Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/98

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
84
OLIVER TWIST.

ground. She couldn't rest there. The worms would worry—not eat her,—she is so worn away."

The undertaker offered no reply to this raving, but producing a tape from his pocket, knelt down for a moment by the side of the body.

"Ah!"" said the man, bursting into tears, and sinking on his knees at the feet of the dead woman; "kneel down, kneel down—kneel round her every one of you, and mark my words. I say she was starved to death. I never knew how bad she was till the fever came upon her, and then her bones were starting through the skin. There was neither fire nor candle; she died in the dark—in the dark. She couldn't even see her children's faces, though we heard her gasping out their names. I begged for her in the streets, and they sent me to prison. When I came back, she was dying; and all the blood in my heart has dried up, for they starved her to death. I swear it before the God that saw it,—they starved her!"—He twined his hands in his hair, and with a loud scream rolled