"I'm glad to hear it," said Sikes, looking grimly at Oliver, "for the sake of his young carcase, as would otherways have suffered for it. Come here, young un, and let me read you a lectur', which is as well got over at once."
Thus addressing his new protégé, Mr. Sikes pulled off his cap and threw it into a corner; and then, taking him by the shoulder, sat himself down by the table, and stood Oliver in front of him.
"Now first, do you know wot this is?" inquired Sikes, taking up a pocket-pistol which lay on the table.
Oliver replied in the affirmative.
"Well then, look here," continued Sikes. "This is powder, that 'ere's a bullet, and this is a little bit of a old hat for waddin'."
Oliver murmured his comprehension of the different bodies referred to, and Mr. Sikes proceeded to load the pistol with great nicety and deliberation.
"Now it's loaded," said Mr. Sikes when he had finished.