In the workhouse of
a provincial town seventy‑five miles north of
apprenticed to SOWERBERRY, an
undertaker, his small frame and delicate appearance making him suitable for
acting as a mute at children's funerals. But when NOAH CLAYPOLE, anther
apprentice, insults his 151d32b dead mother, Oliver attacks him and is cruelly punished
by the Sowerberrys. He runs away to
Oliver is taken to Mr. BrownIow's house in Pentonville, where the housekeeper, MRS. BEDWIN, nurses him through an illness. He is treated with kindness and affection for the first time in his life, and is happy. But Fagin plots to recapture him, for while the boy is free his secrets are in danger. He engages BILL SIKES, a brutal robber, and NANCY, his mistress, also a member of the gang, to bring Oliver back.
Their stratagem is
successful, and Sikes takes Oliver by night to
Rose is suddenly
stricken with a serious illness. Mrs. Maylie's son, HARRY MAYLIE, arrives and
on her recovery begs her to marry him. She refuses because she is nameless,
having been adopted from a baby-farm by Mrs. Maylie. During his idyllic life
with the Maylies Oliver catches glimpses of MONKS, a sinister man who is in
league with Fagin to recapture him. In Fagin's den they lay plots to do this;
Fagin has set NOAH
CLAYPOLE, now his tool, to follow Nancy and spy on her as she meets Rose and
Mr. BrownIow on the steps of
He takes flight
into the country north of
The dog, which has followed its brutal master even to this pint, leaps for the dead man's shoulders and falls to death below.
Fagin is executed, appealing to Oliver in the condemned cell to save him. The Dodger is transported, Charley Bates sees the errors of bis ways and becomes a reformed character, and Noah Claypole escapes justice by turning King's evidence.
Mr. BrownIow, to whom Oliver has now been restored, unravels the plot against Oliver. Monks, otherwise Edward Leeford, is Oliver's half‑brother, their father having seduced and promised marriage to AGNES, Oliver's mother, while still married to Leeford's mother. The provisions of the father's will leave money to Oliver on condition that he maintains a spotless reputation, and for this reason Monks has tried to keep the boy in Fagin's gang in order to discredit him and inherit the full sum himself. It is now discovered that Oliver's dead mother and Rose Malie were sisters, and that Rose is, after all, legitimate.
Monks receives his
share of the legacy, goes to
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