Such was the aspect of out-of-doors affairs, when Mr. Corney, thematron of the workhouse to which our readers have been alreadyintroduced as the birthplace of Oliver Twist, sat herself downbefore a cheerful fire in her own little room, and glanced, withno small degree of complacency, at a small round table: on whichstood a tray of corresponding size, furnished with all necessarymaterials for the most grateful meal that matrons enjoy. Infact, Mrs. Corney was about to solace herself with a cup of tea.As she glanced from the table to the fireplace, where thesmallest of all possible kettles was singing a small song in asmall voice, her inward satisfaction evidently increased,--somuch so, indeed, that Mrs. Corney smiled.。，
。， They slept, or appeared to sleep, for some time; nobody stirringbut Barney, who rose once or twice to throw coals on the fire.Oliver fell into a heavy doze: imagining himself straying alongthe gloomy lanes, or wandering about the dark churchyard, orretracing some one or other of the scenes of the past day: whenhe was roused by Toby Crackit jumping up and declaring it washalf-past one.
'See there, Faguey,' he said, pointing disconsolately to his topboots; 'not a drop of Day and Martin since you know when; not abubble of blacking, by Jove! But don't look at me in that way,man. All in good time. I can't talk about business till I'veeat and drank; so produce the sustainance, and let's have a quietfill-out for the first time these three days!'。，
Whether this remark bore reference to the husband, or the teapot,is uncertain. It might have been the latter; for Mrs. Corneylooked at it as she spoke; and took it up afterwards. She hadjust tasted her first cup, when she was disturbed by a soft tapat the room-door.。， Now, Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry having gone out to tea and supper:and Noah Claypole not being at any time disposed to take uponhimself a greater amount of physical exertion than is necessaryto a convenient performance of the two functions of eating anddrinking, the shop was not closed, although it was past the usualhour of shutting-up. Mr. Bumble tapped with his cane on thecounter several times; but, attracting no attention, andbeholding a light shining through the glass-window of the littleparlour at the back of the shop, he made bold to peep in and seewhat was going forward; and when he saw what was going forward,he was not a little surprised.
'I mind the time,' said the first speaker, 'when she would havedone the same, and made rare fun of it afterwards.'。， 'Very sweet, indeed, ma'am,' replied Mr. Bumble. He fixed hiseyes on Mrs. Corney as he said this; and if ever a beadle lookedtender, Mr. Bumble was that beadle at that moment.
， The Dodger nodded in the affirmative, and, shading the flame ofthe candle with his hand, gave Charley Bates a privateintimation, in dumb show, that he had better not be funny justthen. Having performed this friendly office, he fixed his eyeson the Jew's face, and awaited his directions.。， Before Oliver had time to look round, Sikes had caught him underthe arms; and in three or four seconds he and Toby were lying onthe grass on the other side. Sikes followed directly. And theystole cautiously towards the house.