Oliver Twist: Story Book - Chapter 23-24-25, Oliver is Rescued

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Oliver is Rescued

      After the unsuccessful housebreaking, Oliver, wounded and unconscious from a gunshot, was left in a ditch by Toby and Sikes as they made their escape. He awoke hours later with a cry of pain. A bloody bandage was wrapped around his left arm. He struggled to his feet and dragged himself toward the nearest house. It was, in fact, the house they had tried to rob. Oliver staggered across the lawn and knocked faintly at the front door. Giles and Brittles, the servants, jumped at the sound of the knock.

There were, in fact, two ladies in the house. One, a stately older woman, was Mrs. Maylie. The other, Rose Maylie, a beautiful girl of about 17, was her niece. The two women followed Doctor Losberne into the room where Oliver lay. They were aghast at how young he was! Rose Maylie bent over the boy and gently pushed his hair from his face.
Oliver is Rescued

      "It's a boy!" exclaimed Giles. "And he's badly hurt. In fact, he's one of the robbers! I shot him! Let's make sure he doesn't die. I want to see him hanged for his crime!"

      "Hush, Giles!" said the lady of the house as she came to the door. "Go into town and fetch a doctor at once!"

      There were, in fact, two ladies in the house. One, a stately older woman, was Mrs. Maylie. The other, Rose Maylie, a beautiful girl of about 17, was her niece. The two women followed Doctor Losberne into the room where Oliver lay. They were aghast at how young he was! Rose Maylie bent over the boy and gently pushed his hair from his face.

Oliver Goes for Help.....

      "How shocking!" said her aunt. "To think that this poor boy was the pupil of robbers and housebreakers!"

      "He is so young and fair!" added Rose. "Maybe he has never known a mother's love. Maybe he has never had a home and family. Maybe he was forced into a life of crime because he was starving. We must think about this before we send him to jail!"

Rose Rose Takes Pity on Oliver.....

      Oliver was very ill and weak from the loss of blood. But after several days of care by Rose, Mrs. Maylie, and Dr. Losberne, he gradually improved. When some of his strength returned, he told the Maylies about his past. Rose wept bitterly.

Oliver Tells About His Past.....

      "We must do Something to help the boy," Rose begged her aunt.

      "Yes, we must," said Mrs. Maylie. Then, turning to Dr. Losberne, she asked, "Can you do something?"

      "Perhaps if we can convince the servants that they were mistaken when they identified the boy, we can save him when the police come."

      The kind-hearted doctor sent for the two servants.

      "Giles and Brittles," said Dr. Losberne, "can you swear that the boy with the robbers was Oliver? Could you really identify him in the darkness with all the gunfire?"

      The servants admitted that they couldn't be absolutely certain. So when policemen arrived at the house to investigate the housebreakers, no one could identify the boy. So no charges were pressed against Oliver. After all, it was difficult not to pity the poor little boy. He looked so helpless and innocent lying there in bed! Could be really have wanted to rob the house?

      Oliver recovered quickly from his wounds and entered upon the happiest period of his life since his stay with Mr. Brownlow. The Maylies treated him like a member of their own family. And when spring came, they took him to their cottage in the country.

      One day Dr. Losberne took the boy to Mr. Brownlow's house. Oliver wanted very much to explain why he hadn't returned with the change from the books. Alas! The house was empty, and a 'For Rent' sign hung on the front door.

      "Where has Mr. Brownlow gone?" the doctor asked a neighbour.

Looking for Mr. Brownlow.....

      "He packed his things and left for the West Indies just six weeks ago, sir. His housekeeper, Mrs. Bedwin, and his friend, Mr. Grimwig, went with him."

      Oliver was disappointed, but he kept busy, helping Rose and her aunt with their household chores. He also learned to read and write. He spent many happy hours running along the country roads, picking flowers, and feeding the birds. In the evenings, he listened to Rose play the piano.

Rose Develops a Termible Fever.....

      The happy days ended suddenly when Rose developed a terrible fever. Her hands were two weak to play the piano, and her face was deathly pale. Each day she got weaker.

      Finally, Mrs. Maylie sent Oliver running to the inn in town four miles away to leave a letter with the postman for Dr. Losberne. As Oliver stood outside the inn watching the mail rider saddle his horse, a horrible-looking man with purple lips and red sores on his hands came running towards him from the inn.

      "Curses on your head!" cried the man wildly. "Death on your heart, you imp! Why can't I be free of you!"

      When the man came at Oliver with his fists raised, Oliver turned on his heels and raced away. He turned his head back long enough to see the man fall to the ground, writhing and foaming in a fit.

      Rose's fever became dangerously high. When Dr. Loseberne arrived, he offered very little hope for her recovery. "There is nothing to do but pray," he said sadly.

      Rose fell into a deep sleep. The doctor stayed by her beside for three days and three nights. On the fourth day, he left the room and came out to Mrs. Maylie.

      "The worst is over," he cried happily. "The fever has broken. God has blessed Rose. She will live!"

      Oliver was overcome with joy. He went out to gather the most beautiful flowers he could find for Rose's sickroom. When he returned to the cottage, he saw a handsome young man climb down from a coach. It was Mrs. Maylie's son, Harry.

A Horrible-Looking Man Comes at Oliver.....

      The young man rushed to Mrs. Maylie and cried, "Mother, why didn't you write to me sooner? What if Rose had died?"

Harry Maylie Arrives.....

      "You know why I waited, Harry. If a rich and successful man marries a lady upon whose name there is a stain because the story of her birth is doubtful, he will be sorry later in life. I love you, my son, and I love Rose too....dearly. But evil people will not let you forget her past, even though it is not her fault. And Rose, too, will suffer because you will turn against her."

      "I would never turn against Rose!" cried Harry angrily. "She is my life and my happiness! Let her decide if she wants me, Mother!"

Faces Flash in Front of Oliver.....

      Mrs. Maylie agreed that Harry would be permitted to see Rose as soon as she was well enough to leave her room.

      The following evening as Oliver sat on the front porch, half-awake, half-dozing, Fagin's face flashed in front of him.

      "Come away, my boy," came the voice of Fagin.

      Then another man appeared with Fagin - the horrible-looking man who had tried to attack Oliver outside the inn.

      In an instant the two men were gone, and Oliver leaped into the garden, screaming for help.

      Harry Maylie knew Oliver's history and understood his fright. He and Giles combed thee hedges, the ditches, and the footpaths, but there was not even a trace of footsteps.

      "It must have been a dream, Oliver," said Harry when they returned.

      "No, it was really Fagin," the ;boy insisted. "Fagin and the man who cursed at me when I went to post the letter to Dr. Losberne!"

      The search continued, but in vain.

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