Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/287

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
263
OLIVER TWIST.

speaking very loud. "Come, what do you think of that?"

Mr. Fagin was sufficiently well acquainted with the manners and customs of that particular species of humanity to which Nancy belonged, to feel tolerably certain that it would be rather unsafe to prolong any conversation with her at present. With the view of diverting the attention of the company, he turned to Oliver.

"So you wanted to get away, my dear, did you?" said the Jew, taking up a jagged and knotted club which lay in a corner of the fire-place; "eh?"

Oliver made no reply, but he watched the Jew's motions and breathed quickly.

"Wanted to get assistance,—called for the police, did you?" sneered the Jew, catching the boy by the arm. "We 'll cure you of that, my young master."

The Jew inflicted a smart blow on Oliver's shoulders with the club, and was raising it for a second, when the girl, rushing forward, wrested it from his hand, and flung it into the fire with a force that brought some of the glowing coals whirling out into the room.