Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/270

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
248
OLIVER TWIST.

these? You 've been a-stealing 'em, have you? Give 'em here!" With these words the man tore the volumes from his grasp, and struck him violently on the head.

"That 's right!" cried a looker-on, from a garret-window. "That 's the only way of bringing him to his senses!"

"To be sure," cried a sleepy-faced carpenter, casting an approving look at the garret-window.

"It 'll do him good!" said the two women.

"And he shall have it, too!" rejoined the man, administering another blow, and seizing Oliver by the collar. "Come on, you young villain! Here, Bull's-eye, mind him, boy! mind him!"

Weak with recent illness, stupified by the blows and the suddenness of the attack, terrified by the fierce growling of the dog and the brutality of the man, and overpowered by the conviction of the by-standers that he was really the hardened little wretch he was described to be, what could one poor child do! Darkness had set in; it was a low neighbourhood; no help