‘Even she turns from me, Mrs Todgers,’ said Moddle.
‘Then why don’t you try and be a little bit more cheerful, sir?’ retorted
‘Cheerful, Mrs Todgers! cheerful!’ cried the youngest gentleman;
‘when she reminds me of days for ever fled, Mrs Todgers!’
‘Then you had better avoid her for a short time, if she does,’ said Mrs
Todgers, ‘and come to know her again, by degrees. That’s my advice.’
‘But I can’t avoid her,’ replied Moddle, ‘I haven’t strength of mind to
do it. Oh, Mrs Todgers, if you knew what a comfort her nose is to me!’
‘Her nose, sir!’ Mrs Todgers cried.
‘Her profile, in general,’ said the youngest gentleman, ‘but particularly
her nose. It’s so like;’ here he yielded to a burst of grief. ‘it’s so like hers
who is Another’s, Mrs Todgers!’
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The observant matron did not fail to report this conversation to Charity,
who laughed at the time, but treated Mr Moddle that very evening
with increased consideration, and presented her side face to him as
much as possible. Mr Moddle was not less sentimental than usual; was
rather more so, if anything; but he sat and stared at her with glistening
eyes, and seemed grateful.
‘Well, sir!’ said the lady of the Boarding–House next day. ‘You held up
your head last night. You’re coming round, I think.’
‘Only because she’s so like her who is Another’s, Mrs Todgers,’ rejoined
the youth. ‘When she talks, and when she smiles, I think I’m looking
on HER brow again, Mrs Todgers.’