Looks after Oliver, and proceeds with his adventures.
Wolves tear your throats! muttered Sikes, grinding his teeth. I wish I was among some of you; you'd howl the hoarser for it.
As Sikes growled forth this imprecation, with the most desperate ferocity that his desperate nature was capable of, he rested the body of the wounded boy across his bended knee; and turned his head, for an instant, to look back at his pursuers.
There was little to be made out, in the mist and darkness; but the loud shouting of men vibrated through the air, and the barking of the neighbouring dogs, roused by the sound of the alarm bell, resounded in every direction.
Stop, you white-livered hound! cried the robber, shouting after Toby Crackit, who, making the best use of his long legs, was already ahead. Stop!
The repetition of the word, brought Toby to a dead standstill. For he was not quite satisfied that he was beyond the range of pistol-shot; and Sikes was in no mood to be played with.
Bear a hand with the boy, cried Sikes, beckoning furiously to his confederate. Come back!
Toby made a show of returning; but ventured, in a low voice, broken for want of breath, to intimate considerable reluctance as he came slowly along.
Quicker! cried Sikes, laying the boy in a dry ditch at his feet, and drawing a pistol from his pocket. Don't play booty with me.
At this moment the noise grew louder. Sikes, again looking round, could discern that the men who had given chase were already climbing the gate of the field in which he stood; and that a couple of dogs were some paces in advance of them.
It's all up, Bill! cried Toby; drop the kid, and show 'em your heels. With this parting advice, Mr. Crackit, preferring the chance of being shot by his friend, to the certainty of being taken by his enemies, fairly turned tail, and darted off at full speed. Sikes clenched his teeth; took one look around; threw over the prostrate form of Oliver, the cape in which he had been hurriedly muffled; ran along the front of the hedge, as if to distract the attention of those behind, from the spot where the boy lay; paused, for a second, before another hedge which met it at right angles; and whirling his pistol high into the air, cleared it at a bound, and was gone.
Ho, ho, there! cried a tremulous voice in the rear Pincher! Neptune! Come here, come here!
The dogs, who, in common with their masters, seemed to have no particular relish for the sport in which they were engaged, readily answered to the command. Three men, who had by this time advanced some distance into the field, stopped to take counsel together.
My advice, or, leastways, I should say, my orders, is, said the fattest man of the party, that we 'mediately go home again.
I am agreeable to anything which is agreeable to Mr. Giles, said a shorter man; who was by no means of a slim figure, and who was very pale in the face, and very polite: as frightened men frequently are.
I shouldn't wish to appear ill-mannered, gentlemen, said the third, who had called the dogs back, Mr. Giles ought to know.
Certainly, replied the shorter man; and whatever Mr. Giles says, it isn't our place to contradict him. No, no, I know my sitiwation! Thank my stars, I know my sitiwation. To tell the truth, the little man did
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