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Chapter 38: CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF WHAT PASSED BETWEEN MR. AND MRS. BUMBLE, AND MR. MONKS, AT THEIR NOCTURNAL INTERVIEW (continued)
In the heart of this cluster of huts; and skirting the river, which its upper stories overhung; stood a large building, formerly used as a manufactory of some kind. It had, in its day, probably furnished employment to the inhabitants of the surrounding tenements. But it had long since gone to ruin. The rat, the worm, and the action of the damp, had weakened and rotted the piles on which it stood; and a considerable portion of the building had already sunk down into the water; while the remainder, tottering and bending over the dark stream, seemed to wait a favourable opportunity of following its old companion, and involving itself in the same fate.
It was before this ruinous building that the worthy couple paused, as the first peal of distant thunder reverberated in the air, and the rain commenced pouring violently down.
'The place should be somewhere here,' said Bumble, consulting a scrap of paper he held in his hand.
'Halloa there!' cried a voice from above.
Following the sound, Mr. Bumble raised his head and descried a man looking out of a door, breast-high, on the second story.
'Stand still, a minute,' cried the voice; 'I'll be with you directly.' With which the head disappeared, and the door closed.
'Is that the man?' asked Mr. Bumble's good lady.
Mr. Bumble nodded in the affirmative.
'Then, mind what I told you,' said the matron: 'and be careful to say as little as you can, or you'll betray us at once.'
Mr. Bumble, who had eyed the building with very rueful looks, was apparently about to express some doubts relative to the advisability of proceeding any further with the enterprise just then, when he was prevented by the appearance of Monks: w ho opened a small door, near which they stood, and beckoned them inwards.
'Come in!' he cried impatiently, stamping his foot upon the ground. 'Don't keep me here!'
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