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OLIVER TWIST.

others she laughed without merriment, and was noisy without cause or meaning. At others often within a moment afterwards—she sat silent and dejected, brooding with her head upon her hands, while the very effort by which she roused herself told more forcibly than even these indications that she was ill at ease, and that her thoughts were occupied with matters very different and distant from those in course of discussion by her companions.

It was Sunday night, and the bell of the nearest church struck the hour. Sikes and the Jew were talking, but they paused to listen. The girl looked up from the low seat on which she crouched and listened too, intently. Eleven.

"An hour this side of midnight," said Sikes, raising the blind to look out and returning to his seat. "Dark and heavy it is too. A good night for business this."

"Ah!" replied the Jew. "that a pity, Bill, my dear, that there 's none quite ready to be done."

"You're right for once," replied Sikes gruffly. "It is a pity, for I 'm in the humour too."