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Summary Chapter 19


Fagin sets out one rainy night to a house amidst a maze of dirty streets, which don’t confuse him. He is very familiar with the area. The house belongs to Sikes. Nancy is there. Fagin feels awkward with her after their last meeting, but she is hospitable.

Fagin is there to discuss business. They are planning a robbery. Sikes says it can’t be done. His man hasn’t been able to get one of the servants in league with them. The servants have been with their mistress a long time and are loyal. They can’t be bought, and the women servants are not impressed by the good looks of his man Toby Crackit.

Sikes has an idea, though it will cost them extra money. Fagin says it is worth it. Sikes says that while most of the house has bars on it, there is one area that is accessible. He is about to tell Fagin more when a look from Nancy warns him not to divulge the information. He tells Fagin merely to supply them with a small boy.

Fagin wants Nancy to leave the room, but she refuses. Fagin knows she won’t blab, but he doesn’t want a repeat of the other night’s behavior. Nancy laughs to show it has passed, and she already realizes he is going to use Oliver. Sikes doesn’t want to use the boy, but Nancy tells him the boy will do fine if he merely has to open the door. Fagin says they’ve been training him, and all the others are too big anyway. Oliver will obey as long as he is frightened into it.

Sikes tells Fagin he’d better be certain about Oliver, for the boy won’t survive the night if he messes up. Fagin believes the robbery will make Oliver one of them. It will prove to him he is a thief. Fagin really wants to use Oliver. He looks innocent, unlike most children in their area.

They plan to do the robbery the night after tomorrow, when there will be no moon. Sikes orders Fagin to send Oliver to him the next day. Nancy will pick him up. Sikes has freedom to punish or kill Oliver if it is necessary.

Fagin returns home. He tells Dodger he wants to speak to Oliver. Seeing Oliver asleep, Fagin decides to wait until tomorrow. 

Charles Dickens