Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/25

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
15
OLIVER TWIST.

"Not a soul," replied the woman; "we were alone: I stood alone beside the body when death came over it."

"Good," said Monks, regarding her attentively: "go on."

"She spoke of a young creature," resumed the matron, "who had brought a child into the world some years before: not merely in the same room, but in the same bed in which she then lay dying."

"Ay?" said Monks, with quivering lip, and glancing over his shoulder. "Blood! How things come about at last!"

"The child was the one you named to him last night," said the matron, nodding carelessly towards her husband; "the mother this nurse had robbed."

"In life?" asked Monks.

"In death," replied the woman, with something like a shudder. "She stole from the corpse, when it had hardly turned to one, that which the dead mother had prayed her with her last breath to keep for the infant's sake."

"She sold it?" cried Monks, with desperate