not returned, Mr. Fagin again turned his face homeward, leaving his young friend asleep with her head upon the table.
It was within an hour of midnight, and the weather being dark and piercing cold, he had no great temptation to loiter. The sharp wind that scoured the streets seemed to have cleared them of passengers as of dust and mud, for few people were abroad, and they were to all appearance hastening fast home. It blew from the right quarter for the Jew, however: and straight before it he went, trembling and shivering as every fresh gust drove him rudely on his way.
He had reached the corner of his own street, and was already fumbling in his pocket for the door-key, when a dark figure emerged from a projecting entrance which lay in deep shadow, and, crossing the road, glided up to him unperceived.
"Fagin!" whispered a voice close to his ear.
"Ah!" said the Jew, turning quickly round. "Is that—"