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OLIVER TWIST.

uttered below, would render blindness as common a disorder as measles; "what do you mean by it? Burn my body!—do you know who you are, and what you are?"

"Oh, yes, I know all about it," replied the girl, laughing hysterically, and shaking her head from side to side with a poor assumption of indifference.

"Well, then, keep quiet," rejoined Sikes with a growl like that he was accustomed to use when addressing his dog, "or I 'll quiet you for a good long time to come."

The girl laughed again, even less composedly than before, and, darting a hasty look at Sikes, turned her face aside, and bit her lip till the blood came.

"You're a nice one," added Sikes, as he surveyed her with a contemptuous air, "to take up the humane and genteel side! A pretty subject for the child, as you call him, to make a friend of!"

"God Almighty help me, I am!" cried the girl passionately; "and I wish I had been struck dead in the street, or changed places