Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/200

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184
Oliver Twist.

faithfully repeated to these men, will be sufficient to exonerate him."

"I doubt it, my dear young lady," said the doctor, shaking his head. "I don't think it would exonerate him, either with them or with legal functionaries of a higher grade. What is he, after all, they would say?—a runaway. Judged by mere world considerations and probabilities, his story is a very doubtful one."

"You credit it, surely?" interrupted Rose in haste.

"I believe it, strange as it is, and perhaps may be an old fool for doing so," rejoined the doctor: "but I don't think it is exactly the tale for a practised police-officer, nevertheless."

"Why not?" demanded Rose.

"Because, my pretty cross-examiner," replied the doctor, "because, viewed with their eyes, there are so many ugly points about it; he can only prove the parts that look bad, and none of those that look well. Confound the fellows, they will have the why and the wherefore, and take nothing for granted. On his