"It's quite a cruelty," said Charlotte.
"So it is," acquiesced Mr. Claypole. "Ain't yer fond of oysters?"
"Not overmuch," replied Charlotte. "I like to see you eat 'em, Noah dear, better than eating them myself."
"Lor'!" said Noah reflectively; "how queer!"
"Have another?" said Charlotte. "Here's one with such a beautiful, delicate beard!"
"I can't manage any more," said Noah. "I'm very sorry. Come here, Charlotte, and I'll kiss yer."
"What!" said Mr. Bumble, bursting into the room. "Say that again, sir."
Charlotte uttered a scream, and hid her face in her apron; while Mr. Claypole, without making any further change in his position than suffering his legs to reach the ground, gazed at the beadle in drunken terror.
"Say it again, you vile, owdacious fellow!" said Mr. Bumble. "How dare you mention such a thing, sir? And how dare you encourage him, you insolent minx? Kiss her!" ex-