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Summary: Chapter 14

When Oliver next enters the housekeeper’s room, he notices that the portrait of the lady whom he resembles is gone. Mrs. Bedwin says that Brownlow removed it because it seemed to worry Oliver. One day, Brownlow sends for Oliver to meet him in his study. Assuming that Brownlow means to send him away, Oliver begs to remain as a servant. Brownlow assures Oliver that he wishes to be Oliver’s friend. He asks Oliver to tell him his history. Before Oliver can begin, Brownlow’s friend, Mr. Grimwig, arrives to visit.

Grimwig, a crotchety old man, hints that Oliver might be a boy of bad habits. Brownlow bears his friend’s eccentricity with good humor. Mrs. Bedwin brings in a parcel of books delivered by the bookstall keeper’s boy. Brownlow wishes to send his payment and some returns back with the boy, but he has already gone. Grimwig suggests that Brownlow send Oliver but hints that Oliver might steal the payment and the books. Wishing to prove Grimwig wrong, Brownlow sends Oliver on the errand. It grows dark and Oliver does not return.

Summary: Chapter 15

Oliver takes a wrong turn on the way to the bookstall. Suddenly, Nancy appears. She tells everyone on the street that Oliver is her runaway brother who joined a band of thieves, and that she is taking him back home to their parents. Everyone ignores Oliver’s protests. Bill Sikes runs out of a beer shop, and he and Nancy drag Oliver through the dark backstreets.

Summary: Chapter 16

Nancy, Sikes, and Oliver arrive at a dilapidated house in a squalid neighborhood. Fagin, the Dodger, and Charley laugh hysterically at the fancy clothing Oliver is wearing. Oliver calls for help and flees, but Sikes threatens to set his vicious dog, Bull’s-eye, on him. Nancy leaps to Oliver’s defense, saying that they have ruined all his good prospects. She has worked for Fagin since she was a small child, and she knows that a life of disrepute lies in wait for Oliver. Fagin tries to beat Oliver for his escape attempt, and Nancy flies at Fagin in a rage. Sikes catches Nancy by the wrists, and she faints. They strip Oliver of his clothing, Brownlow’s money, and the books. Fagin returns Oliver’s old clothing to him and sends him to bed. Oliver had given the clothing to Mrs. Bedwin, who sold it to a Jew, and the Jew then delivered the clothing to Fagin and told Fagin where Oliver was.

Summary: Chapter 17

Mr. Brownlow publishes an advertisement offering a reward of five guineas for information about Oliver’s whereabouts or his past. Mr. Bumble notices it in the paper while traveling to London. He quickly goes to Brownlow’s home. Mr. Bumble states that, since birth, Oliver has displayed nothing but “treachery, ingratitude, and malice.” Bumble tells Brownlow that Oliver attacked Noah Claypole without provocation, and Brownlow decides Oliver is nothing but an impostor. Mrs. Bedwin refuses to believe Mr. Bumble.

Summary: Chapter 18

 Fagin leaves Oliver locked up in the house for days. During the daytime, Oliver has no human company. The Dodger and Charley ask him why he does not just give himself over to Fagin, since the money comes quickly and easily in their “jolly life.” Fagin gradually allows Oliver to spend more time in the other boys’ company. Sometimes, Fagin himself regales his crew with funny stories of robberies he committed in his youth. Oliver often laughs at the stories despite himself. Fagin’s plan has been to isolate Oliver until he comes to be so grateful for any human contact that he will do whatever Fagin asks.

Summary: Chapter 19

Sikes plans to rob a house, but he needs a small boy for the job. Fagin offers Oliver’s services. Sikes warns Oliver that he will kill him if he shows any signs of hesitation during the robbery. Sikes arranges to have Nancy deliver Oliver to the scene. Fagin watches Nancy for any signs of hesitation. Despite her earlier protests against trapping Oliver in a life of crime, she betrays no further misgivings.

Summary: Chapter 20

Fagin informs Oliver that he will be taken to Sikes’s residence that night. He gives Oliver a book to read. Oliver waits, shivering in horror at the book’s bloody tales of famous criminals and murderers. Nancy arrives to take him away. Oliver considers calling for help on the streets. Reading his thoughts on his face, Nancy warns him that he could get both of them into deep trouble. They arrive at Sikes’s residence, and Sikes shows Oliver a pistol. He warns Oliver that if he causes any trouble, he will kill him. At five in the morning, they prepare to leave for the job.

Summary: Chapter 21

Sikes takes Oliver on a long journey to the town of Shepperton. They arrive after dark.

Summary: Chapter 22

Sikes leads Oliver to a ruinous house where his partners in crime, Toby Crackit and Barney, are waiting. At half past one, Sikes and Crackit set out with Oliver. They arrive at the targeted house and climb over the wall surrounding it. Only then does Oliver realize that he will be made to participate in a robbery. Horrified, he begs Sikes to let him go. Sikes curses and prepares to shoot him, but Crackit knocks the pistol away, saying that gunfire will draw attention