stolen 'em. Ha! ha!" chuckled the Jew, rubbing his hands; "it couldn't have happened better if we had chosen our time!"
"Of course it couldn't," replied Sikes; "I know'd that, directly I see him coming through Clerkenwell with the books under his arm. It 's all right enough. They're soft-hearted psalm-singers, or they wouldn't have taken him in at all, and they 'll ask no questions arter him, fear they should be obliged to prosecute, and so get him lagged. He 's safe enough."
Oliver had looked from one to the other while these words were being spoken, as if he were bewildered, and could scarcely understand what passed; but when Bill Sikes concluded, he jumped suddenly to his feet, and tore wildly from the room, uttering shrieks for help which made the bare old house echo to the roof.
"Keep back the dog, Bill!" cried Nancy, springing before the door, and closing it as the Jew and his two pupils darted out in pursuit; "keep back the dog; he 'll tear the boy to pieces."
"Serve him right!" cried Sikes, struggling