Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/101

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"Now, you must put your best leg foremost, old lady," whispered Sowerberry in the old woman's ear; "we are rather late, and it won't do to keep the clergyman waiting. Move on, my men,—as quick as you like."

Thus directed, the bearers trotted on under their light burden, and the two mourners kept as near them as they could. Mr. Bumble and Sowerberry walked at a good smart pace in front; and Oliver, whose legs were not so long as his master's, ran by the side.

There was not so great a necessity for hurrying as Mr. Sowerberry had anticipated, however; for when they reached the obscure corner of the churchyard in which the nettles grew, and the parish graves were made, the clergyman had not arrived, and the clerk, who was sitting by the vestry-room fire, seemed to think it by no means improbable that it might be an hour or so before he came. So they put the bier down on the brink of the grave; and the two mourners waited patiently in the damp clay with a cold rain drizzling down, while the ragged boys, whom the spectacle had attracted into