Oliver spends the next two weeks cleaning the numerous handkerchiefs and playing the pocket game. He wishes to gain more useful employment.
When the boys come home empty-handed, Fagin lectures them on being lazy and sends them to bed without supper. One time he knocks Dodger and Bates down the stairs.
Finally Oliver is allowed to go out with Bates and Dodger. Oliver doesn’t approve of how Dodger bullies other boys and how Bates steals food from neighboring stalls. He is about to return to Fagin’s.
However, Dodger and Bates suddenly spot a respectable gentleman reading a book at a book stall. They steal his handkerchief, and Oliver suddenly understands the purpose of the pocket game.
Oliver is running away when the gentleman notices that his handkerchief is missing. He calls out that Oliver is a thief. Dodger and Bates join in and call Oliver a thief, pretending to be good citizens. Other citizens cry out and pursue Oliver. Finally, someone hits Oliver. A crowd surrounds him.
A police officer grabs ahold of Oliver. The gentleman whose handkerchief was stolen looks at Oliver compassionately. Dodger and Bates run away.