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CHAPTER 49. I AM INVOLVED IN MYSTERY (continued)
I really had some fear of Mr. Micawber's dying on the spot. The manner in which he struggled through these inarticulate sentences, and, whenever he found himself getting near the name of Heep, fought his way on to it, dashed at it in a fainting state, and brought it out with a vehemence little less than marvellous, was frightful; but now, when he sank into a chair, steaming, and looked at us, with every possible colour in his face that had no business there, and an endless procession of lumps following one another in hot haste up his throat, whence they seemed to shoot into his forehead, he had the appearance of being in the last extremity. I would have gone to his assistance, but he waved me off, and wouldn't hear a word.
'No, Copperfield! - No communication - a - until - Miss Wickfield - a - redress from wrongs inflicted by consummate scoundrel - HEEP!' (I am quite convinced he could not have uttered three words, but for the amazing energy with which this word inspired him when he felt it coming.) 'Inviolable secret - a - from the whole world - a - no exceptions - this day week - a - at breakfast-time - a - everybody present - including aunt - a - and extremely friendly gentleman - to be at the hotel at Canterbury - a - where - Mrs. Micawber and myself - Auld Lang Syne in chorus - and - a - will expose intolerable ruffian - HEEP! No more to say - a - or listen to persuasion - go immediately - not capable - a - bear society - upon the track of devoted and doomed traitor - HEEP!'
With this last repetition of the magic word that had kept him going at all, and in which he surpassed all his previous efforts, Mr. Micawber rushed out of the house; leaving us in a state of excitement, hope, and wonder, that reduced us to a condition little better than his own. But even then his passion for writing letters was too strong to be resisted; for while we were yet in the height of our excitement, hope, and wonder, the following pastoral note was brought to me from a neighbouring tavern, at which he had called to write it: -
'Most secret and confidential.
'I beg to be allowed to convey, through you, my apologies to your excellent aunt for my late excitement. An explosion of a smouldering volcano long suppressed, was the result of an internal contest more easily conceived than described.
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