‘I was — I was run after, sir,’ the girl panted, ‘and I wanted to get away.’
‘Run after?’ repeated Mr. Gradgrind. ‘Who would run after you?’
The question was unexpectedly and suddenly answered for her, by the colourless boy, Bitzer, who came round the corner with such blind speed and so little anticipating a stoppage on the pavement, that he brought himself up against Mr. Gradgrind’s waistcoat and rebounded into the road.
‘What do you mean, boy?’ said Mr. Gradgrind. ‘What are you doing? How dare you dash against — everybody — in this manner?’ Bitzer picked up his cap, which the