**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


Oliver Twist
by [?]

This brought about a violent scene, for Noah accused Oliver of attempting to murder him, and Mrs. Sowerberry, the maid, and the beadle,–who had been hastily summoned,–agreed that Oliver was a hardened wretch, only fit for confinement, and he was accordingly placed in the cellar, till the undertaker came in, when he was dragged out again to have the story retold. To do Mr. Sowerberry justice, he would have been kindly disposed towards Oliver, but for the prejudice of his wife against the boy. However, to satisfy her, he gave Oliver a sound beating, and shut him up in the back kitchen until night, when, amidst the jeers and pointings of Noah and Mrs. Sowerberry, he was ordered up-stairs to his dismal bed.

It was then, alone, in the silence of the gloomy workshop, that Oliver gave way to his feelings, wept bitterly, and resolved no longer to bear such treatment. Softly he undid the fastenings of the door, and looked abroad. It was a cold night. The stars seemed, to the boy’s eyes, farther from the earth than he had ever seen them before; there was no wind; and the sombre shadows looked sepulchral and death-like, from being so still. He softly reclosed the door, and having availed himself of the expiring light of the candle to tie up in a handkerchief the few articles of wearing apparel he had, sat himself down to wait for morning.

With the first ray of light, Oliver arose, and again unbarred the door. One timid look around,–one minute’s pause of hesitation,–he had closed it behind him.

He looked to the right, and to the left, uncertain whither to fly. He remembered to have seen the waggons, as they went out, toiling up the hill, so he took the same route; and arriving at a footpath which he knew led out into the road, struck into it, and walked quickly on.

For seven long days he tramped in the direction of London, tasting nothing but such scraps of meals as he could beg from the occasional cottages by the roadside. On the seventh morning he limped slowly into the little town of Barnet, and as he was resting for a few moments on the steps of a public-house, a boy crossed over, and walking close to him, said,

“Hullo! my covey! What’s the row?”

The boy who addressed this inquiry to the young wayfarer, was about his own age: but one of the queerest looking boys that Oliver had ever seen. He was a snub-nosed, flat-browed, common-faced boy enough; and as dirty a juvenile as one would wish to see; but he had about him all the airs and manners of a man. He was short, with bow-legs, and little, sharp, ugly, eyes. His hat was stuck on the top of his head, and he wore a man’s coat that reached nearly to his heels.

“Hullo, my covey! What’s the row?” said this strange young gentleman to Oliver.

“I am very hungry and tired,” replied Oliver; the tears standing in his eyes as he spoke. “I have walked a long way. I have been walking these seven days.”

“Going to London?” inquired the strange boy.


“Got any lodgings?”




The strange boy whistled; and put his arms into his pockets.

“Do you live in London?” inquired Oliver.

“Yes, I do when I’m at home,” replied the boy. “I suppose you want some place to sleep in to-night, don’t you?”

Upon Oliver answering in the affirmative, the strange boy, whose name was Jack Dawkins, said, “I’ve got to be in London to-night; and I know a ‘spectable old genelman as lives there, wot’ll give you lodgings for nothink, and never ask for the change–that is, if any genelman he knows interduces you.”

This offer of shelter was too tempting to be resisted, and Oliver trudged off with his new friend. Into the city they passed, and through the worst and darkest streets, the sight of which filled Oliver with alarm. At length they reached the door of a house, which Jack entered, drawing Oliver after him, into its dark passage-way, and closing the door after them.