Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/17

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"I know they will always keep one till it's found out," said Monks contemptuously.

"And what may that be?" asked the matron in the same tone.

"The loss of their own good name," replied Monks: "so, by the same rule, if a woman's a party to a secret that might hang or transport her, I'm not afraid of her telling it to any body, not I. Do you understand me?"

"No," rejoined the matron, slightly colouring as she spoke.

"Of course you don't!" said Monks ironically. "How should you?"

Bestowing something half-way between a sneer and a scowl upon his two companions, and again beckoning them to follow him, the man hastened across the apartment, which was of considerable extent, but low in the roof, and was preparing to ascend a steep staircase, or rather ladder, leading to another floor of warehouses above, when a bright flash of lightning streamed down the aperture, and a peal of thunder followed, which shook the crazy building to its centre.