Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/28

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OLIVER TWIST.

left for the surname, and then follows the date, which is within a year before the child was born; I found out that."

"And this is all?" said Monks, after a close and eager scrutiny of the contents of the little packet.

"All," replied the woman.

Mr. Bumble drew a long breath, as if he were glad to find that the story was over, and no mention made of taking the five-and-twenty pounds back again; and now took courage to wipe off the perspiration, which had been trickling over his nose unchecked during the whole of the previous conversation.

"I know nothing of the story beyond what I can guess at," said his wife, addressing Monks after a short silence, "and I want to know nothing, for it's safer not. But I may ask you two questions, may I?"

"You may ask," said Monks, with some show of surprise, "but whether I answer or not is another question."

"—Which makes three," observed Mr. Bumble, essaying a stroke of facetiousness.