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CHAPTER 38: Comprises certain Particulars arising out of a Visit...
Comprises certain Particulars arising out of a Visit of Condolence, which may prove important hereafter. Smike unexpectedly encounters a very old Friend, who invites him to his House, and will take no Denial
Quite unconscious of the demonstrations of their amorous neighbour, or their effects upon the susceptible bosom of her mama, Kate Nickleby had, by this time, begun to enjoy a settled feeling of tranquillity and happiness, to which, even in occasional and transitory glimpses, she had long been a stranger. Living under the same roof with the beloved brother from whom she had been so suddenly and hardly separated: with a mind at ease, and free from any persecutions which could call a blush into her cheek, or a pang into her heart, she seemed to have passed into a new state of being. Her former cheerfulness was restored, her step regained its elasticity and lightness, the colour which had forsaken her cheek visited it once again, and Kate Nickleby looked more beautiful than ever.
Such was the result to which Miss La Creevy's ruminations and observations led her, when the cottage had been, as she emphatically said, 'thoroughly got to rights, from the chimney-pots to the street-door scraper,' and the busy little woman had at length a moment's time to think about its inmates.
'Which I declare I haven't had since I first came down here,' said Miss La Creevy; 'for I have thought of nothing but hammers, nails, screwdrivers, and gimlets, morning, noon, and night.'
'You never bestowed one thought upon yourself, I believe,' returned Kate, smiling.
'Upon my word, my dear, when there are so many pleasanter things to think of, I should be a goose if I did,' said Miss La Creevy. 'By-the-bye, I HAVE thought of somebody too. Do you know, that I observe a great change in one of this family--a very extraordinary change?'
'In whom?' asked Kate, anxiously. 'Not in--'
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