Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/29

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

"Is that What you expected to get from me?" demanded the matron.

"It is," replied Monks. "The other question?—"

"What you propose to do with it. Can it be used against me?"

"Never," rejoined Monks; "nor against me either. See here; but don't move a step forward, or your life's not worth a bulrush!"

With these words he suddenly wheeled the table aside, and pulling an iron ring in the boarding, threw back a large trap-door which opened close at Mr. Bumble's feet, and caused that gentleman to retire several paces backward with great precipitation.

"Look down," said Monks, lowering the lantern into the gulf. "Don't fear me. I could have let you down quietly enough when you were seated over it, if that had been my game."

Thus encouraged, the matron drew near to the brink, and even Mr. Bumble himself, impelled by curiosity, ventured to do the same. The turbid water, swollen by the heavy rain,