Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/141

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OLIVER TWIST.

wind 's low with people than when it 's high, acos then they can't get workmen. But come," said the young gentleman; "you want grub, and you shall have it. I 'm at low-water-mark,—only one bob and a magpie; but, as far as it goes, I 'll fork out and stump. Up with you on your pins. There: now then. Morrice."

Assisting Oliver to rise, the young gentleman took him to an adjacent chandler's shop, where he purchased a sufficiency of ready-dressed ham and a half-quartern loaf, or, as he himself expressed it, "a fourpenny bran;" the ham being kept clean and preserved from dust by the ingenious expedient of making a hole in the loaf by pulling out a portion of the crumb, and stuffing it therein. Taking the bread under his arm, the young gentleman turned into a small public-house, and led the way to a tap-room in the rear of the premises. Here, a pot of beer was brought in by the direction of the mysterious youth; and Oliver, falling to, at his new friend's bidding, made a long and hearty meal, during the progress of which the strange boy eyed him from time to time with great attention.