Oliver Twist HTML version

Chapter 13
'Where's Oliver?' said the Jew, rising with a menacing look. 'Where's the boy?'
The young thieves eyed their preceptor as if they were alarmed at his violence; and
looked uneasily at each other. But they made no reply.
'What's become of the boy?' said the Jew, seizing the Dodger tightly by the collar, and
threatening him with horrid imprecations. 'Speak out, or I'll throttle you!'
Mr. Fagin looked so very much in earnest, that Charley Bates, who deemed it prudent in
all cases to be on the safe side, and who conceived it by no means improbable that it
might be his turn to be throttled second, dropped upon his knees, and raised a loud, well-
sustained, and continuous roar--something between a mad bull and a speaking trumpet.
'Will you speak?' thundered the Jew: shaking the Dodger so much that his keeping in the
big coat at all, seemed perfectly miraculous.
'Why, the traps have got him, and that's all about it,' said the Dodger, sullenly. 'Come, let
go o' me, will you!' And, swinging himself, at one jerk, clean out of the big coat, which
he left in the Jew's hands, the Dodger snatched up the toasting fork, and made a pass at
the merry old gentleman's waistcoat; which, if it had taken effect, would have let a little
more merriment out, than could have been easily replaced.
The Jew stepped back in this emergency, with more agility than could have been
anticipated in a man of his apparent decrepitude; and, seizing up the pot, prepared to hurl
it at his assailant's head. But Charley Bates, at this moment, calling his attention by a
perfectly terrific howl, he suddenly altered its destination, and flung it full at that young
'Why, what the blazes is in the wind now!' growled a deep voice. 'Who pitched that 'ere at
me? It's well it's the beer, and not the pot, as hit me, or I'd have settled somebody. I might
have know'd, as nobody but an infernal, rich, plundering, thundering old Jew could afford
to throw away any drink but water--and not that, unless he done the River Company
every quarter. Wot's it all about, Fagin? D--me, if my neck-handkercher an't lined with
beer! Come in, you sneaking warmint; wot are you stopping outside for, as if you was
ashamed of your master! Come in!'
The man who growled out these words, was a stoutly-built fellow of about five-and-
thirty, in a black velveteen coat, very soiled drab breeches, lace-up half boots, and grey
cotton stockings which inclosed a bulky pair of legs, with large swelling calves;--the kind
of legs, which in such costume, always look in an unfinished and incomplete state