Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/47

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Master Bates, doing as he was desired. "Smelling the grub like a old lady a-going to market! He'd make his fortun on the stage that dog would, and rewive the drayma besides."

"Hold your din," cried Sikes, as the dog retreated under the bed, still growling angrily. "And what have you got to say for yourself, you withered old fence, eh?"

"I was away from London a week and more, my dear, on a plant," replied the Jew.

"And what about the other fortnight?" demanded Sikes. "What about the other fortnight that you've left me lying here, like a sick rat in his hole?"

"I couldn't help it, Bill," replied the Jew. "I can't go into a long explanation before company; but I couldn't help it, upon my honour."

"Upon your what?" growled Sikes with excessive disgust. "Here, cut me off a piece of the pie, one of you boys, to take the taste of that out of my mouth, or it'll choke me dead."

"Don't be out of temper, my dear," urged