and and something worse than all as I have been from my cradle. I may use the word, for the alley and the gutter were mine, as they will be my death-bed.
I pity you! said Rose, in a broken voice. It wrings my heart to hear you!
Heaven bless you for your goodness! rejoined the girl. If you knew what I am sometimes, you would pity me, indeed. But I have stolen away from those who would surely murder me, if they knew I had been here, to tell you what I have overheard. Do you know a man named Monks?
No, said Rose.
He knows you, replied the girl; and knew you were here, for it was by hearing him tell the place that I found you out.
I never heard the name, said Rose.
Then he goes by some other amongst us, rejoined the girl, which I more than thought before. Some time ago, and soon after Oliver was put into your house on the night of the robbery, I suspecting this man listened to a conversation held between him and Fagin in the dark. I found out, from what I heard, that Monks the man I asked you about, you know
Yes, said Rose, I understand.
That Monks, pursued the girl, had seen him accidentally 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. 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.
For what purpose? asked Rose.
He caught sight of my shadow on the wall as I listened, in the hope of finding out, said the girl; and there are not many people besides me that could have got out of their way in time to escape discovery. But I did; and I saw him no more till last night.
And what occurred then?
I'll tell you, lady. Last night he came again. Again they went up stairs, and I, wrapping myself up so that my shadow should not betray me, again listened at the door. 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.' 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 on him besides.
What is all this! said Rose.
The truth, lady, though it comes from my lips, replied the girl. Then, he said, with oaths common enough in my ears, but strange to yours, that if he could gratify his hatred by taking the boy's life without bringing his own neck in danger, he would; but, as he couldn't, he'd be upon the watch to meet him at every turn in life; and if he took advantage of his birth and history, he might harm him yet. 'In short, Fagin,' he says, 'Jew as you are, you never laid such snares as I'll contrive for my young brother, Oliver.'
His brother! exclaimed Rose.
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