Oliver Twist: Story Book - Chapter 33-34, Nancy Warns Rose Maylie

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Nancy Warns Rose Maylie

      It was the night after Monks had met the Bumbles. Bill Sikes, tired and ill, lay on a filthy bed in a tiny, barely-flurished room. He wore a dirty dressing gown and had a stiff, black beard a week old. His mood was ugly because of illness and because a streak of bad luck had brought about his poverty.

While the girl was at Fagin's house waiting for him to count out some money for Bill, Monks arrived. The two men climbed upstairs to another room, but Nancy followed and listened in at the door.
Nancy Warns Rose Maylie

      Fagin had just stopped in to see Bill and Nancy.

      "Where've you been all week, Fagin?" asked Bill. "You were plotting while I was lying here helplessly."

      "I was away from London on business," said Fagin. "I wouldn't forget you."

      "Well, I need some money. If it hadn't been for Nancy, I would have died."

      "I'll send some money around with the Artful Dodger," said Fagin.

      "No, you won't. He might just forget to come or find some excuse to spend it. No, I'll send Nancy home with you to fetch it."

      While the girl was at Fagin's house waiting for him to count out some money for Bill, Monks arrived. The two men climbed upstairs to another room, but Nancy followed and listened in at the door.

Sikes Accuses Fagin of Plotting.....

      By the time the two men came down, she was putting on her shawl and bonnet, preparing to leave. She dared not look at Fagin as he dropped the coins into her hand. She was too frightened at what she had heard upstairs.

      Nancy was weak and pale by the time she reached Sike's room with the money. She tried to hide her upset from Sikes, who was only interested in the money, but the housebreakers began to question her.

Nancy Listens at the Door.....

      "You look pale as a corpse. What's the matter?"

      "Nothing," she replied and tried to force gaiety into heer voice.

      Later that night, Nancy dropped some sleeping powder into Sikes's drink. As soon as he dozed off, she put on her bonnet and shawl and left the house.

Sleeping Powder for Sikes.....

      "I pray I'm not too late," she murmured as she walked into a fancy hotel in the West-End of London.

      "I would like to see Miss Maylie," she told the doorman breathlessly. He looked at her outfit and pushed her towards the door..

      "Please! I must see her!" Nancy cured.

      "Whom shall I say is calling?"

      "It's no use giving a name."

      "And what business are you on?"

      "It's no use mentioning that, either." Nancy looked around desperately at the housemaids who had gathered at the door. "Won't someone here carry a message for a poor girl like me?"

      One of the softhearted servants agreed.

      "What is the message?" she asked Nancy.

      "Tell Miss Maylie that I would like to speak to her alone. It's very important!"

      Nancy thought of the great gulf that separated a woman like herself from a refined lady like Rose Maylie. Nacny had spent all her life in the streets and sinful places around London, but she still had some pride.

      "It's not easy to get in to see you," she told Rose. "If I'd become angry at the way I was treated and gone away, you would have been Sorry later on."

      "I'm sorry of someone treated you harshly," Rose replied. "Now please tell me why you wish to see me." Her sweet face and gentle voice surprised Nancy, and the girl burst into tears.

      "I am about to put my life and the lives of others in your hands," Nancy sobbed. "I am the girl who dragged little Oliver back to Fagin's plae on the night he left. Mr. Brownlow's house in Pentoville.

Nancy Tries to Get to See Rose Maylie.....

      "You!" exclaimed Rose. Yes,

      "Yes, and there is more. I have run away from those people who would murder me if they knew I was here, telling you what I overheard. Do you know a man named Monks?"

      "No," said Rose.

      "He knows you and knew you were here. Only by hearing him mention this place was I able to find you."

Nancy Confesses Kidnapping Oliver.....

      "Yes," said Rose, "I understand. Go on."

      "Soon after Oliver was put into your house on the night of the robbery, I began suspecting Monks. I listened to a talk between him and Fagin. I learned that Monks had seen Oliver accidentally with two of our boys on the day we first lost him. Monks recognized Oliver as the child that he was watching for, but I don't know why he was watching for him. He made a deal with Fagin, that if Oliver were returned, he would give Fagin a large sum of money. Fagin was to get an even larger sum if he made Oliver into a thief."

      "A thief? For what purpose?" asked Rose.

      "Monks saw my shadow on the wall as I tried to hear about that, so I had to run away. Then I didn't see Monks again until last night."

      "What happened then?"

      He came again to see Fagin. I listened to their conversation from another room. Monks said that the only proof of Oliver's real identity lay at the bottom of the river and that the old hag who received the proof was dead. Then Monks laughed and said he had Oliver's money, safely for himself now, but that it would have been fun to make the boy a thief and have him jailed. It seems Monks wanted to get everything from his father's will and with Oliver out of the way, he could. He said Fagin could arrange for the boy to be jailed and hung after the old thrift had made a profit out of him!

      Rose couldn't believe her ears!

Monks's Plot Is Revealed.....

      "There's more," said' Nancy, speaking quickly, for she had to get back before she was missed. "Monks said that he would kill Oliver himself if he could get away with it without getting caught. But since he couldn't, he would always be on the watch for Oliver to make sure he didn't take advantage of his inheritance. Monks even told Fagin, I may harm him yet. You cant imagine what traps I shall set for my young brother Oliver."

      "His brother!" exclaimed Rose.

His Brother!.....

      "Yes! And he said you would probably pay hundreds of thousands of pounds, if you had them, to find out who Oliver really is. And now I must leave!"

      "But why do you wish to return to these people who have treated you so horribly? If you'll let me call a gentleman from the next room, he can take you to a safe place."

A Gentleman in the Next Room Can Help.....

      "Thank you, dear lady, but l must go back. There is one man among the bunch who is even more desperate than the rest. If the others found out that I had told you all this, they would surely kill him. I can't forsake him even to be saved from the dreadful life I lead."

Nancy Refuses Rose's Money.....

      "But what good will this information be when you are gone? How can Oliver be helped?"

      "You must have some wise friend who will keep your secret and advise you what to do," Nancy replied.

      "At least tell me where I can find you if I need to," begged Rose.

      "Will you promise that you will come alone and not tell anyone else where you are going and not allow anyone to follow or watch you?"

      "I promise," said Rose.

      "Very well, then. Every Sunday night, from 11:00 until midnight, I will walk on London Bridge if I am alive."

      "Please then, take some money," said Rose, "so you can live as an honest woman."

      "Not a penny," said Nancy. "But God bless you, sweet lady."

      Nancy hurried off quickly into the night, and Rose sank into a chair to collect her thoughts.

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