Drunken men, they say, may roll down precipices, and be quite unconscious of any serious personal inconvenience when their reason returns. The remark may possibly apply to injuries received in other kinds of violent excitement: certain it is, that although Nicholas experienced some pain on first awakening next morning, he sprung out of bed as the clock struck seven, with very little difficulty, and was soon as much on the alert as if nothing had occurred.

Merely looking into Smike's room, and telling him that Newman Noggs would call for him very shortly, Nicholas descended into the street, and calling a hackney coach, bade the man drive to Mrs Wititterly's, according to the direction which Newman had given him on the previous night.

It wanted a quarter to eight when they reached Cadogan Place. Nicholas began to fear that no one might be stirring at that early hour, when he was relieved by the sight of a female servant, employed in cleaning the door-steps. By this functionary he was referred to the doubtful page, who appeared with dishevelled hair and a very warm and glossy face, as of a page who had just got out of bed.

By this young gentleman he was informed that Miss Nickleby was then taking her morning's walk in the gardens before the house. On the question being propounded whether he could go and find her, the page desponded and thought not; but being stimulated with a shilling, the page grew sanguine and thought he could.

`Say to Miss Nickleby that her brother is here, and in great haste to see her,' said Nicholas.

The plated buttons disappeared with an alacrity most unusual to them, and Nicholas paced the room in a state of feverish agitation which made the delay even of a minute insupportable. He soon heard a light footstep which he well knew, and before he could advance to meet her, Kate had fallen on his neck and burst into tears.

`My darling girl,' said Nicholas as he embraced her. `How pale you are!'

`I have been so unhappy here, dear brother,' sobbed poor Kate; `so very, very miserable. Do not leave me here, dear Nicholas, or I shall die of a broken heart.'

`I will leave you nowhere,' answered Nicholas--`never again, Kate,' he cried, moved in spite of himself as he folded her to his heart. `Tell me that I acted for the best. Tell me that we parted because I feared to bring misfortune on your head; that it was a trial to me no less than to yourself, and that if I did wrong it was in ignorance of the world and unknowingly.'

`Why should I tell you what we know so well?' returned Kate soothingly. `Nicholas--dear Nicholas--how can you give way thus?'

`It is such bitter reproach to me to know what you have undergone,' returned her brother; `to see you so much altered, and yet so kind and patient. God!' cried Nicholas, clenching his fist and suddenly changing his tone and manner, `it sets my whole blood on fire again. You must leave here with me directly; you should not have slept here last night, but that I knew all this too late. To whom can I speak, before we drive away?'

This question was most opportunely put, for at that instant Mr Wititterly walked in, and to him Kate introduced her brother, who at once announced his purpose, and the impossibility of deferring it.

`The quarter's notice,' said Mr Wititterly, with the gravity of a man on the right side, `is not yet half expired. Therefore--'

`Therefore,' interposed Nicholas, `the quarter's salary must be lost, sir. You will excuse this extreme haste, but circumstances require that I should immediately remove my sister, and I have not a moment's time to lose. Whatever she brought here I will send for, if you will allow me, in the course of the day.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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