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Oliver Twist

Chapter 36
IS A VERY SHORT ONE, AND MAY APPEAR OF NO GREAT IMPORTANCE
IN ITS PLACE, BUT IT SHOULD BE READ NOTWITHSTANDING, AS A
SEQUEL TO THE LAST, AND A KEY TO ONE THAT WILL FOLLOW WHEN
ITS TIME ARRIVES
'And so you are resolved to be my travelling companion this morning; eh?' said the
doctor, as Harry Maylie joined him and Oliver at the breakfast-table. 'Why, you are not in
the same mind or intention two half-hours together!'
'You will tell me a different tale one of these days,' said Harry, colouring without any
perceptible reason.
'I hope I may have good cause to do so,' replied Mr. Losberne; 'though I confess I don't
think I shall. But yesterday morning you had made up your mind, in a great hurry, to stay
here, and to accompany your mother, like a dutiful son, to the sea-side. Before noon, you
announce that you are going to do me the honour of accompanying me as far as I go, on
your road to London. And at night, you urge me, with great mystery, to start before the
ladies are stirring; the consequence of which is, that young Oliver here is pinned down to
his breakfast when he ought to be ranging the meadows after botanical phenomena of all
kinds. Too bad, isn't it, Oliver?'
'I should have been very sorry not to have been at home when you and Mr. Maylie went
away, sir,' rejoined Oliver.
'That's a fine fellow,' said the doctor; 'you shall come and see me when you return. But, to
speak seriously, Harry; has any communication from the great nobs produced this sudden
anxiety on your part to be gone?'
'The great nobs,' replied Harry, 'under which designation, I presume, you include my
most stately uncle, have not communicated with me at all, since I have been here; nor, at
this time of the year, is it likely that anything would occur to render necessary my
immediate attendance among them.'
'Well,' said the doctor, 'you are a queer fellow. But of course they will get you into
parliament at the election before Christmas, and these sudden shiftings and changes are
no bad preparation for political life. There's something in that. Good training is always
desirable, whether the race be for place, cup, or sweepstakes.'
Harry Maylie looked as if he could have followed up this short dialogue by one or two
remarks that would have staggered the doctor not a little; but he contented himself with
saying, 'We shall see,' and pursued the subject no farther. The post-chaise drove up to the
door shortly afterwards; and Giles coming in for the luggage, the good doctor bustled out,
to see it packed.
 
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