Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/293

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name that his friends might never know of his retreat; and here, no great while afterwards, he was found dead in his bed. The girl had left her home in secret some weeks before; he had searched for her on foot in every town and village near, and it was on the night that he returned home, assured that she had destroyed herself to hide her shame and his, that his old heart broke."

There was a short silence here, until Mr. Brownlow took up the thread of the narrative.

"Years after this," he said, "this man's—Edward Leeford's—mother came to me. He had left her when only eighteen, robbed her of jewels and money, gambled, squandered, forged, and fled to London, where for two years he had associated with the lowest outcasts. She was sinking under a painful and incurable disease, and wished to recover him before she died. Inquiries were set on foot; strict searches made, unavailing for a long time, but ultimately successful; and he went back with her to France."

"There she died," said Monks, "after a lingering illness; and on her death-bed she