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Summary Chapter 48


Morning reveals the grisly murder. Sikes had struck Nancy repeatedly, driven by terror and hate. He threw a rug over her, but he imagines her eyes staring at him.

He burns the murder weapon, and the human hair at the end of it sizzles and goes up the chimney. He cleans himself, burning parts of his clothing that are blood-stained. His dog’s feet are bloody from tracking through the gore.

He leaves the house with the dog. He looks at the window. The only thing amiss is that the curain isn’t drawn like it normally is in the mornings.

He has no destination in mind, only to flee. He goes back and forth. He is hungry, but the thinks people are suspicious of him when he goes to get food at a public house.

He finally finds a secluded place when he and the dog are too exhausted to continue. He falls asleep but is woken up by a newcomer. The newcomer is a traveling salesman. He does a sales pitch for a stain remover. It is good for commiting suicide with for people who have stained their reputation. It also removes stains from clothing. He snatches Sikes’ hat to demonstrate its effectiveness. Sikes snatches the hat back and flees.

He comes to the post office. They are discussing the murder. Sikes decides on another destination. In the night’s shadows, he believes that Nancy’s spirit is pursuing him. He tries to rest in a shed, but he sees her eyes staring at him.

He hears shouts of fire and comes out to see smoke engulfing a building. People are running about in a panic while men try to put out the fire. Sikes helps them with the effort, welcoming the noise and company. However, when the fire is put out, he flees. He overhears them talking about the murder.

He decides to return to London, thinking they won’t expect him to return there. He’ll talk to Fagin, then go abroad to France. However, he fears people will recognize his dog. He decides to drown him. However, the dog runs away, sensing his intentions. Sikes continues his journey. 

Charles Dickens