Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/322

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Oliver Twist.

and thought in his impatience he might supply the blank.

"I see you were not," said the stranger, an expression of quiet sarcasm playing about his mouth, "or you would have known my name. You don't know it, and I should recommend you not to inquire."

"I meant no harm, young man," observed Mr. Bumble, majestically.

"And have done none," said the stranger.

Another silence succeeded this short dialogue, which was again broken by the stranger.

"I have seen you before, I think," said he. "You were differently dressed at that time, and I only passed you in the street, but I should know you again. You were beadle here once, were you not?"

"I was," said Mr. Bumble, in some surprise. "Porochial beadle."

"Just so," rejoined the other, nodding his head. "It was in that character I saw you. "What are you now?"

"Master of the workhouse," rejoined Mr. Bumble, slowly and impressively, to check any