It was a ghastly figure to look upon. The murderer staggering backward to the wall, and shutting out the sight with his hand, seized a heavy club and struck her down.

Background.

Oliver Twist

itemIt was a ghastly figure to look upon. The murderer staggering backward to the wall, and shutting out the sight with his hand, seized a heavy club and struck her down.” is a quotation from Oliver Twist (Chapter 47).

item Oliver Twist, subtitled The Parish Boy’s Progress, is the second novel by Charles Dickens, published in 1837.

 

Context.

Illustration of the murder of Nancy by Bill Sikes. Taken from an 1885 version of Oliver Twist, illustrated by the artist F. W. Pailthorpe.

item Description of Nancy meeting her death at the hands the evil Bill Sikes.

item Taken from the following passage at the end of Chapter 47 (FATAL CONSEQUENCES) of Oliver Twist:

The man struggled violently, to release his arms; but those of the girl were clasped round his, and tear her as he would, he could not tear them away.

‘Bill,’ cried the girl, striving to lay her head upon his breast, ‘the gentleman and that dear lady, told me to-night of a home in some foreign country where I could end my days in solitude and peace. Let me see them again, and beg them, on my knees, to show the same mercy and goodness to you; and let us both leave this dreadful place, and far apart lead better lives, and forget how we have lived, except in prayers, and never see each other more. It is never too late to repent. They told me so—I feel it now—but we must have time—a little, little time!’

The housebreaker freed one arm, and grasped his pistol. The certainty of immediate detection if he fired, flashed across his mind even in the midst of his fury; and he beat it twice with all the force he could summon, upon the upturned face that almost touched his own.

She staggered and fell: nearly blinded with the blood that rained down from a deep gash in her forehead; but raising herself, with difficulty, on her knees, drew from her bosom a white handkerchief—Rose Maylie’s own—and holding it up, in her folded hands, as high towards Heaven as her feeble strength would allow, breathed one prayer for mercy to her Maker.

It was a ghastly figure to look upon. The murderer staggering backward to the wall, and shutting out the sight with his hand, seized a heavy club and struck her down.

 

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