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Oliver Twist
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Oliver Twist
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  • Monks, do you mean?’ inquired the landlord, hesitating.
  • ’Why, do you mean to say you couldn’t have done it, if you had chosen?’ demanded Monks, sternly.
  • ’Mine,’ replied Monks.
  • ’What then?’ demanded Monks.
  • ’Throttle the girl!’ said Monks, impatiently.
  • I know what these girls are, Monks, well.
  • ’I’ll swear I saw it!’ replied Monks, trembling.
  • This accumulated testimony effectually staggered Mr. Monks.
  • They might have been talking, thus, for a quarter of an hour or more, when Monks—by which name the Jew had designated the strange man several times in the course of their colloquy—said, raising his voice a little, ’I tell you again, it was badly planned.
  • Monks!’ rejoined the man; and strode hastily, away.
  • ’Cooling yourselves!’ retorted Monks.
  • ’This is the woman, is it?’ demanded Monks.
  • ’You think women never can keep secrets, I suppose?’ said the matron, interposing, and returning, as she spoke, the searching look of Monks.
  • ’I know they will always keep one till it’s found out,’ said Monks.
  • ’The loss of their own good name,’ replied Monks.
  • ’Of course you don’t!’ said Monks.
  • ’These fits come over me, now and then,’ said Monks, observing his alarm; ’and thunder sometimes brings them on.
  • ’Now,’ said Monks, when they had all three seated themselves, ’the sooner we come to our business, the better for all.
  • ’The first question is, of what nature was her communication?’ said Monks.
  • ’Who the devil can tell that, without knowing of what kind it is?’ asked Monks.
  • ’Humph!’ said Monks significantly, and with a look of eager inquiry; ’there may be money’s worth to get, eh?’
  • ’Something that was taken from her,’ said Monks.
  • ’It may be nothing; it may be twenty pounds,’ replied Monks.
  • ’Five-and-twenty pounds!’ exclaimed Monks, drawing back.
  • ’What if I pay it for nothing?’ asked Monks, hesitating.
  • Monks is too much of a gentleman to attempt any violence on porochial persons.
  • ’He had better have cut it out, before he came, if he can’t speak in a lower tone,’ said Monks, grimly.
  • ’I thought as much, when you came in,’ rejoined Monks, marking the angry glance which the lady darted at her spouse as she spoke.
  • ’Was there no one by?’ asked Monks, in the same hollow whisper; ’No sick wretch or idiot in some other bed?
  • ’Good,’ said Monks, regarding her attentively.
  • ’Ay?’ said Monks, with quivering lip, and glancing over his shoulder, ’Blood!
  • ’She sold it,’ cried Monks, with desperate eagerness; ’did she sell it?
  • ’Without saying more?’ cried Monks, in a voice which, from its very suppression, seemed only the more furious.
  • ’Which contained—’ interposed Monks, stretching forward.
  • ’For what?’ demanded Monks.
  • ’Where is it now?’ asked Monks quickly.
  • ’And this is all?’ said Monks, after a close and eager scrutiny of the contents of the little packet.
  • ’You may ask,’ said Monks, with some show of surprise; ’but whether I answer or not is another question.’
  • ’Never,’ rejoined Monks; ’nor against me either.
  • ’Look down,’ said Monks, lowering the lantern into the gulf.
  • ’If you flung a man’s body down there, where would it be to-morrow morning?’ said Monks, swinging the lantern to and fro in the dark well.
  • ’There!’ said Monks, closing the trap-door, which fell heavily back into its former position.
  • ’You’ll keep a quiet tongue in your head, will you?’ said Monks, with a threatening look.
  • ’On everybody’s account, young man; on my own, you know, Mr. Monks.’
  • ’I am glad, for your sake, to hear it,’ remarked Monks.
  • ’Only one of my young people,’ said Fagin, observing that Monks drew back, on beholding a stranger.
  • ’Not bad, any way,’ replied Monks with a smile.
  • The girl drew closer to the table, and made no offer to leave the room, although she could see that Monks was pointing to her.
  • Monks went at once into the street; and the Jew crawled upstairs again for the money.
  • Do you know a man named Monks?’
  • I found out, from what I heard, that Monks—the man I asked you about, you know—’
  • I know many who do worse things; but I’d rather listen to them all a dozen times, than to that Monks once.
  • It is quite clear that we shall have extreme difficulty in getting to the bottom of this mystery, unless we can bring this man, Monks, upon his knees.
  • Monks would never learn how you knew what you do?’ said the girl, after a short pause.
  • At the door of this apartment, Monks, who had ascended with evident reluctance, stopped.
  • ’How dare you say this of me?’ asked Monks.
  • Monks was plainly disconcerted, and alarmed besides.
  • Monks muttered some unintelligible words, but wavered still.
  • ’Is there—’ demanded Monks with a faltering tongue,—’is there—no middle course?’
  • ’This is pretty treatment, sir,’ said Monks, throwing down his hat and cloak, ’from my father’s oldest friend.’
  • ’I have no brother,’ replied Monks.
  • ’I don’t care for hard names,’ interrupted Monks with a jeering laugh.
  • ’Well, they were separated,’ said Monks, ’and what of that?’
  • ’Not I,’ said Monks, turning away his eyes and beating his foot upon the ground, as a man who is determined to deny everything.
  • ’I have nothing to disclose,’ rejoined Monks.
  • ’What’s this to me?’ asked Monks.
  • ’Your tale is of the longest,’ observed Monks, moving restlessly in his chair.
  • ’I never heard of that,’ interrupted MOnks in a tone intended to appear incredulous, but savouring more of disagreeable surprise.
  • Monks drew his breath yet more freely, and looked round with a smile of triumph.
  • ’Why not?’ asked Monks hastily.
  • ’You—you—can’t prove anything against me,’ stammered Monks.
  • ’And now you do see me,’ said Monks, rising boldly, ’what then?
  • ’No, no,’ interposed Monks.
  • ’If you insist upon that, I’ll do that also,’ replied Monks.
  • ’Have you made up your mind?’ asked Mr. Brownlow, in a low voice, of Monks.
  • Monks cast a look of hate, which, even then, he could not dissemble, at the astonished boy, and sat down near the door.
  • ’Yes,’ said Monks, scowling at the trembling boy: the beating of whose heart he might have heard.
  • ’My mother,’ said Monks, in a louder tone, ’did what a woman should have done.
  • ’The locket and ring?’ said Mr. Brownlow, turning to Monks.
  • He inquired, as he pointed to Monks, ’Do you know that person?’
  • ’I have seen you often,’ returned Monks.
  • ’You couldn’t find the spot to which these people had repaired,’ said Monks, ’but where friendship fails, hatred will often force a way.
  • ’You have some papers,’ said Mr. Brownlow advancing, ’which were placed in your hands, for better security, by a man called Monks.’
  • You know that Sikes is dead; that Monks has confessed; that there is no hope of any further gain.
  • ’What the devil made you stand lingering there, in the wet?’ said Monks, turning round, and addressing Bumble, after he had bolted the door behind them.
  • At this part of the recital Monks held his breath, and listened with a face of intense eagerness, though his eyes were not directed towards the speaker.
  • ’In life?’ asked Monks.
  • ’It is,’ replied Monks.
  • The Jew: perhaps fearing she might say something aloud about the money, if he endeavoured to get rid of her: pointed upward, and took Monks out of the room.
  • ’Then,’ said the gentleman, quickly, as if this had been the point he had been aiming to attain; ’put Monks into my hands, and leave him to me to deal with.’
  • ’By what authority am I kidnapped in the street, and brought here by these dogs?’ asked Monks, looking from one to the other of the men who stood beside him.
  • ’I bought them from the man and woman I told you of, who stole them from the nurse, who stole them from the corpse,’ answered Monks without raising his eyes.
  • ’Not a large sum for a paltry secret, that may be nothing when it’s told!’ cried Monks impatiently; ’and which has been lying dead for twelve years past or more!’
  • ’I know nothing of the story, beyond what I can guess at,’ said his wife addressing Monks, after a short silence; ’and I want to know nothing; for it’s safer not.
  • They were no sooner gone, than Monks, who appeared to entertain an invincible repugnance to being left alone, called to a boy who had been hidden somewhere below.
  • You!’ returned Monks.
  • ’Yes,’ replied Monks.
  • ’What?’ cried Monks.
  • To prove to you that I am disposed to trust you, I tell you without reserve, that we propose to extort the secret, whatever it may be, from the fear of this man Monks.
  • This man was Monks.
  • Monks was silent.
  • Monks brought up the rear, after pausing on the steps to satisfy himself that there were no other sounds to be heard than the beating of the rain without, and the rushing of the water.
  • It was Monks.
  • And, as if glad to be relieved of it, she hastily threw upon the table a small kid bag scarcely large enough for a French watch, which Monks pouncing upon, tore open with trembling hands.
  • Monks looked at the old gentleman, with an anxious eye; but, reading in his countenance nothing but severity and determination, walked into the room, and, shrugging his shoulders, sat down.
  • He lighted his lantern from that which Monks had detached from the rope, and now carried in his hand; and making no effort to prolong the discourse, descended in silence, followed by his wife.
  • A bargain was struck with Fagin, that if Oliver was got back he should have a certain sum; and he was to have more for making him a thief, which this Monks wanted for some purpose of his own.’
  • With this agreeable speech, Monks turned short upon the matron, and bent his gaze upon her, till even she, who was not easily cowed, was fain to withdraw her eyes, and turn them towards the ground.
  • The first words I heard Monks say were these: "So the only proofs of the boy’s identity lie at the bottom of the river, and the old hag that received them from the mother is rotting in her coffin."
  • The gate at which they had entered, was softly unfastened and opened by Monks; merely exchanging a nod with their mysterious acquaintance, the married couple emerged into the wet and darkness outside.
  • The thunder, which seemed in fact much nearer, and to shiver and break almost over their heads, having subsided, Monks, raising his face from the table, bent forward to listen to what the woman should say.
  • ’No,’ replied the woman; ’if he—she pointed to Monks—’has been coward enough to confess, as I see he has, and you have sounded all these hags till you have found the right ones, I have nothing more to say.
  • Monks drew the little packet from his breast, where he had hurriedly thrust it; and tying it to a leaden weight, which had formed a part of some pulley, and was lying on the floor, dropped it into the stream.
  • ’—That Monks,’ pursued the girl, ’had seen him accidently with two of our boys on the day we first lost him, and had known him directly to be the same child that he was watching for, though I couldn’t make out why.
  • ’This is all mighty fine,’ said Monks (to retain his assumed designation) after a long silence, during which he had jerked himself in sullen defiance to and fro, and Mr. Brownlow had sat, shading his face with his hand.
  • Mr. Monks is aware that I am not a young man, my dear, and also that I am a little run to seed, as I may say; bu he has heerd: I say I have no doubt Mr. Monks has heerd, my dear: that I am a very determined officer, with very uncommon strength, if I’m once roused.
  • Mr. Monks is aware that I am not a young man, my dear, and also that I am a little run to seed, as I may say; bu he has heerd: I say I have no doubt Mr. Monks has heerd, my dear: that I am a very determined officer, with very uncommon strength, if I’m once roused.
  • ’There she died,’ said Monks, ’after a lingering illness; and, on her death-bed, she bequeathed these secrets to me, together with her unquenchable and deadly hatred of all whom they involved—though she need not have left me that, for I had inherited it long before.
  • The old gentleman paused; Monks was biting his lips, with his eyes fixed upon the floor; seeing this, he immediately resumed: ’The end of a year found him contracted, solemnly contracted, to that daughter; the object of the first, true, ardent, only passion of a guileless girl.’
  • ’The child,’ replied Monks, ’when her father died in a strange place, in a strange name, without a letter, book, or scrap of paper that yielded the faintest clue by which his friends or relatives could be traced—the child was taken by some wretched cottagers, who reared it as their own.’
  • It appeared, on full and careful investigation, that if the wreck of property remaining in the custody of Monks (which had never prospered either in his hands or in those of his mother) were equally divided between himself and Oliver, it would yield, to each, little more than three thousand pounds.
  • They traversed the lower room, slowly, and with caution; for Monks started at every shadow; and Mr. Bumble, holding his lantern a foot above the ground, walked not only with remarkable care, but with a marvellously light step for a gentleman of his figure: looking nervously about him for hidden trap-doors.
  • Mr. Bumble, who had eyed the building with very rueful looks, was apparently about to express some doubts relative to the advisability of proceeding any further with the enterprise just then, when he was prevented by the appearance of Monks: who opened a small door, near which they stood, and beckoned them inwards.
  • Monks, still bearing that assumed name, retired with his portion to a distant part of the New World; where, having quickly squandered it, he once more fell into his old courses, and, after undergoing a long confinement for some fresh act of fraud and knavery, at length sunk under an attack of his old disorder, and died in prison.
  • When she had thoroughly explained the localities of the place, the best position from which to watch it without exciting observation, and the night and hour on which Monks was most in the habit of frequenting it, she seemed to consider for a few moments, for the purpose of recalling his features and appearances more forcibly to her recollection.
  • The girl drew closer to the table, and glancing at Monks with an air of careless levity, withdrew her eyes; but as he turned towards Fagin, she stole another look; so keen and searching, and full of purpose, that if there had been any bystander to observe the change, he could hardly have believed the two looks to have proceeded from the same person.
  • ’A gentleman and a lady that she had gone to of her own accord before, who asked her to give up all her pals, and Monks first, which she did—and to describe him, which she did—and to tell her what house it was that we meet at, and go to, which she did—and where it could be best watched from, which she did—and what time the people went there, which she did.
  • Mr. Bumble, who had not yet been admitted by his better half into any greater share of the secret than he had originally possessed, listened to this dialogue with outstretched neck and distended eyes: which he directed towards his wife and Monks, by turns, in undisguised astonishment; increased, if possible, when the latter sternly demanded, what sum was required for the disclosure.
  • He and the two ladies had been very carefully made acquainted by Mr. Brownlow with the nature of the admissions which had been forced from Monks; and although they knew that the object of their present journey was to complete the work which had been so well begun, still the whole matter was enveloped in enough of doubt and mystery to leave them in endurance of the most intense suspense.
  • But, before we can resolve upon any precise course of action, it will be necessary to see the girl; to ascertain from her whether she will point out this Monks, on the understanding that he is to be dealt with by us, and not by the law; or, if she will not, or cannot do that, to procure from her such an account of his haunts and description of his person, as will enable us to identify him.
  • CHAPTER XXXIX INTRODUCES SOME RESPECTABLE CHARACTERS WITH WHOM THE READER IS ALREADY ACQUAINTED, AND SHOWS HOW MONKS AND THE JEW LAID THEIR WORTHY HEADS TOGETHER On the evening following that upon which the three worthies mentioned in the last chapter, disposed of their little matter of business as therein narrated, Mr. William Sikes, awakening from a nap, drowsily growled forth an inquiry what time of night it was.
  • They laughed, and talked of his success in doing this; and Monks, talking on about the boy, and getting very wild, said that though he had got the young devil’s money safely now, he’d rather have had it the other way; for, what a game it would have been to have brought down the boast of the father’s will, by driving him through every jail in town, and then hauling him up for some capital felony which Fagin could easily manage, after having made a good profit of him besides.’
  • (That was not my doing,’ observed Monks.
  • While Monks was pacing up and down, meditating with dark and evil looks on this proposal and the possibilities of evading it: torn by his fears on the one hand and his hatred on the other: the door was hurriedly unlocked, and a gentleman (Mr.

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