Oliver Twist: Novel Summary: Chapters22-24

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Chapter 22: Two of Mr. Sikes cohorts are waiting inside, Toby Crackit and Barney.  They eat dinner and go to sleep for a time.  At one they wake up and set out to rob the house they planned.  Mr. Sikes threatens Oliver more and they explain to him his job of going through the small window and opening the door. Once Oliver realizes that he is going to be stealing, he begs and pleads to be set free to die in the fields.  Sikes puts a gun to his head and is ready to pull the trigger when Toby grabs Oliver and says it would be quieter to break his neck.  Sikes instructs the boy to do his job, pushes him through the cellar window, and hands him a lantern.  Just as Oliver is about to run through the house and wake the family, two men burst in on him and fire a gun.  Sikes warns him off, but when Oliver does not move, Sikes grabs him by the collar and drags him out through the window, which he came.  Sikes realizes that Oliver has been shot in the arm, and carries him away exclaiming at the loss of blood.  Oliver passes out. 

Chapter 23: Mr. Bumble stopped by to see Mrs. Corney, the matron of the workhouse where Oliver Twist was born.  He brought her a bottle of wine, and accepted a cup of tea from her.  As they were sitting around the round table, Mr. Bumble kept scooting his chair closer to the old woman.  Finally, he grabbed and kissed her.  Then came a knock at the door, and the beadle pretended to be doing something away from the matron, while the visitor entered.  An old woman from the workhouse came in to tell Mrs. Corney that another woman was dying and was requesting her presence.  Mrs. Corney left with the woman, and the beadle waited by looking at her silverware and china. 
Chapter 24: The matron went down to the room of the sick old woman.  The apocrathy's apprentice was there but there was nothing he could do for the old woman and soon left.  The two crones who were the woman's best friends hovered around her, and the matron decided that she would leave before the woman awoke again.  As Mrs. Corney was leaving, the dying woman sat up in bed and called to her.  Mrs. Corney went to her and the woman began telling her the tale of a young woman she nursed a long time ago.  The woman was Oliver's mother, and the old nurse kept saying that she stole the gold from the young woman soon after she died.  Before she could reveal the identity of the dead young mother, or the secrets that only the nurse knew, she herself died.  Mrs. Corney was disappointed she did not find out more information and left the room. 

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