'Pray don't interrupt just now,' said Mr. Brownlow. 'Take aseat, will you?'。， These preliminaries adjusted, Mr. Sikes proceeded to drink brandyat a furious rate, and to flourish the crowbar in an alarmingmanner; yelling forth, at the same time, most unmusical snatchesof song, mingled with wild execrations. At length, in a fit ofprofessional enthusiasm, he insisted upon producing his box ofhousebreaking tools: which he had no sooner stumbled in with,and opened for the purpose of explaining the nature andproperties of the various implements it contained, and thepeculiar beauties of their construction, than he fell over thebox upon the floor, and went to sleep where he fell.
With this irrepressible ebullition of mirth, Master Bates laidhimself flat on the floor: and kicked convulsively for fiveminutes, in an ectasy of facetious joy. Then jumping to hisfeet, he snatched the cleft stick from the Dodger; and, advancingto Oliver, viewed him round and round; while the Jew, taking offhis nightcap, made a great number of low bows to the bewilderedboy. The Artful, meantime, who was of a rather saturninedisposition, and seldom gave way to merriment when it interferedwith business, rifled Oliver's pockets with steady assiduity.。， The narrow streets and courts, at length, terminated in a largeopen space; scattered about which, were pens for beasts, andother indications of a cattle-market. Sikes slackened his pacewhen they reached this spot: the girl being quite unable tosupport any longer, the rapid rate at which they had hithertowalked. Turning to Oliver, he roughly commanded him to take holdof Nancy's hand.
'Yes, my dear, yes,' rejoined the Jew; his eyes glistening, andevery muscle in his face working, with the excitement that theinquiry had awakened.。， The noise of Charley's laughter, and the voice of Miss Betsy, whoopportunely arrived to throw water over her friend, and performother feminine offices for the promotion of her recovery, mighthave kept many people awake under more happy circumstances thanthose in which Oliver was placed. But he was sick and weary; andhe soon fell sound asleep.
It was Smithfield that they were crossing, although it might havebeen Grosvenor Square, for anything Oliver knew to the contrary.The night was dark and foggy. The lights in the shops couldscarecely struggle through the heavy mist, which thickened everymoment and shrouded the streets and houses in gloom; renderingthe strange place still stranger in Oliver's eyes; and making hisuncertainty the more dismal and depressing.。， 'To--to--stop there, sir?' asked Oliver, anxiously.
'And always put this in your pipe, Nolly,' said the Dodger, asthe Jew was heard unlocking the door above, 'if you don't takefogels and tickers--'。， Oliver raised the candle above his head: and looked towards thedoor. It was Nancy.
Oliver had looked from one to the other, while these words werebeing spoken, as if he were bewildered, and could scarecelyunderstand what passed; but when Bill Sikes concluded, he jumpedsuddenly to his feet, and tore wildly from the room: utteringshrieks for help, which made the bare old house echo to the roof.。，
'Why, do you think?' inquired Fagin, parrying the question.。， 'It must be a piercer, if it finds its way through your heart,'said Mr. Sikes. 'Give him something to drink, Nancy. Burn mybody, make haste! It's enough to turn a man ill, to see his leanold carcase shivering in that way, like a ugly ghost just rosefrom the grave.'
'Nonsense,' rejoined the girl coolly, 'Go on, Fagin. I know whathe's going to say, Bill; he needn't mind me.'。， Mr. Brownlow paced the room to and fro for some minutes;evidently so much disturbed by the beadle's tale, that even Mr.Grimwig forbore to vex him further.
， Sikes waited until he had fairly gone; and then, telling Oliverhe might look about him if he wanted, once again led him onwardon his journey.。， 'Only me, Bill; only me, my dear,' said the Jew looking in.