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Summary Chapter 26

Fagin is quickly going through the streets and nearly gets hit by a passing coach. He turns around and proceeds to take alleys, trying to avoid the main streets. He quickens his pace.

He goes to an alley where there are a bunch of shops who sell items that they buy from pickpockets. Many of the vendors know him. He goes up to one of the vendors, a Mr. Lively, and asks if he has seen any of his friends at the public house known as The Cripples, which is frequented by Sikes. Lively says no, but he would like to accompany Fagin there. Fagin prefers to go alone.

He goes up to one of the upper rooms at the Cripples. He doesn’t find who he seeks amongst the crowd in the room. He gestures to one of the men to follow him out.

Fagin asks the man if he has seen Sikes or Barney. The man replies in the negative. He doubts they’ll stir while their pursuers are on their scent. He knows Barney is all right, for he would have heard of it otherwise. He tells Fagin Monks will be there soon. Fagin asks for him to tell Monks to come see him the next day.

Fagin then goes to Sikes’ residence. He tells Nancy what Crackit told him. She is depressed. She doesn’t know where Sikes is. As for Oliver, she hopes he dies. He’d be better off dead than with them. She can’t stand looking at the child because it makes her uneasy about herself and makes her turn against all of her friends.

Fagin is enraged that Sikes abandoned Oliver, who is apparently worth a lot of money to him. He abruptly goes quiet, worried he has revealed too much. However, he is satisfied that Nancy was too drunk to remember what he said.

He returns home. Monks is waiting for him when he reaches his door. The man tells Fagin that the robbery was badly planned. Oliver shouldn’t have been included. He would have been better off being a pickpocket. Or if Fagin couldn’t make him one, he should have gotten him convicted and sent away.

Monks has been searching for Oliver, but he isn’t a friend of the boy’s. He doesn’t want him dead, and yet he seems to be the source of many of his troubles.

Monks thinks he saw a woman eavesdropping. However, they search the house and see nobody. He dismisses it as an overactive imagination.

Charles Dickens