Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/272

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
252
OLIVER TWIST.

among you three, you'll help me. Murder. Help. Down with him."

Pouring out these cries, and accompanying them with violent gesticulation, the boy actually threw himself single-handed upon the strong man, and in the intensity of his energy and the suddenness of his surprise brought him heavily to the ground.

The three spectators seemed quite transfixed and stupefied. They offered no interference, and the boy and man rolled on the ground together, the former heedless of the blows that showered upon him, wrenching his hands tighter and tighter in the garments about the murderer's breast, and never ceasing to call for help with all his might.

The contest, however, was too unequal to last long. Sikes had him down and his knee was on his throat, when Crackit pulled him back with a look of alarm and pointed to the window. There were lights gleaming below, voices in loud and earnest conversation, the tramp of hurried footsteps—endless they seemed in number—crossing the nearest wooden-bridge. One man