Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/356

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Mr. Sikes while her back was turned, groped down stairs.

"Always the way," muttered the Jew to himself as he turned homewards. "The worst of these women is, that a very little thing serves to call up some long-forgotten feeling; and the best of them is, that it never lasts. Ha! ha! The man against the child, for a bag of gold!"

Beguiling the time with these pleasant reflections, Mr. Fagin wended his way through mud and mire to his gloomy abode, where the Dodger was sitting up, impatiently awaiting his return.

"Is Oliver a-bed ? I want to speak to him," was his first remark as they descended the stairs.

"Hours ago," replied the Dodger, throwing open a door. "Here he is!"

The boy was lying fast asleep on a rude bed upon the floor: so pale with anxiety and sadness, and the closeness of his prison, that he looked like death; not death as it shows in shroud and coffin, but in the guise it wears when life has