Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/112

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98
OLIVER TWIST.

glaring over the cowardly tormentor who lay crouching at his feet, and defied him with an energy he had never known before.

"He 'll murder me!" blubbered Noah. "Charlotte! missis! here 's the new boy a-murdering of me! Help! help! Oliver's gone mad! Char—lotte!"

Noah's shouts were responded to by a loud scream from Charlotte, and a louder from Mrs. Sowerberry; the former of whom rushed into the kitchen by a side-door, while the latter paused on the staircase till she was quite certain that it was consistent with the preservation of human life to come further down.

"Oh, you little wretch!" screamed Charlotte, seizing Oliver with her utmost force, which was about equal to that of a moderately strong man in particularly good training,—"Oh, you little un-grate-ful, mur-de-rous, hor-rid villain!" and between every syllable Charlotte gave Oliver a blow with all her might, and accompanied it with a scream for the benefit of society.

Charlotte's fist was by no means a light one;