Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/177

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161
Oliver Twist.

have believed it." Talking all the way, he followed Mr. Giles up stairs; and while he is going up stairs, the reader may be informed that Mr. Losberne, a surgeon in the neighbourhood, known through a circuit of ten miles round as "the doctor," had grown fat more from goodhumour than from good living, and was as kind and hearty, and withal as eccentric an old bachelor, as will be found in five times that space by any explorer alive.

The doctor was absent much longer than either he or the ladies had anticipated. A large flat box was fetched out of the gig, and a bedroom bell was rung very often, and the servants ran up and down stairs perpetually; from which tokens it was justly concluded that something important was going on above. At length he returned; and in reply to an anxious inquiry after his patient, looked very mysterious, and closed the door carefully.

"This is a very extraordinary thing, Mrs. Maylie," said the doctor, standing with his back to the door as if to keep it shut.