Poor Kate had regarded these proceedings, at first, in perfect bewilderment.
’Ods-bobs, dost thee not know me, mun?’ whispered the Yorkshireman to the bewildered lad.
’Don’t be alarmed,’ cried Nicholas, running down; ’here it is; it’s all out, it’s all over; pray compose yourselves; there’s no harm done;’ and with these, and a thousand other assurances, he delivered the baby (whom, in his hurry, he had carried upside down), to Mrs Kenwigs, and ran back to assist Mr Kenwigs, who was rubbing his head very hard, and looking much bewildered by his tumble.
There was a peace and serenity upon them all, strangely at variance with the bewilderment and confusion of his own half-sobered thoughts, and yet impressive and welcome.
Now, the noise of the wheels resolved itself into some wild tune in which he could recognise scraps of airs he knew; now, there was nothing in his ears but a stunning and bewildering sound, like rushing water.
Wherefore, although the good lady had been subjected to a full hour’s preparation by little Miss La Creevy, and was now addressed in most lucid terms both by Nicholas and his sister, she was in a state of singular bewilderment and confusion, and could by no means be made to comprehend the necessity of such hurried proceedings.
Glancing from her to the attendant, he recognised the same clumsy servant who had accompanied her then; and between his admiration of the young lady’s beauty, and the confusion and surprise of this unexpected recognition, he stood stock-still, in such a bewildered state of surprise and embarrassment that, for the moment, he was quite bereft of the power either to speak or move.
…Pyke and Pluck, knowing their cue, at once threw the party into great commotion by shouting for the carriages, and getting up a violent quarrel with sundry inoffensive bystanders; in the midst of which tumult they put the affrighted Mrs Nickleby in her chariot, and having got her safely off, turned their thoughts to Mrs Wititterly, whose attention also they had now effectually distracted from the young lady, by throwing her into a state of the utmost bewilderment and consternation.
…was increased twenty-fold, and an astounding string of such shrill contradictions as ’He’s poisoned himself’—’He hasn’t’—’Send for a doctor’—’Don’t’—’He’s dying’—’He isn’t, he’s only pretending’—with various other cries, poured forth with bewildering volubility, until Madame Mantalini was seen to address herself to Ralph, when female curiosity to know what she would say, prevailed, and, as if by general consent, a dead silence, unbroken by a single whisper, instantaneously succeeded.