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The jailer took the disengaged hand of Oliver; and, whispering
him not to be alarmed, looked on without speaking.
'Take him away to bed!' cried Fagin. 'Do you hear me, some of
you? He has been the--the--somehow the cause of all this. It's
worth the money to bring him up to it--Bolter's throat, Bill;
never mind the girl--Bolter's throat as deep as you can cut. Saw
his head off!'
'Fagin,' said the jailer.
'That's me!' cried the Jew, falling instantly, into the attitude
of listening he had assumed upon his trial. 'An old man, my
Lord; a very old, old man!'
'Here,' said the turnkey, laying his hand upon his breast to keep
him down. 'Here's somebody wants to see you, to ask you some
questions, I suppose. Fagin, Fagin! Are you a man?'
'I shan't be one long,' he replied, looking up with a face
retaining no human expression but rage and terror. 'Strike them
all dead! What right have they to butcher me?'
As he spoke he caught sight of Oliver and Mr. Brownlow. Shrinking
to the furthest corner of the seat, he demanded to know what they
'Steady,' said the turnkey, still holding him down. 'Now, sir,
tell him what you want. Quick, if you please, for he grows worse
as the time gets on.'
'You have some papers,' said Mr. Brownlow advancing, 'which were
placed in your hands, for better security, by a man called
'It's all a lie together,' replied Fagin. 'I haven't one--not
'For the love of God,' said Mr. Brownlow solemnly, 'do not say
that now, upon the very verge of death; but tell me where they
are. You know that Sikes is dead; that Monks has confessed; that
there is no hope of any further gain. Where are those papers?'
'Oliver,' cried Fagin, beckoning to him. 'Here, here! Let me
whisper to you.'
'I am not afraid,' said Oliver in a low voice, as he relinquished
Mr. Brownlow's hand.
'The papers,' said Fagin, drawing Oliver towards him, 'are in a
canvas bag, in a hole a little way up the chimney in the top
front-room. I want to talk to you, my dear. I want to talk to
'Yes, yes,' returned Oliver. 'Let me say a prayer. Do! Let me
say one prayer. Say only one, upon your knees, with me, and we
will talk till morning.'
'Outside, outside,' replied Fagin, pushing the boy before him
towards the door, and looking vacantly over his head. 'Say I've
gone to sleep--they'll believe you. You can get me out, if you
take me so. Now then, now then!'
'Oh! God forgive this wretched man!' cried the boy with a burst
'That's right, that's right,' said Fagin. 'That'll help us on.
This door first. If I shake and tremble, as we pass the gallows,
don't you mind, but hurry on. Now, now, now!'
'Have you nothing else to ask him, sir?' inquired the turnkey.
'No other question,' replied Mr. Brownlow. 'If I hoped we could
recall him to a sense of his position--'
'Nothing will do that, sir,' replied the man, shaking his head.
'You had better leave him.'
The door of the cell opened, and the attendants returned.
'Press on, press on,' cried Fagin. 'Softly, but not so slow.
The men laid hands upon him, and disengaging Oliver from his
grasp, held him back. He struggled with the power of
desperation, for an instant; and then sent up cry upon cry that
penetrated even those massive walls, and rang in their ears until
they reached the open yard.
It was some time before they left the prison. Oliver nearly
swooned after this frightful scene, and was so weak that for an
hour or more, he had not the strength to walk.
Day was dawning when they again emerged. A great multitude had
already assembled; the windows were filled with people, smoking
and playing cards to beguile the time; the crowd were pushing,
quarrelling, joking. Everything told of life and animation, but
one dark cluster of objects in the centre of all--the black stage,
the cross-beam, the rope, and all the hideous apparatus of death.
The fortunes of those who have figured in this tale are nearly
closed. The little that remains to their historian to relate, is
told in few and simple words.
Before three months had passed, Rose Fleming and Harry Maylie
were married in the village church which was henceforth to be the
scene of the young clergyman's labours; on the same day they
entered into possession of their new and happy home.
Mrs. Maylie took up her abode with her son and daughter-in-law,
to enjoy, during the tranquil remainder of her days, the greatest
felicity that age and worth can know--the contemplation of the
happiness of those on whom the warmest affections and tenderest
cares of a well-spent life, have been unceasingly bestowed.
It appeared, on full and careful investigation, that if the wreck
of property remaining in the custody of Monks (which had never
prospered either in his hands or in those of his mother) were
equally divided between himself and Oliver, it would yield, to
each, little more than three thousand pounds. By the provisions
of his father's will, Oliver would have been entitled to the
whole; but Mr. Brownlow, unwilling to deprive the elder son of
the opportunity of retrieving his former vices and pursuing an
honest career, proposed this mode of distribution, to which his
young charge joyfully acceded.
Monks, still bearing that assumed name, retired with his portion
to a distant part of the New World; where, having quickly
squandered it, he once more fell into his old courses, and, after
undergoing a long confinement for some fresh act of fraud and
knavery, at length sunk under an attack of his old disorder, and
died in prison. As far from home, died the chief remaining
members of his friend Fagin's gang.
Mr. Brownlow adopted Oliver as his son. Removing with him and
the old housekeeper to within a mile of the parsonage-house,
where his dear friends resided, he gratified the only remaining
wish of Oliver's warm and earnest heart, and thus linked together
a little society, whose condition approached as nearly to one of
perfect happiness as can ever be known in this changing world.
Soon after the marriage of the young people, the worthy doctor
returned to Chertsey, where, bereft of the presence of his old
friends, he would have been discontented if his temperament had
admitted of such a feeling; and would have turned quite peevish
if he had known how. For two or three months, he contented
himself with hinting that he feared the air began to disagree
with him; then, finding that the place really no longer was, to
him, what it had been, he settled his business on his assistant,
took a bachelor's cottage outside the village of which his young
friend was pastor, and instantaneously recovered. Here he took
to gardening, planting, fishing, carpentering, and various other
pursuits of a similar kind: all undertaken with his
characteristic impetuosity. In each and all he has since become
famous throughout the neighborhood, as a most profound authority.
Before his removal, he had managed to contract a strong
friendship for Mr. Grimwig, which that eccentric gentleman
cordially reciprocated. He is accordingly visited by Mr. Grimwig
a great many times in the course of the year. On all such
occasions, Mr. Grimwig plants, fishes, and carpenters, with great
ardour; doing everything in a very singular and unprecedented
manner, but always maintaining with his favourite asseveration,
that his mode is the right one. On Sundays, he never fails to
criticise the sermon to the young clergyman's face: always
informing Mr. Losberne, in strict confidence afterwards, that he
considers it an excellent performance, but deems it as well not
to say so. It is a standing and very favourite joke, for Mr.
Brownlow to rally him on his old prophecy concerning Oliver, and
to remind him of the night on which they sat with the watch
between them, waiting his return; but Mr. Grimwig contends that
he was right in the main, and, in proof thereof, remarks that
Oliver did not come back after all; which always calls forth a
laugh on his side, and increases his good humour.
Mr. Noah Claypole: receiving a free pardon from the Crown in
consequence of being admitted approver against Fagin: and
considering his profession not altogether as safe a one as he
could wish: was, for some little time, at a loss for the means
of a livelihood, not burdened with too much work. After some
consideration, he went into business as an Informer, in which
calling he realises a genteel subsistence. His plan is, to walk
out once a week during church time attended by Charlotte in
respectable attire. The lady faints away at the doors of
charitable publicans, and the gentleman being accommodated with
three-penny worth of brandy to restore her, lays an information
next day, and pockets half the penalty. Sometimes Mr. Claypole
faints himself, but the result is the same.
Mr. and Mrs. Bumble, deprived of their situations, were gradually
reduced to great indigence and misery, and finally became paupers
in that very same workhouse in which they had once lorded it over
others. Mr. Bumble has been heard to say, that in this reverse
and degradation, he has not even spirits to be thankful for being
separated from his wife.