by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist Chapter 13 Summary
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 13
"Reverts to the Merry Old Gentleman and his Youthful Friends, Through Whom a New Acquaintance is Introduced to the Intelligent Reader, and Connected with whom Various Pleasant Matters are Related Appertaining to this History"
- Now we’re back with the Dodger and Charley Bates. Charley thinks that the whole incident with Oliver was hilarious, and he can’t stop laughing about it, but the Dodger’s worried about what Fagin will say.
- The Dodger was right to worry—as soon as they tell Fagin what happened, he begins to shake the Dodger violently while Charley howls. Fortunately, the Dodger wears a coat about ten sizes too big, so he just slips out of it.
- The Dodger grabs the long toasting fork that they use to toast sausages in the fire and takes a swing at Fagin with it—but misses.
- Fagin throws a big jug of ale at the Dodger, and also misses (their aim totally sucks). But Fagin hits a newcomer, by mistake, as he’s coming in the door. And the newcomer is Not Happy.
- The newcomer is Bill Sikes, who growls that the way Fagin treats the boys, he (Sikes) wouldn’t blame them (the boys) if they murdered him (Fagin).
- Meanwhile, despite great verbal and physical abuse from Sikes, a shaggy and scarred-up white dog slinks into the room after him.
- Fagin doesn’t much care for Sikes, saying that he’s a "covetous, avaricious, in-sa-ti-a-ble old fence" (13.32), or for mentioning that he occasionally "blabs" (13.36) on his gang-members, so he interrupts Sikes, and gives him a drink (with a look in his eye like he’d like to poison the glass).
- Fagin says that he’s afraid Oliver will say something that will get them all in trouble.
- Sikes agrees, and looks rather pleased at the thought of Fagin getting into trouble.
- Fagin comes back by telling Sikes that if he ever got taken, Sikes would have the worst of it. (Before a new law got passed in 1826 making it illegal to sell stolen goods, Fagin would have been right—after all, he’s just the fence. Bill Sikes and the boys are the ones who do the stealing.)
- Everyone is dismal at the thought of Oliver ratting them out, so they decide that someone will have to go and ask where he is. But obviously none of them wants to march up to the police office.
- Then Nancy walks in. They ask her to do it, since the police don’t know her in this neighborhood. She’s reluctant, but with some persuading (and some threats) from Bill, she agrees.
- Nancy puts on a respectable-looking outfit, and goes to the police station to ask about her "poor little brother."
- Her costume and act are convincing enough that she gets the officer in the striped waistcoat (the one who made up Oliver’s answers for him) to tell her that he’d gone off with Mr. Brownlow, and that he lives somewhere in Pentonville.
- Nancy goes back to Fagin’s den with the news, and Bill and the Dodger immediately set out to do something about it.
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 13