Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/152

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Oliver Twist.

"You're a lie, Brittles," said Mr. Giles.

Now, these four retorts arose from Mr. Giles's taunt, and Mr. Giles's taunt had arisen from his indignation at having the responsibility of going home again, imposed upon himself under cover of a compliment. The third man brought the dispute to a close most philosophically. .

"I'll tell you what it is, gentlemen," said he, "we're all afraid."

"Speak for yourself, sir," said Mr. Giles, who was the palest of the party.

"So I do," replied the man. "It's natural and proper to be afraid, under such circumstances. I am."

"So am I," said Brittles, " only there's no call to tell a man he is, so bounceably."

These frank admissions softened Mr. Giles, who at once owned that he was afraid; upon which they all three faced about and ran back again with the completest unanimity, till Mr. Giles (who had the shortest wind of the party, and was encumbered with a pitchfork) most