Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/315

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

by a few dim lamps, into the interior of the prison.

Here he was searched, that he might not have about him the means of anticipating the law; this ceremony performed, they led him to one of the condemned cells, and left him there—alone.

He sat down on a stone bench opposite the door, which served for seat and bedstead, and casting his bloodshot eyes upon the ground tried to collect his thoughts. After a while he began to remember a few disjointed fragments of what the judge had said, though it had seemed to him at the time that he could not hear a word. These gradually fell into their proper places, and by degrees suggested more, so that in a little time he had the whole almost as it was delivered. To be hanged by the neck till he was dead—that was the end. To be hanged by the neck till he was dead.

As it came on very dark, he began to think of all the men he had known who had died upon the scaffold—some of them through his means. They rose up in such quick succession that he could hardly count them. He had seen some