Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/283

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259
OLIVER TWIST.

that the dispute might really end in his being taken back.

"Come, hand over, will you?" said Sikes.

"This is hardly fair, Bill; hardly fair, is it, Nancy?" inquired the Jew.

"Fair, or not fair," retorted Sikes, "hand it over, I tell you! Do you think Nancy and me has got nothing else to do with our precious time but to spend it in scouting arter and kidnapping every young boy as gets grabbed through you? Give it here, you avaricious old skeleton; give it here!"

With this gentle remonstrance, Mr. Sikes plucked the note from between the Jew's finger and thumb; and, looking the old man coolly in the face, folded it up small, and tied it in his neckerchief.

"That 's for our share of the trouble," said Sikes; "and not half enough, neither. You may keep the books, if you 're fond of reading, and if not, you can sell 'em."

"They 're very pretty," said Charley Bates, who with sundry grimaces had been affecting to read one of the volumes in question; "beautiful