Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/84

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Oliver Twist.

"Hush, hush!" said one of the women, stooping over her—"lie down, lie down!"

"I'll never lie down again alive!" said the woman, struggling. "I will tell her! Come here— nearer. Let me whisper in your ear."

She clutched the matron by the arm, and forcins: her into a chair by the bedside was about to speak, when, looking round, she caught sight of the two old women bending forward in the attitude of eager listeners.

"Turn them away," said the woman, drowsily; "make haste—make haste!"

The two old crones, chiming in together, began pouring out many piteous lamentations that the poor dear was too far gone to know her best friends, and uttering sundry protestations that they would never leave her, when the superior pushed them from the room, closed the door, and returned to the bedside. On being excluded, the old ladies changed their tone, and cried through the keyhole that old Sally was drunk; which, indeed, was not unlikely, since, in addition to a moderate dose of opium prescribed by the apothecary, she was