Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/326

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Oliver Twist.

"A many boys," observed Mr. Bumble, shaking his head despondingly.

"A murrain on the young devils!" cried the stranger impatiently; "I speak of one, a meek-looking pale-faced hound, who was apprenticed down here, to a coffin-maker (I wish he had made his coffin, and screwed his body in it), and who afterwards ran away to London, as it was supposed."

"Why you mean Oliver—young Twist?" said Mr. Bumble; "I remember him of course. There wasn't a obstinater young rascal—"

"It's not of him I want to hear; I've heard enough of him," said the stranger, stopping Mr. Bumble in the very outset of a tirade on the subject of poor Oliver's vices. "It's of a woman, the hag that nursed his mother. Where is she?"

"There is she?" said Mr. Bumble, whom the gin-and-water had rendered facetious. "It would be hard to tell. There's no midwifery there, whichever place she's gone to; so I suppose she's out of employment any way."