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Summary Chapter 47


Fagin is pale, his eyes bloodshot. Noah is asleep on the floor. Fagin is upset because his scheme is in danger of being unraveled. He hates Nancy for her betrayal. He fears she’ll hand him over to the authorities. He is bitter that he can’t use her against Sikes. He fears ruin and death.

He hears footsteps and is glad the person finally came. It is Sikes. He gives Fagin a bundle, asking him to take care of it. Fagin locks it up.

Sikes is unnerved by Fagin’s expression and asks what’s wrong. He worries Fagin is angry with him. Fagin is too emotional to speak. Sikes, frustrated, grabs Fagin’s collar and shakes him—telling him to spill it.

Fagin uses Noah as an example. What would happen if Noah blabbed to the right people, giving a description of them and where they hung out? What if he did it for his own purpose and went out nights to give that information…what then?

Sikes said he would beat anyone who peached on him until their brains came out. He would do it to any one of them if they betrayed him.

Fagin tries to wake Bolter, then says the man is so exhausted from watching her so long. Noah finally wakes. Fagin has Noah tells Sikes about Nancy—including how she drugged him with laudanum so she could leave.

Sikes is furious and wants to leave. Fagin asks him not to be too violent and jeopardize their safety. Sikes doesn't reply but leaves.

Sikes goes home and wakes Nancy. She is glad to see him until she sees his expression and becomes alarmed. Sikes grabs her by the head. She begs him to tell her what is wrong. She promises not to scream. He tells her she was watched and overheard.

She begs him to spare her life. He can’t have the heart to kill her. She’ll keep hold of him until he has time to think. She tells him she has been true to him.

He struggles to throw her off. She tells him how the people offered to send her away—she is certain she could ask them to show him the same mercy. It isn’t too late to repent.

He frees his arm and grabs his pistol. He realizes he’ll be heard if he uses it, so he beats Nancy in the face with it. She falls backwards, blood coming down her forehead. She pulls out Rose’s handkerchief. She prays for mercy from God. Sikes grabs a club and strikes her down. 

Charles Dickens