Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/231

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This was a vagrant of sixty-five, who was going to prison for ot playing the flute, or, in other words, for begging in the streets, and doing nothing for his livelihood. In the next cell was another man, who was going to the same prison for hawking tin saucepans without a licence: thereby doing something for his living in defiance of the Stamp-office.

But, as neither of these criminals answered to the name of Oliver, or knew anything about him, Nancy made straight up to the bluff officer in the striped waistcoat, and with the most piteous wailings and lamentations, rendered more piteous by a prompt and efficient use of the street-door key and the little basket, demanded her own dear brother.

"I haven't got him, my dear," said the old man.

"Where is he?" screamed Nancy in a distracted manner.

"Why, the gentleman 's got him," replied the officer.

"What gentleman?—Oh, gracious heavens! what gentleman?" exclaimed Nancy.