Oliver Twist HTML version

Chapter 35
When the inmates of the house, attracted by Oliver's cries, hurried to the spot from which
they proceeded, they found him, pale and agitated, pointing in the direction of the
meadows behind the house, and scarcely able to articulate the words, 'The Jew! the Jew!'
Mr. Giles was at a loss to comprehend what this outcry meant; but Harry Maylie, whose
perceptions were something quicker, and who had heard Oliver's history from his mother,
understood it at once.
'What direction did he take?' he asked, catching up a heavy stick which was standing in a
'That,' replied Oliver, pointing out the course the man had taken; 'I missed them in an
'Then, they are in the ditch!' said Harry. 'Follow! And keep as near me, as you can.' So
saying, he sprang over the hedge, and darted off with a speed which rendered it matter of
exceeding difficulty for the others to keep near him.
Giles followed as well as he could; and Oliver followed too; and in the course of a minute
or two, Mr. Losberne, who had been out walking, and just then returned, tumbled over
the hedge after them, and picking himself up with more agility than he could have been
supposed to possess, struck into the same course at no contemptible speed, shouting all
the while, most prodigiously, to know what was the matter.
On they all went; nor stopped they once to breathe, until the leader, striking off into an
angle of the field indicated by Oliver, began to search, narrowly, the ditch and hedge
adjoining; which afforded time for the remainder of the party to come up; and for Oliver
to communicate to Mr. Losberne the circumstances that had led to so vigorous a pursuit.
The search was all in vain. There were not even the traces of recent footsteps, to be seen.
They stood now, on the summit of a little hill, commanding the open fields in every
direction for three or four miles. There was the village in the hollow on the left; but, in
order to gain that, after pursuing the track Oliver had pointed out, the men must have
made a circuit of open ground, which it was impossible they could have accomplished in
so short a time. A thick wood skirted the meadow-land in another direction; but they
could not have gained that covert for the same reason.
'It must have been a dream, Oliver,' said Harry Maylie.