In Chapter III Oliver escapes an apprenticeship to the chimney sweep. Were you as surprised as I was? Something actually happened in Oliver’s favor!
Then in Chapter IV Beadle Bumble makes arrangements with the local funeral director, Mr. Sowerberry, to take Oliver on a trail basis. On the walk to the Sowerberry home, Oliver is in tears. Bumble sees the weeping as a sign of ingratitude about Oliver’s new position, but Oliver has a different reason for his sorrow..
“so lonely, sir! So very lonely!” cried the child. “everybody hates me. Oh! sir, don’t, don’t pray be cross to me!” The child beat his hand upon his heart; and looked in his companion’s face, with tears of real agony.
Mr. Bumble regarded Oliver’s piteous and helpless look, with some astonishment, for a few seconds; hemmed three or four times in a husky manner, and, after muttering something about “that trouble-some cough,” bid Oliver dry his eyes and be a good boy. Then, once more taking his hand, he walked on with him in silence.
Trouble-some cough? Is that like when my husband has “allergies” (air-quotes very much intended) during a touching movie? Did our Un-Samaritan feel compassion for just a moment?