Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/300

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

the public character, who, repressing a complacent smile by looking sternly at his cocked hat, said,

"Mrs. Mann, I am a-going to London."

"Lauk, Mr. Bumble!" said Mrs. Mann, starting back.

"To London, ma'am," resumed the inflexible beadle, "by coach; I and two paupers, Mrs. Mann. A legal action is coming on about a settlement, and the board has appointed me—me, Mrs. Mann—to depose to the matter before the quarter-sessions at Clerkinwell; and I very much question," added Mr. Bumble, drawing himself up, "whether the Clerkinwell Sessions will not find themselves in the wrong box before they have done with me."

"Oh! you mustn't be too hard upon them, sir," said Mrs. Mann coaxingly.

"The Clerkinwell Sessions have brought it upon themselves, ma'am," replied Mr. Bumble; "and if the Clerkinwell Sessions find that they come off rather worse than they expected, the Clerkinwell Sessions have only themselves to thank."