I wish, said Toby turning to Mr. Chitling, that you had picked out some other crib when the two old ones got too warm, and had not come here, my fine feller.
Why didn't you, blunder-head! said Kags.
Well, I thought you'd have been a little more glad to see me than this, replied Mr. Chitling, with a melancholy air.
Why look'e, young gentleman, said Toby, when a man keeps himself so very ex-clusive as I have done, and by that means has a snug house over his head with nobody a prying and smelling about it, it's rather a startling thing to have the honour of a wisit from a young gentleman (however respectable and pleasant a person he may be to play cards with at conweniency) circumstanced as you are.
Especially, when the exclusive young man has got a friend stopping with him, that's arrived sooner than was expected from foreign parts, and is too modest to want to be presented to the Judges on his return, added Mr. Kags.
There was a short silence, after which Toby Crackit, seeming to abandon as hopeless any further effort to maintain his usual devil-may-care swagger, turned to Chitling and said,
When was Fagin took then?
Just at dinner-time two o'clock this afternoon. Charley and I made our lucky up the wash'us chimney, and Bolter got into the empty water-butt, head downwards; but his legs were so precious long that they stuck out at the top, and so they took him too.
Poor Bet! She went to see the Body, to speak to who it was, replied Chitling, his countenance falling more and more, and went off mad, screaming and raving, and beating her head against the boards; so they put a strait-weskut on her and took her to the hospital and there she is.
Wot's come of young Bates? demanded Kags.
He hung about, not to come over here afore dark, but he'll be here soon, replied Chitling. There's nowhere else to go to now, for the people at the Cripples are all in custody, and the bar of the ken I went up there and see it with my own eyes is filled with traps.
This is a smash, observed Toby biting his lips. There's more than one will go with this.
The sessions are on, said Kags: if they get the inquest over, and Bolter turns King's evidence: as of course he will, from what he's said already: they can prove Fagin an accessory before the fact, and get the trial on on Friday, and he'll swing in six days from this, by G !
You should have heard the people groan, said Chitling; the officers fought like devils, or they'd have torn him away. He was down once, but they made a ring round him, and fought their way along. You should have seen how he looked about him, all muddy and bleeding, and clung to them as if they were his dearest friends. I can see 'em now, not able to stand upright with the pressing of the mob, and dragging him along amongst 'em; I can see the people jumping up, one behind another, and snarling with their teeth and making at him; I can see the blood upon his hair and beard, and hear the cries with which the women worked themselves into the centre of the crowd at the street corner, and swore they'd tear his heart out!
The horror-stricken witness of this scene pressed his hands upon his ears, and with his eyes closed got up and paced violently to and fro, like one distracted.
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