Mr. Bumble sits gloomily in the workhouse parlor. He has married Mrs. Corney and succeeded to the post of master, but in spite of his elevation, he sorely misses his cocked hat with its connotations of the authority that belongs to the minor parish official known as the beadle. Bumble and the widow have been married for eight weeks. Going over the terms of his marriage dowry, he mutters that he sold himself too cheap. Mrs. Bumble did not catch all of his words but guesses at their meaning. On these grounds, she starts a quarrel. Bumble meets the challenge by employing the forceful gaze that never fails to stop hungry paupers. His defiant spouse laughs derisively and exercises her next weapon: ďa paroxysm of tears.Ē This tactic only entertains Bumble. Glowing with victory, he strides toward the door. Mrs. Bumble now resorts to more persuasive methods. She knocks her lordís hat off, grasps him by the throat, and begins to pound him with her fists. After some scratching and hair pulling, she pushes him over the chair and orders the fallen warrior from the room. He picks up his ineffectual hat and retires from the field. Bumble makes a tour of the workhouse. He enters the room where female inmates are scrubbing and tries to improve his damaged spirits by reprimanding them for talking too loudly. The strict disciplinarian is promptly cowed by the unexpected presence of Mrs. Bumble. To the delight of the pauper women, the workhouse master is driven out under the threat of being doused with ďa bowl of soap-suds.Ē Humiliated, Bumble retreats to the street. Bumble visits a pub where there is only one other customer, a tall, dark person wearing a cloak. Then after sizing each other up, the two begin a conversation. The stranger stresses that his identity is to remain secret, but he reveals that he knows something of Bumbleís hstory. The dark man seeks information from Bumble and makes him an advance payment. The inquirer directs Bumble to recall an event of twelve years ago. It becomes clear to the reader that the stranger has reference to the birth of Oliver Twist, but he savagely denies interest regarding that boy. The woman who nursed the mother is the object of his investigation. When informed that the woman is dead, the man appears to hover between relief and disappointment. Then, saying that the matter is of no importance, he is about to leave. Bumbleís greedy instinct senses profit. His spouse has never told him what took place on the night of Sallyís death, but he has learned that it concerned Sallyís "attendance, as workhouse nurse, upon the young mother of Oliver Twist." So Bumble detains the stranger with the information that he can produce a witness to the old pauperís death. The manís apprehension seems to be revived by this confidence, and he arranges an evening meeting for the next day at some waterside address. The stranger leaves unceremoniously. Bumble notices that he did not write down his name. Overtaking the man, Bumble is curtly told that he is Monks.
and the little doormouse rose tiny,
on his back legs to full puny height,
and said I am not going to back down,
I have been running away all of my life
and the others nodded in quiet unison,
and the man with the stars he was proud,
he had more than anyone could wish for,
more than he thought was allowed,
and he spoke to the soothsayer still stood,
we will know all there is here to know,
for information will nourish knowledge,
and will help us to grow,
and this place seems to be powerful,
a repository of all things long since gone,
we can assimilate we can,
until such time as we need to move on.
so lead us where you will lead us,
and teach us the stories and rhymes,
teach us the history and the mystery,
teach us how in the ancient times,
they dealt with things that fool us now,
and cured things we cannot understand,
they must have known so much more then,
there must have been much greater plans,
there must have been, a mighty Halloween,
such as we non pagans cannot know now,
there must have been greater knowledge,
long since gone under the plough,
and can you tell us all so well
of these lost pieces of the puzzles,
can you unblink all our blind eyes,
can you untether all tof he muzzles,
can you let us into all your secrets,
everything worldly and all arcane,
everything that is currently shrouded,
until one day it becomes quite plain?

and the Soothsayer clicked his fingers,
and out from the vault at his left hand,
a slithering snake with tablet appeared,

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