’Where do you think the gentleman has come from, Oliver?’ inquired the Jew, with a grin, as the other boys put a bottle of spirits on the table.
’Who’s that?’ inquired Tom Chitling, casting a contemptuous look at Oliver.
You’re afraid of our getting the better of you, are you?’ inquired Sikes, fixing his eyes on the Jew.
’For business?’ inquired the Jew.
Wot about it?’ inquired Sikes.
Mr. Bumble walked on with long strides; little Oliver, firmly grasping his gold-laced cuff, trotted beside him, inquiring at the end of every quarter of a mile whether they were ’nearly there.’
’Are you fond of pictures, dear?’ inquired the old lady, seeing that Oliver had fixed his eyes, most intently, on a portrait which hung against the wall; just opposite his chair.
The parish authorities inquired with dignity of the workhouse authorities, whether there was no female then domiciled in ’the house’ who was in a situation to impart to Oliver Twist, the consolation and nourishment of which he stood in need.
’Do you think this respectful or proper conduct, Mrs. Mann,’ inquired Mr. Bumble, grasping his cane, ’to keep the parish officers a waiting at your garden-gate, when they come here upon porochial business with the porochial orphans?
’Is it a bargain?’ inquired Sikes.
’What now?’ inquired Sikes.
’But wot?’ inquired Sikes.
’Why, do you think?’ inquired Fagin, parrying the question.
Oliver saw that she was very pale, and gently inquired if she were ill.
’Did he come quiet?’ inquired Sikes.
’Now, first: do you know wot this is?’ inquired Sikes, taking up a pocket-pistol which lay on the table.
’Your father walks rather too quick for you, don’t he, my man?’ inquired the driver: seeing that Oliver was out of breath.
’So, you’re going on to Lower Halliford, are you?’ inquired Sikes.
’Crape, keys, centre-bits, darkies—nothing forgotten?’ inquired Toby: fastening a small crowbar to a loop inside the skirt of his coat.
Mr. Bumble?’ inquired the matron, taking up the sugar-basin.
’Did she say any more, Anny dear, while I was gone?’ inquired the messenger.
Pointing in the direction of Saffron Hill, he inquired whether any one was up yonder to-night.
’At the Cripples?’ inquired the man.
’Sikes is not, I suppose?’ inquired the Jew, with a disappointed countenance.
’What can I do for you, Mr. Fagin?’ inquired the man, as he followed him out to the landing.
’And no news of Barney?’ inquired Fagin.
’Monks, do you mean?’ inquired the landlord, hesitating.
She eyed his crafty face narrowly, as she inquired to his recital of Toby Crackit’s story.
’Whose turn would that have served, my dear?’ inquired the Jew humbly.
As he spoke, he drew a chair beside the matron, and tenderly inquired what had happened to distress her.
’The board allows you coals, don’t they, Mrs. Corney?’ inquired the beadle, affectionately pressing her hand.
With these expressions of condolence, the fat gentleman shook hands with both ladies, and drawing up a chair, inquired how they found themselves.
’What was that?’ inquired Rose: anxious to encourage any symptoms of good-humour in the unwelcome visitors.
’What did Jem Spyers say?’ inquired the doctor; who had returned to the room shortly after the commencement of the story.
’Thought it was what boy?’ inquired the senior officer.
Do you think so now?’ inquired Blathers.
’Has this man been a-drinking, sir?’ inquired Blathers, turning to the doctor.
Do you understand me?’ she inquired, watching Oliver’s thoughtful face.
’To whom?’ inquired the young lady.
’Now, my boy, which house is it?’ inquired Mr. Losberne.
’Has his housekeeper gone too?’ inquired Mr. Losberne, after a moment’s pause.
’Is it for Chertsey, too, ma’am?’ inquired Oliver; impatient to execute his commission, and holding out his trembling hand for the letter.
’Have you shot anything particular, lately, Giles?’ inquired the doctor, when he had concluded.
’Who was the other?’ inquired Harry and Mr. Losberne, together.
’Are you going to sit snoring there, all day?’ inquired Mrs. Bumble.
’What?’ inquired Oliver.
CHAPTER XXXI INVOLVES A CRITICAL POSITION ’Who’s that?’ inquired Brittles, opening the door a little way, with the chain up, and peeping out, shading the candle with his hand.
The gentleman’s notice was very soon attracted; for he had not walked three paces, when he turned angrily round, and inquired what that young cur was howling for, and why Mr. Bumble did not favour him with something which would render the series of vocular exclamations so designated, an involuntary process?
Either the master or the manner of this remark, which was made very ruefully, delighted Charley Bates so much, that his consequent shout of laughter roused the Jew from his reverie, and induced him to inquire what was the matter.
The matron looked, from the little kettle, to the beadle, who was moving towards the door; and as the beadle coughed, preparatory to bidding her good-night, bashfully inquired whether—whether he wouldn’t take a cup of tea?
And now that we have accompanied him so far on his road home, and have made all necessary preparations for the old woman’s funeral, let us set on foot a few inquires after young Oliver Twist, and ascertain whether he be still lying in the ditch where Toby Crackit left him.
’Show us the tap, and give us a bit of cold meat and a drop of beer while yer inquiring, will yer?’ said Noah.
Mrs. Sowerberry, who had a good deal of taste in the undertaking way, was much struck by the novelty of this idea; but, as it would have been compromising her dignity to have said so, under existing circumstances, she merely inquired, with much sharpness, why such an obvious suggestion had not presented itself to her husband’s mind before?
’Any news?’ inquired Fagin.
I am the person you inquired for.’
’How?’ inquired the doctor.
’What advantage would it be to me to be anything else?’ inquired Fagin, shrugging his shoulders.
’Very particular?’ inquired Mr. Bolter.
’Wot department has he got, Fagin?’ inquired Master Bates, surveying Noah’s lank form with much disgust.
’What is this?’ inquired one of the magistrates.
’Do you hear his worship ask if you’ve anything to say?’ inquired the jailer, nudging the silent Dodger with his elbow.
’Who is she?’ inquired Noah.
’Did he awake before you returned?’ inquired the gentleman.
He inquired, as he pointed to Monks, ’Do you know that person?’
’Have you nothing else to ask him, sir?’ inquired the turnkey.
’I—I knew nothing of that; I was going to inquire the truth of the story when you overtook me.
Mr. Crackit, apparently somewhat ashamed at being found relaxing himself with a gentleman so much his inferior in station and mental endowments, yawned, and inquiring after Sikes, took up his hat to go.
From early in the evening until nearly midnight, little groups of two and three presented themselves at the lodge-gate, and inquired, with anxious faces, whether any reprieve had been received.
The landlord of the house had not withdrawn his eye from this place of espial for five minutes, and Barney had only just returned from making the communication above related, when Fagin, in the course of his evening’s business, came into the bar to inquire after some of his young pupils.
If she betrayed any agitation, when she presented herself to Mr. Sikes, he did not observe it; for merely inquiring if she had brought the money, and receiving a reply in the affirmative, he uttered a growl of satisfaction, and replacing his head upon the pillow, resumed the slumbers which her arrival had interrupted.
’And as I see on the faces about me, a disposition to inquire how it happened that I was not in the way to corroborate Oliver’s tale, and had so suddenly left the kingdom, let me stipulate that I shall be asked no questions until such time as I may deem it expedient to forestall them by telling my own story.
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