Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/264

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
246
Oliver Twist.

time to time with much interest and curiosity at the new-corner. He seemed about five-and-twenty years of age, and was of the middle height, his countenance was frank and handsome, and his demeanour singularly easy and prepossessing. Notwithstanding the differences between youth and age, he bore so strong a likeness to the old lady, that Oliver would have had no great difficulty in imagining their relationship, even if he had not already spoken of her as his mother.

Mrs. Maylie was anxiously waiting to receive her son when he reached the cottage, and the meeting did not take place without great emotion on both sides.

"Oh, mother," whispered the young man, "why did you not write before?"

"I did write," replied Mrs. Maylie; "but, on reflection, I determined to keep back the letter until I had heard Mr. Losberne's opinion."

"But why," said the young man, "why run the chance of that occurring which so nearly happened? If Rose had—I cannot utter that