When the breakfast was cleared away, the merry old gentleman and the two boys played at a very curious and uncommon game, . . . The merry old gentleman, placing a snuff-box in one pocket of his trousers, a note-case in the other, and a watch in his waistcoat pocket . . . trotted up and down in the room. . . . At last, the Dodger trod upon his toes, or ran upon his boot accidentally, while Charley Bates stumbled up against him behind; and in that one moment they took from him, with the most extraordinary rapidity, snuff-box, notecase, watch-guard, chain, shirt-pin, pocket-handkerchief, even the spectacle-case.
Oliver was rendered the more anxious to be actively employed, by what he had seen of the stern morality of the old gentleman’s character. Whenever the Dodger or Charley Bates came home at night, empty-handed, he would expatiate with great vehemence on the misery of idle and lazy habits; and would enforce upon them the necessity of an active life, by sending them supperless to bed.
In an instant the whole mystery of the handkerchiefs, and the watches, and the jewels, and the Jew, rushed upon the boy’s mind.
And with this, the old lady applied herself to warming up, in a little saucepan, a basin full of broth: strong enough, Oliver thought, to furnish an ample dinner, when reduced to the regulation strength, for three hundred and fifty paupers, at the lowest computation.
As he spoke, he pointed hastily to the picture above Oliver’s head, and then to the boy’s face. There was its living copy. The eyes, the head, the mouth; every feature was the same. The expression was, for the instant, so precisely alike, that the minutest line seemed copied with startling accuracy!