Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/24

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14
OLIVER TWIST.

coming up to break over the house-top, is gone, let's hear your story."

The roar of thunder, which seemed in fact much nearer, and to shiver and break almost over their heads, having subsided, Monks, raising his face from the table, bent forward to listen to what the woman should say. The faces of the three nearly touched as the two men leant over the small table in their eagerness to hear, and the woman also leant forward to render her whisper audible. The sickly rays of the suspended lantern falling directly upon them, aggravated the paleness and anxiety of their countenances, which, encircled by the deepest gloom and darkness, looked ghastly in the extreme.

"When this woman, that we called old Sally, died," the matron began, "she and I were alone."

"'Was there no one by?" asked Monks, in the same hollow whisper, "no sick wretch or idiot in some other bed?—no one who could hear, and might by possibility understand?"