Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/98

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ground. She couldn't rest there. The worms would worry—not eat her,—she is so worn away."

The undertaker offered no reply to this raving, but producing a tape from his pocket, knelt down for a moment by the side of the body.

"Ah!"" said the man, bursting into tears, and sinking on his knees at the feet of the dead woman; "kneel down, kneel down—kneel round her every one of you, and mark my words. I say she was starved to death. I never knew how bad she was till the fever came upon her, and then her bones were starting through the skin. There was neither fire nor candle; she died in the dark—in the dark. She couldn't even see her children's faces, though we heard her gasping out their names. I begged for her in the streets, and they sent me to prison. When I came back, she was dying; and all the blood in my heart has dried up, for they starved her to death. I swear it before the God that saw it,—they starved her!"—He twined his hands in his hair, and with a loud scream rolled