Oliver Twist: Story Book - Chapter 44-45-46, A Midnight Meeting

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A Midnight Meeting
      You did an excellent job with the children," Fagin told Noah the following morning. "Six shillings and ninepence halfpenny on the very first day! Now I need you for a very important job."

      "I hope it's nothing dangerous..."

      "Not in the least. All you have to do is follow a young woman. I want to know where she goes, who she sees, what she...."

"How much is it worth to ya?" Noah asked. "If you do it well, I'll give you one pound. And that's paying a lot for such an easy job."
A Midnight Meeting

      "How much is it worth to ya?" Noah asked. "If you do it well, I'll give you one pound. And that's paying a lot for such an easy job."

      "Who is this woman?"

      "One of us."

      "You don't trust her anymore?"

      "She has found some new friends, and I must find out who they are," replied Fagin. "She is at The Three Cripples now. I'll point her out to you."

      Once done, Noah followed Nancy all week. But she met no one. Finally on Sunday night, Noah followed Nancy out of the Cripples. She walked swiftly in the direction of London Bridge. Noah followed behind at a safe distance.

      The church bells chimed midnight when a young woman and a gray-haired gentleman got out of a carriage and walked toward Nancy.

A Very Important Job for Noah.....

      "Not here," whispered Nancy, as she motioned toward the steps leading down from the bridge. They followed her down. "Why weren't you here last Sunday night?" asked Mr. Brownlow.

      "I couldn't come. Bill Sikes forced me to stay home. The only way I was able to go see Miss Maylie at her hotel was by putting sleeping powder in his drink."

      "Did he awake before you returned?"

      "No. Neither he nor any of them suspect me."

Noah Follows Nancy.....

      "Good! Now, listen. Miss Maylie has told me your secret. I believe you, and I want you to trust me. Have no fear. Our plan is to make this fellow Monks tell us what he knows. But if Monks cannot be found, or if he won't talk, you must deliver Fagin into our hands."

      "Fagin'? No, I can't do that! I will never do it!"

Mr. Brownlow Reveals Their Plans.....

      "Why not?" asked Mr. Brownlow.

      "Fagin has led a bad life, but so have I. He has never turned against me, and I have no reason to turn against him."

      "In that case," said Mr. Brownlow, "put Monks into my hands and I will deal with him."

      "But what if Monks turns against the others?" gasped Nancy.

      "No matter what he tells us, we will not turn against your friends. We only want to know about Oliver. Now, will you help us find him?"

       "Yes," said nancy with a sigh. "Monks is tall and strong. He has dark hair and eyes. He's only about 28 years old, but his face is old and sunken. He has terrible fits, so his lips are purple and covered with teeth marks. Sometimes, in these fits, he bites his hands too. So they are covered with wounds. He wears a large cloak, but if you look at his throat, you can see a broad red mark like a burn..."

      Both Mr. Brownlow and Rose gasped.

      "Do you know Monks?" asked Nancy.

      "I think we do, but please continue," said Mr. Brownlow.

      "Well, he spends a lot of time at a tavern called The Three Cripples. You should be able to find him there."

      "You have given us valuable help," said Mr. Brownlow kindly. "How may we serve you now?"

      "You can do nothing to help me," sobbed Nancy. "I am beyond hope." "Maybe you'll change your mind. We can offer you a safe place to stay, either in England or abroad. We can put you beyond the reach of Fagin and the others. Leave now with us, while there is still time!"

A Familiar Description!.....

      Thank you for your kindness, sir, but I am chained to my old life and even though I hate it, I cannot leave it. Now I must go before anyone misses me. Good night!"

Leaving the Bridge.....

      Once Nancy had left the bridge, and Mr. Brownlow and Rose had climbed into their carriage, Noah Claypole crept slowly from his hiding place. Seeing that the bridge was deserted, he darted down the street towards Fagin's house as fast as his legs would carry him.

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