: and there are you, loose and comfortable.'
'And so must you be in a few days,' retorted Ralph, with affected good-humour. 'They can't hurt you, man.'
'Why, I suppose they can't do much to me, if I explain how it was that I got into the good company of that there ca-daverous old Slider,' replied Squeers viciously, 'who I wish was dead and buried, and resurrected and dissected, and hung upon wires in a anatomical museum, before ever I'd had anything to do with her. This is what him with the powdered head says this morning, in so many words: "Prisoner! As you have been found in company with this woman; as you were detected in possession of this document; as you were engaged with her in fraudulently destroying others, and can give no satisfactory account of yourself; I shall remand you for a week, in order that inquiries may be made, and evidence got. And meanwhile I can't take any bail for your appearance." Well then, what I say now is, that I CAN give a satisfactory account of myself; I can hand in the card of my establishment and say, "I am the Wackford Squeers as is therein named, sir. I am the man as is guaranteed, by unimpeachable references, to be a out-and-outer in morals and uprightness of principle. Whatever is wrong in this business is no fault of mine. I had no evil design in it, sir. I was not aware that anything was wrong. I was merely employed by a friend, my friend Mr Ralph Nickleby, of Golden Square. Send for him, sir, and ask him what he has to say; he's the man; not me!"'
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