'Hallo!' cried a loud, hoarse voice, as soon as they set foot in the passage.
'Don't make such a row,' said Sikes, bolting the door. 'Show a glim, Toby.'
'Aha! my pal!' cried the same voice. 'A glim, Barney, a glim! Show the gentleman in,
Barney; wake up first, if convenient.'
The speaker appeared to throw a boot-jack, or some such article, at the person he
addressed, to rouse him from his slumbers: for the noise of a wooden body, falling
violently, was heard; and then an indistinct muttering, as of a man between sleep and
'Do you hear?' cried the same voice. 'There's Bill Sikes in the passage with nobody to do
the civil to him; and you sleeping there, as if you took laudanum with your meals, and
nothing stronger. Are you any fresher now, or do you want the iron candlestick to wake
A pair of slipshod feet shuffled, hastily, across the bare floor of the room, as this
interrogatory was put; and there issued, from a door on the right hand; first, a feeble
candle: and next, the form of the same individual who has been heretofore described as
labouring under the infirmity of speaking through his nose, and officiating as waiter at
the public-house on Saffron Hill.
'Bister Sikes!' exclaimed Barney, with real or counterfeit joy; 'cub id, sir; cub id.'
'Here! you get on first,' said Sikes, putting Oliver in front of him. 'Quicker! or I shall
tread upon your heels.'
Muttering a curse upon his tardiness, Sikes pushed Oliver before him; and they entered a
low dark room with a smoky fire, two or three broken chairs, a table, and a very old
couch: on which, with his legs much higher than his head, a man was reposing at full
length, smoking a long clay pipe. He was dressed in a smartly-cut snuff-coloured coat,
with large brass buttons; an orange neckerchief; a coarse, staring, shawl-pattern
waistcoat; and drab breeches. Mr. Crackit (for he it was) had no very great quantity of
hair, either upon his head or face; but what he had, was of a reddish dye, and tortured into
long corkscrew curls, through which he occasionally thrust some very dirty fingers,
ornamented with large common rings. He was a trifle above the middle size, and
apparently rather weak in the legs; but this circumstance by no means detracted from his
own admiration of his top-boots, which he contemplated, in their elevated situation, with