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Summary Chapter 16

 

Sikes orders Oliver to take Nancy’s hand. He grabs the other. He tells Oliver that if he makes a peep, his dog will eat him. The dog growls, as if confirming this threat.

They go to a shop that looks like it has been closed for many years. Dodger lets them in. Charley Bates starts laughing when Oliver enters. He is amused by Oliver’s new clothes and books, and how he looks like a gentleman.

Fagin tells Oliver they’ll give him new clothes. He asks why Oliver didn’t write to say he was coming, causing more hilarity from Bates.

Sikes find the five pound note and claims it, but Fagin says it is his. He tells Sikes he can have the books. Sikes retorts that the five pounds are his and Nancy’s, or they will take Oliver back. Oliver hopes they will. Sikes grabs the money, telling Fagin that really he and Nancy have better things to do than kidnap Fagin’s runaway boys.

Oliver begs them to send the books and money back. The gentleman had been kind enough to nurse him when he was ill. He’ll stay with them, but he doesn’t want the people to think he stoled them. Fagin is pleased that they will think this.

Oliver tries to run and call for help, agitating Sikes’ dog. Nancy orders Sikes to restrain the dog, for she won’t let the child be mauled. Fagin recaptures Oliver and beats him. Nancy stops him, Sikes and Fagin try to calm Nancy down, unnerved by her passionate protests on behalf of Oliver.

Nancy states she has been stealing for Fagin since she was Olver’s age. That is the vocation he drove her into, which will be hers until she dies. When Fagin threatens her, she goes to attack him. Sikes seizes her. She struggles and faints.

Charley takes Oliver to the kitchen and produces his old clothes. He gloats and laughs at Oliver, telling him that is how they got the clue to where he was—when the servant sold his clothes. 

Charles Dickens