Oliver Twist: Story Book - Chapter 50, Monks Tells His Story

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Monks Tells His Story

      A coach pulled up in front of Mr. Brownlow's house. Mr. Brownlow got out and waited as two strong men dragged Monks from the coach into the house.

      "How dare you kidnap me in the street!" cried Monks.

      "I had my reasons," said Mr. Brownlow. "I gave you the choice of coming here or surrendering to the police. You agreed to come quietly with us. If you try to leave here now, I'll have you arrested!"

"I had my reasons," said Mr. Brownlow. "I gave you the choice of coming here or surrendering to the police. You agreed to come quietly with us. If you try to leave here now, I'll have you arrested!"
Monks Tells His Story

      "What kind of treatment is this from my father's oldest friend?" asked Monks.

      "It is because I am your father's oldest friend that I am treating you rather gently now, Edward Leeford - though you should be ashamed to bear that name. Your father's sister would I have been my wife, if she had lived. I have forgotten neither him nor her."

      "But what do you want with me?" asked Monks.

      "You have a brother," said Mr. Brownlow, "a brother whose name I whispered to you in the street."

How Dare You Kidnap Me!.....

      "I have no brother," replied Monks. "I am an olny child. Surely you know that."

      "What I do know is that your father, as a young man, was forced by his family's ambition into a wretched, unhappy marriage with a woman a good deal older than he. You were born from that miserable marriage. Later, your parents separated. Then, about 15 years ago, when your father was only 31 and you were, about 11, your father made a new friend - an older gentleman - whose wife had recently died and left him with two daughters. One was a beautiful girl of 19 and the other, only 2 or 3 years old. Your father fell in love with the elder daughter."

You Have a Brother.....

      Monks was getting more and more nervous, but Mr. Brownlow continued. "And that daughter fell deeply in love with him. Then one of your rich relatives died and left your father a large sum of money. He had to go to Rome to settle this relative's business. Your mother was living a frivolous life in Paris at the time, but when she heard about all that money, she followed your father to Rome, bringing you with her. Your father died suddenly the day after she arrived, leaving no will-no will-so all his money and property went to your mother and you."

Monks's Father Fell in Love.....

      Monks leaned forward in his chair and held his breath.

      "But before your father left for Rome, he came to see me," continued Mr. Brownlow.

      "I never heard of that!" said Monks.

      "He left with me some of his possessions which he could not take along on his hasty tirp to Rome. Among those possessions was a portrait of the young woman he loved - a portrait that he, himself, had painted. His one wish was to sell off everything he owned, give all his wealth to you and your mother, then start a new life elsewhere with the woman he loved. He said he would write and tell me more, but I never heard from him again."

      "A short while after his death, I tried to locate this young woman for she was carrying his child. I wanted to give them both a home with me. But when I got to her father's home, I learned that the family had left London the week before."

      Monks breathed easier, but only for a moment.

      "When that child - a boy - was born in a workhouse, his mother died, alone and friendless. He was a sickly child as he grew. Yet some strange fate brought him to me, and I was able to save him from a life of evil."

      "What?" cried Monks.

A Portrait of the Woman He Loved.....

      "When he was in my house recovering from a fever, I was shocked by the likeness between him and the portrait l just told you about. Your evil friends, however, kidnapped him back before could learn his history....

      "B-but you don't have proof that a child was born to my father and this girl," stammered Monks.

      "I do have proof about that," explained Mr. brownlow. "Your father did have a will, even though everyone thought not. But your mother destroyed it before her death, but not before she told you her secret. The will said something about a child likely to be born. You, in fact, later saw the child and recognized him because he looked so much like your father. You then went to the place of his birth and managed to get your hands on the proof his indentity. Then you threw that proof into the river. You are an unworthy son, a coward and a liar - a man who mixes with thieves and murderers. Do you know that a murder was committed because of you?"

B-but You Don't Have Proof.....

      "No, no!" cried Monks. "I knew nothing of that. I only heard about a murder, but I thought it was because of a common quarrel."

      "No! It was done because the girl told part of your secret. Are you prepared to tell me the rest now?"

      "Yes, I will."

      "Will you sign a statement of the truth and repeat it in front of witnesses?"

      "Yes, I'll do that too," said Monks.

      "You must do even more. You remember what the will said. You must give your poor innocent brother, who has suffered so much, what is rightfully due him. Once that is done, you may go where you please. I won't send the law after you. I am interested only in Oliver's wellbeing. Then, I hope never to see you again."

      Monks began angrily pacing the room, hoping to come up with a way to escape. Suddenly, Dr. Losberne burst in, violently upset.

      "The murderer will be captured tonight!" he announced. "His dog has been seen lurking around an old haunt. Surely the man will go there under cover of darkness. There are policemen and spies everywhere, and the government has offered a reward of 100 pounds for his capture!

A Murder Was Committed Because of You.....

      "And what of Fagin?" asked Mr. Brownlow.

      "Not taken yet, but he will be. They're sure of that. Harry Maylie is helping the police now.

      Turning to Monks, Mr. Brownlow said, "This should convince you that you cannot get away, Edward Leeford. Stay here. It's the only place where you'll be safe."

The Murderer Will Be Captured Tonight....

      With those words, Mr. Brownlow and Dr. Losberne locked the door and hurried away.

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