Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/119

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OLIVER TWIST.

of Mr. Bumble himself, who happened to be hard by, but alarmed him so much that he rushed into the yard without his cocked hat,—which is a very curious and remarkable circumstance, as showing that even a beadle, acted upon by a sudden and powerful impulse, may be afflicted with a momentary visitation of loss of self-possession, and forgetfulness of personal dignity.

"Oh, Mr. Bumble, sir!" said Noah; "Oliver, sir,— Oliver has——"

"What?— what?" interposed Mr. Bumble, with a gleam of pleasure in his metallic eyes. "Not run away; he hasn't run away, has he, Noah?"

"No, sir, no; not run away, sir, but he 's turned wicious," replied Noah. "He tried to murder me, sir, and then he tried to murder Charlotte, and then missis. Oh! what dreadful pain it is! such agony, please, sir!" and here Noah writhed and twisted his body into an extensive variety of eel-like positions; thereby giving Mr. Bumble to understand that, from the violent and sanguinary onset of Oliver