Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/159

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145
Oliver Twist.

stand; and if he were in full possession of all the best powers of his slight and youthful frame, where could he fly to? He pushed against the garden-gate; it was unlocked and swung open on its hinges. He tottered across the lawn, climbed the steps, knocked faintly at the door, and his whole strength failing him, sunk down against one of the pillars of the little portico.

It happened that about this time, Mr. Giles, Brittles, and the tinker were recruiting themselves after the fatigues and terrors of the night, with tea and sundries in the kitchen. Not that it was Mr. Giles's habit to admit to too great familiarity the humbler servants, towards whom it was rather his wont to deport himself with a lofty affability, which, while it gratified could not fail to remind them of his superior position in society. But death, fires, and burglary make all men equals; and Mr. Giles sat with his legs stretched out before the kitchen fender, leaning his left arm on the table, while with his right he illustrated a circumstantial and