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to disengage himself from the girl's grasp. "Stand off from me, or I 'll split your skull against the wall."

"I don't care for that, Bill; I don't care for that," screamed the girl, struggling violently with the man: "the child shan't be torn down by the dog, unless you kill me first."

"Shan't he!" said Sikes, setting his teeth fiercely. "I 'll soon do that, if you don't keep off."

The housebreaker flung the girl from him to the further end of the room, just as the Jew and the two boys returned, dragging Oliver among them.

"What's the matter here?" said the Jew, looking round.

"The girl 's gone mad, I think," replied Sikes savagely.

"No, she hasn't," said Nancy, pale and breathless from the scuffle; "no, she hasn't, Fagin: don't think it."

"Then keep quiet, will you?" said the Jew with a threatening look.

"No, I won't do that neither," replied Nancy,