An idea for a scene wherein Mary Todd meets Mr. Bumble and young ma...

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[title cont: ...ster Twist]

Excuse me while I ramble for a bit here...


MadisenMusic's new song reminded me of Fagin from Oliver! and Emma Conner's York #79 gave me an ingredient for A certain pie shop down the street from where the Sloan's live. Of course, I would love it if both people added their RECords to THIS collab, but I wanted to point out what it made me think of.

I looked it up - Oliver Twist was written by Charles Dickens and published in 1838 - the same timeframe for our story. I was thinking that one of the threats Mary Todd could make to the Sloan children is that if they didn't learn to behave they would all end up being sent to the workhouse.

I then envisioned Mr. Bumble making an cameo appearance in our play with Oliver Twist in tow. It should probably be at the hearing for the shoplifting (I accidentlly typed kidnapping before - that's a different story!) charges for the Sloan children as they sit in the courtroom with Mary awating their turn whle the previous case is heard by the judge - and this is the part of Dickens book which can make an intersect with our story...

 If not this scene, then the court room scene where he is accused of pick-pocketing. The pundits would probably point out that we took too much license using the first courtroom scene since it takes place in a province some 50 or more miles away from London (but doing so would add to the humor I think), whereas they would nod approvingly at intersecting our story with a London courthouse scene once Oliver had become one of Fagin's Boys.


'Well,' said the old gentleman, 'I suppose he's fond of chimney-sweeping?'

'He doats on it, your worship,' replied Bumble; giving Oliver a sly pinch, to intimate that he had better not say he didn't.

'And he _will_ be a sweep, will he?' inquired the old gentleman.

'If we was to bind him to any other trade to-morrow, he'd run away simultaneous, your worship,' replied Bumble.

'And this man that's to be his master--you, sir--you'll treat him well, and feed him, and do all that sort of thing, will you?' said the old gentleman.

'When I says I will, I means I will,' replied Mr. Gamfield doggedly.

'You're a rough speaker, my friend, but you look an honest, open-hearted man,' said the old gentleman: turning his spectacles in the direction of the candidate for Oliver's premium, whose villainous countenance was a regular stamped receipt for cruelty.  But the magistrate was half blind and half childish, so he couldn't reasonably be expected to discern what other people did.

'I hope I am, sir,' said Mr. Gamfield, with an ugly leer.

'I have no doubt you are, my friend,' replied the old gentleman: fixing his spectacles more firmly on his nose, and looking about him for the inkstand.

It was the critical moment of Oliver's fate.  If the inkstand had been where the old gentleman thought it was, he would have dipped his pen into it, and signed the indentures, and Oliver would have been straightway hurried off.  But, as it chanced to be immediately under his nose, it followed, as a matter of course, that he looked all over his desk for it, without finding it; and happening in the course of his search to look straight before him, his gaze encountered the pale and terrified face of Oliver Twist: who, despite all the admonitory looks and pinches of Bumble, was regarding the repulsive countenance of his future master, with a mingled expression of horror and fear, too palpable to be mistaken, even by a half-blind magistrate.

The old gentleman stopped, laid down his pen, and looked from Oliver to Mr. Limbkins; who attempted to take snuff with a cheerful and unconcerned aspect.

'My boy!' said the old gentleman, 'you look pale and alarmed. What is the matter?'

'Stand a little away from him, Beadle,' said the other magistrate: laying aside the paper, and leaning forward with an expression of interest.  'Now, boy, tell us what's the matter: don't be afraid.'

Oliver fell on his knees, and clasping his hands together, prayed that they would order him back to the dark room--that they would starve him--beat him--kill him if they pleased--rather than send him away with that dreadful man.

'Well!' said Mr. Bumble, raising his hands and eyes with most impressive solemnity.  'Well! of all the artful and designing orphans that ever I see, Oliver, you are one of the most bare-facedest.'

'Hold your tongue, Beadle,' said the second old gentleman, when Mr. Bumble had given vent to this compound adjective.

'I beg your worship's pardon,' said Mr. Bumble, incredulous of having heard aright.  'Did your worship speak to me?'

'Yes.  Hold your tongue.'

Mr. Bumble was stupefied with astonishment.  A beadle ordered to hold his tongue!  A moral revolution!

The old gentleman in the tortoise-shell spectacles looked at his companion, he nodded significantly.

'We refuse to sanction these indentures,' said the old gentleman: tossing aside the piece of parchment as he spoke.

'I hope,' stammered Mr. Limbkins:  'I hope the magistrates will not form the opinion that the authorities have been guilty of any improper conduct, on the unsupported testimony of a child.'



And with that they leave the courtroom and The Sloan children are called forward for their hearing - a scene yet to be written.  Anyone interested?


(public domain text for Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens obtained here )

Created: May 24, 2012


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