Oliver Twist Chapter 28 Summary
"Looks After Oliver, and Proceeds with his Adventures"
- And we’re back with Oliver again, finally. Sikes is in the middle of the chase, pausing to rest while carrying the unconscious Oliver. He can hear them coming after him.
- He tries to get Toby to help carry the boy, but Toby’s only interested in looking out for himself.
- Sikes reluctantly leaves Oliver in the ditch where he’d paused. He at least has the consideration to throw a cloak over him, and then runs off.
- Then we start overhearing the pursuers: they pause together to discuss their plan.
- Mr. Giles says he thinks they should go home, and has called back the dogs.
- They all want to go back, but no one wants to take the responsibility of making the decision, so they argue about it.
- They accuse each other of being frightened for a few minutes before admitting that they’re all frightened – it’s only sensible to be frightened.
- They discuss their good sense all the way back to the house.
- At this point we learn the names of the three men: Mr. Giles is the steward/butler at the house, and he’s the one who shot the intruder. Brittles is another servant there, and the third guy is a tinker (a traveling repairman, basically) who happened to be staying in an outhouse on the property, and so was recruited to chase the robbers.
- Meanwhile, Oliver’s still lying in a ditch. He wakes up in great pain, and after a few efforts (he’s lost a lot of blood, and it’s freeeeeezing outside), he manages to get up, and start staggering.
- He doesn’t know where he’s going, but figures if he lies on the cold ground much longer, he’ll die.
- He reaches a road, and follows it, and eventually reaches a house.
- Hmm, thinks Oliver. This house looks familiar.
- He realizes it’s the house they attempted to rob the night before, and his first instinct is to run, but where’s he going to go, especially in his condition? So he staggers to the front door, gives it a hard knock or two, and then collapses on the doorstep.
- Mr. Giles, meanwhile, is in the kitchen, telling the story of his exploits to the two female servants, who are listening with baited breath, while Brittles and the tinker just nod away to everything Giles says.
- When they hear the knock at the door, they’re all too frightened to answer it (although none of them will admit it, besides the two female servants). Giles persuades Brittles to do it, and they all go in a pack.
- They open the front door, and find a half-dead little boy.
- Giles realizes it must be the robber he shot, so he drags Oliver inside and starts calling for Mrs. Maylie, the mistress of the house, to come and see. He’s obviously very proud of himself.
- A young lady calls for him to be quiet, because he’ll frighten Mrs. Maylie. Without coming down herself, she asks Mr. Giles to treat the "poor fellow" kindly, if only for her sake.
- Mr. Giles immediately picks up Oliver and gently carries him to a bed.