ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, WESTMINSTER
pointed to a solitary female figure flitting along the opposite side of the street. I knew it, readily, to be the figure that we sought.
"We crossed the road, and were pressing on towards her, when it occurred to me that she might be more disposed to feel a woman's interest in the lost girl, if we spoke to her in a quieter place, aloof from the crowd, and where we should be less observed. I advised my companion, therefore, that we should not address her yet, but follow her;… At length she turned into a dull, dark street, where the noise and crowd are lost; and I said, 'We may speak to her now;' and, mending our pace, we went after her.
"We were now down in Westminster. We had turned back to follow her, having encountered her coming towards us; and Westminster Abbey was the point at which she passed from the lights and noise of the leading streets. She proceeded so quickly, when she got free of the two currents of passengers setting towards and from the bridge, that, between this and the advance she had of us when she struck off, we were in the narrow water-side street by Millbank before we came up with her. At that moment she crossed the road, as if to avoid the footsteps that she heard so close behind;…
"I then signed to Mr. Peggotty to remain where he was, and emerged … to speak to her. I think she was talking to herself. I am sure, although absorbed in gazing at the water, that her shawl was off her shoulders, and that she was muffling her hands in it, in an unsettled and bewildered way, more like the action of a sleep-walker than a waking person.… I know, and never can forget, that there was that in her wild manner which gave me no assurance but