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CHAPTER 26: Is fraught with some Danger to Miss Nickleby's Peace of Mind (continued)
'Now, curse me, if you ain't a real, deyvlish, downright, thorough-paced friend,' said the young lord, on whom this speech had produced a most reviving effect.
'I'll tell you how,' said Sir Mulberry. 'She was at that dinner as a bait for you.'
'No!' cried the young lord. 'What the dey--'
'As a bait for you,' repeated his friend; 'old Nickleby told me so himself.'
'What a fine old cock it is!' exclaimed Lord Verisopht; 'a noble rascal!'
'Yes,' said Sir Mulberry, 'he knew she was a smart little creature--'
'Smart!' interposed the young lord. 'Upon my soul, Hawk, she's a perfect beauty--a--a picture, a statue, a--a--upon my soul she is!'
'Well,' replied Sir Mulberry, shrugging his shoulders and manifesting an indifference, whether he felt it or not; 'that's a matter of taste; if mine doesn't agree with yours, so much the better.'
'Confound it!' reasoned the lord, 'you were thick enough with her that day, anyhow. I could hardly get in a word.'
'Well enough for once, well enough for once,' replied Sir Mulberry; 'but not worth the trouble of being agreeable to again. If you seriously want to follow up the niece, tell the uncle that you must know where she lives and how she lives, and with whom, or you are no longer a customer of his. He'll tell you fast enough.'
'Why didn't you say this before?' asked Lord Verisopht, 'instead of letting me go on burning, consuming, dragging out a miserable existence for an a-age!'
'I didn't know it, in the first place,' answered Sir Mulberry carelessly; 'and in the second, I didn't believe you were so very much in earnest.'
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