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'Hold your tongue, will you?' said the jailer.
'I'm an Englishman, ain't I?' rejoined the Dodger. 'Where are my
'You'll get your privileges soon enough,' retorted the jailer,
'and pepper with 'em.'
'We'll see wot the Secretary of State for the Home Affairs has
got to say to the beaks, if I don't,' replied Mr. Dawkins. 'Now
then! Wot is this here business? I shall thank the madg'strates
to dispose of this here little affair, and not to keep me while
they read the paper, for I've got an appointment with a genelman
in the City, and as I am a man of my word and wery punctual in
business matters, he'll go away if I ain't there to my time, and
then pr'aps ther won't be an action for damage against them as
kep me away. Oh no, certainly not!'
At this point, the Dodger, with a show of being very particular
with a view to proceedings to be had thereafter, desired the
jailer to communicate 'the names of them two files as was on the
bench.' Which so tickled the spectators, that they laughed
almost as heartily as Master Bates could have done if he had
heard the request.
'Silence there!' cried the jailer.
'What is this?' inquired one of the magistrates.
'A pick-pocketing case, your worship.'
'Has the boy ever been here before?'
'He ought to have been, a many times,' replied the jailer. 'He
has been pretty well everywhere else. _I_ know him well, your
'Oh! you know me, do you?' cried the Artful, making a note of the
statement. 'Wery good. That's a case of deformation of
character, any way.'
Here there was another laugh, and another cry of silence.
'Now then, where are the witnesses?' said the clerk.
'Ah! that's right,' added the Dodger. 'Where are they? I should
like to see 'em.'
This wish was immediately gratified, for a policeman stepped
forward who had seen the prisoner attempt the pocket of an
unknown gentleman in a crowd, and indeed take a handkerchief
therefrom, which, being a very old one, he deliberately put back
again, after trying in on his own countenance. For this reason,
he took the Dodger into custody as soon as he could get near him,
and the said Dodger, being searched, had upon his person a silver
snuff-box, with the owner's name engraved upon the lid. This
gentleman had been discovered on reference to the Court Guide,
and being then and there present, swore that the snuff-box was
his, and that he had missed it on the previous day, the moment he
had disengaged himself from the crowd before referred to. He had
also remarked a young gentleman in the throng, particularly
active in making his way about, and that young gentleman was the
prisoner before him.
'Have you anything to ask this witness, boy?' said the
'I wouldn't abase myself by descending to hold no conversation
with him' replied the Dodger.
'Have you anything to say at all?'
'Do you hear his worship ask if you've anything to say?' inquired
the jailer, nudging the silent Dodger with his elbow.
'I beg your pardon,' said the Dodger, looking up with an air of
abstraction. 'Did you redress yourself to me, my man?'
'I never see such an out-and-out young wagabond, your worship,'
observed the officer with a grin. 'Do you mean to say anything,
you young shaver?'
'No,' replied the Dodger, 'not here, for this ain't the shop for
justice: besides which, my attorney is a-breakfasting this
morning with the Wice President of the House of Commons; but I
shall have something to say elsewhere, and so will he, and so
will a wery numerous and 'spectable circle of acquaintance as'll
make them beaks wish they'd never been born, or that they'd got
their footmen to hang 'em up to their own hat-pegs, afore they
let 'em come out this morning to try it on upon me. I'll--'
'There! He's fully committed!' interposed the clerk. 'Take him
'Come on,' said the jailer.
'Oh ah! I'll come on,' replied the Dodger, brushing his hat with
the palm of his hand. 'Ah! (to the Bench) it's no use your
looking frightened; I won't show you no mercy, not a ha'porth of
it. YOU'LL pay for this, my fine fellers. I wouldn't be you for
something! I wouldn't go free, now, if you was to fall down on
your knees and ask me. Here, carry me off to prison! Take me
With these last words, the Dodger suffered himself to be led off
by the collar; threatening, till he got into the yard, to make a
parliamentary business of it; and then grinning in the officer's
face, with great glee and self-approval.
Having seen him locked up by himself in a little cell, Noah made
the best of his way back to where he had left Master Bates.
After waiting here some time, he was joined by that young
gentleman, who had prudently abstained from showing himself until
he had looked carefully abroad from a snug retreat, and
ascertained that his new friend had not been followed by any
The two hastened back together, to bear to Mr. Fagin the
animating news that the Dodger was doing full justice to his
bringing-up, and establishing for himself a glorious reputation.
THE TIME ARRIVES FOR NANCY TO REDEEM HER PLEDGE TO ROSE MAYLIE.
Adept as she was, in all the arts of cunning and dissimulation,
the girl Nancy could not wholly conceal the effect which the
knowledge of the step she had taken, wrought upon her mind. She
remembered that both the crafty Jew and the brutal Sikes had
confided to her schemes, which had been hidden from all others:
in the full confidence that she was trustworthy and beyond the
reach of their suspicion. Vile as those schemes were, desperate
as were their originators, and bitter as were her feelings
towards Fagin, who had led her, step by step, deeper and deeper
down into an abyss of crime and misery, whence was no escape;
still, there were times when, even towards him, she felt some
relenting, lest her disclosure should bring him within the iron
grasp he had so long eluded, and he should fall at last--richly
as he merited such a fate--by her hand.
But, these were the mere wanderings of a mind unwholly to detach
itself from old companions and associations, though enabled to
fix itself steadily on one object, and resolved not to be turned
aside by any consideration. Her fears for Sikes would have been
more powerful inducements to recoil while there was yet time; but
she had stipulated that her secret should be rigidly kept, she
had dropped no clue which could lead to his discovery, she had
refused, even for his sake, a refuge from all the guilt and
wretchedness that encompasses her--and what more could she do!
She was resolved.
Though all her mental struggles terminated in this conclusion,
they forced themselves upon her, again and again, and left their
traces too. She grew pale and thin, even within a few days. At
times, she took no heed of what was passing before her, or no
part in conversations where once, she would have been the
loudest. At other times, she laughed without merriment, and was
noisy without a moment afterwards--she sat silent and dejected,
brooding with her head upon her hands, while the very effort by
which she roused herself, told, more forcibly than even these
indications, that she was ill at ease, and that her thoughts were
occupied with matters very different and distant from those in
the course of discussion by her companions.
It was Sunday night, and the bell of the nearest church struck
the hour. Sikes and the Jew were talking, but they paused to
listen. The girl looked up from the low seat on which she
crouched, and listened too. Eleven.
'An hour this side of midnight,' said Sikes, raising the blind to
look out and returning to his seat. 'Dark and heavy it is too.
A good night for business this.'
'Ah!' replied Fagin. 'What a pity, Bill, my dear, that there's
none quite ready to be done.'
'You're right for once,' replied Sikes gruffly. 'It is a pity,
for I'm in the humour too.'
Fagin sighed, and shook his head despondingly.
'We must make up for lost time when we've got things into a good
train. That's all I know,' said Sikes.
'That's the way to talk, my dear,' replied Fagin, venturing to
pat him on the shoulder. 'It does me good to hear you.'
'Does you good, does it!' cried Sikes. 'Well, so be it.'
'Ha! ha! ha!' laughed Fagin, as if he were relieved by even this
concession. 'You're like yourself to-night, Bill. Quite like
'I don't feel like myself when you lay that withered old claw on
my shoulder, so take it away,' said Sikes, casting off the Jew's
'It make you nervous, Bill,--reminds you of being nabbed, does