Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/347

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OLIVER TWIST.

"None,'" said Sikes, "'cept a centre-bit and a boy. The first we 've both got; the second you must find us."

"A boy! " exclaimed the Jew, "Oh! then it is a panel, eh?"

"Never mind wot it is!" replied Sikes; "I want a boy, and he mustn't be a big un. Lord!" said Mr. Sikes reflectively, "if I'd only got that young boy of Ned, the chimbley-sweeper's—he kept him small on purpose, and let him out by the job. But the father gets lagged, and then the Juvenile Delinquent Society comes, and takes the boy away from a trade where he was arning money, teaches him to read and write, and in time makes a 'prentice of him. And so they go on," said Mr. Sikes, his wrath rising with the recollection of his wrongs,—"so they go on; and, if they 'd got money enough, (which it 's a Providence they have not,) we shouldn't have half-a-dozen boys left in the whole trade in a year or two."

"No more we should," acquiesced the Jew