I first heard of Pilkington from David, who had it from Oliver Bailey.
This Oliver Bailey was one of the most dashing figures in the Gardens, and without apparent effort was daily drawing nearer the completion of his seventh year at a time when David seemed unable to get beyond half-past five.
I am proud, therefore, to be able to state on wood that it was Oliver himself who made the overture.
The upshot was that Oliver advertised the Gardens of his intention to be good until he was eight, and if he had not been wrecked by that time, to be as jolly bad as a boy could be.
The friendship of the two dated from this time, and at first I thought Oliver discovered generosity in hasting to David as to an equal; he also walked hand in hand with him, and even reproved him for delinquencies like a loving elder brother.
When this was made known to me it was already too late to break the spell of Oliver, David was top-heavy with pride in him, and, faith, I began to find myself very much in the cold, for Oliver was frankly bored by me and even David seemed to think it would be convenient if I went and sat with Irene.
TREATS OF OLIVER TWIST'S GROWTH, EDUCATION, AND BOARD
For the next eight or ten months, Oliver was the victim of a systematic course of treachery and deception.
Unfortunately for, the experimenal philosophy of the female to whose protecting care Oliver Twist was delivered over, a similar result usually attended the operation of HER system; for at the very moment when the child had contrived to exist upon the smallest possible portion of the weakest possible food, it did perversely happen in eight and a half cases out of ten, either that it sickened from want and cold, or fell into the fire from neglect, or got half-smothered by accident; in any one of which cases, the miserable little being was usually summoned into another world, and there gathered to the fathers it had never known in this.
Oliver Twist's ninth birthday found him a pale thin child, somewhat diminutive in stature, and decidely small in circumference.
Susan, take Oliver and them two brats upstairs, and wash 'em directly.
The child that was half-baptized Oliver Twist, is nine year old to-day.