Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/155

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137
OLIVER TWIST.

other articles of jewellery, of such magnificent materials and costly workmanship that Oliver had no idea even of their names.

Having replaced these trinkets, the Jew took out another, so small that it lay in the palm of his hand. There seemed to be some very minute inscription on it, for the Jew laid it flat upon the table, and, shading it with his hand, pored over it long and earnestly. At length he put it down as if despairing of success, and, leaning back in his chair, muttered,—

"What a fine thing capital punishment is! Dead men never repent; dead men never bring awkward stories to light. Ah, it 's a fine thing for the trade! Five of them strung up in a row, and none left to play booty or turn white-livered!"

As the Jew uttered these words, his bright dark eyes which had been staring vacantly before him, fell on Oliver's face; the boy's eyes were fixed on his in mute curiosity, and, although the recognition was only for an instant—for the briefest space of time that can possibly be conceived,—it was enough to show the old man