They've found the gentleman as owns the box; two or three more's a coming to 'dentify him; and the Artful's booked for a passage out, replied Master Bates. I must have a full suit of mourning, Fagin, and a hatband, to wisit him in, afore he sets out upon his travels. To think of Jack Dawkins lummy Jack the Dodger the Artful Dodger going abroad for a common twopenny-halfpenny sneeze-box! I never thought he'd a done it under a gold watch, chain, and seals, at the lowest. Oh, why didn't he rob some rich old gentleman of all his walables, and go out as a gentleman, and not like a common prig, without no honour nor glory!
With this expression of feeling for his unfortunate friend, Master Bates sat himself on the nearest chair with an aspect of chagrin and despondency.
What do you talk about his having neither honour nor glory for! exclaimed Fagin, darting an angry look at his pupil, Wasn't he always top-sawyer among you all! Is there one of you that could touch him or come near him on any scent! Eh?
Not one, replied Master Bates, in a voice rendered husky by regret; not one.
Then what do you talk of? replied Fagin angrily; what are you blubbering for?
'Cause it isn't on the rec-ord, is it? said Charley, chafed into perfect defiance of his venerable friend by the current of his regrets; 'cause it can't come out in the 'dictment; 'cause nobody will never know half of what he was. How will he stand in the Newgate Calendar? P'raps not be there at all. Oh, my eye, my eye, wot a blow it is!
Ha! ha! cried Fagin extending his right hand, and turning to Mr. Bolter in a fit of chuckling which shook him as though he had the palsy; see what a pride they take in their profession, my dear. Ain't it beautiful?
Mr. Bolter nodded assent; and Fagin, after contemplating the grief of Charley Bates for some seconds with evident satisfaction, stepped up to that young gentleman and patted him on the shoulder.
Never mind, Charley, said Fagin soothingly; it'll come out, it'll be sure to come out. They'll all know what a clever fellow he was; he'll show it himself, and not disgrace his old pals and teachers. Think how young he is too! What a distinction, Charley, to be lagged at his time of life!
Well, it is a honour that is! said Charley, a little consoled.
He shall have all he wants, continued the Jew. He shall be kept in the Stone Jug, Charley, like a gentleman. Like a gentleman! With his beer every day, and money in his pocket to pitch and toss with, if he can't spend it.
No, shall he though? cried Charley Bates.
Ay, that he shall, replied Fagin, and we'll have a bigwig, Charley: one that's got the greatest gift of the gab: to carry on his defence; and he shall make a speech for himself too, if he likes; and we'll read it all in the papers 'Artful Dodger shrieks of laughter here the court was convulsed' eh, Charley, eh?
Ha! ha! laughed Master Bates, what a lark that would be, wouldn't it, Fagin? I say, how the Artful would bother 'em, wouldn't he?
Would! cried Fagin. He shall he will!
Ah, to be sure, so he will, repeated Charley, rubbing his hands.
I think I see him now, cried the Jew, bending his eyes upon his pupil.
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