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The Story of ‘Oliver Twist’ (2) : The conspiracy to lose Oliver in London’s dark world of crime takes a murderous turn, but has evil overreached itself once again?

Based on ‘Oliver Twist’ (1837), by Charles Dickens.

Young orphan Oliver Twist has been drawn unwillingly into London’s gangland, but Mr Brownlow has not given up hope of rescuing the boy from the clutches of the ruthless Fagin.

ONE man with a very strong motive for seeing Oliver lost among thieves was Edward Leeford.

Oliver was his half-brother, the child of his father’s mistress, a fact of which Leeford had destroyed every last evidence, including a will. He stopped short of murder: but Fagin must hide Oliver in London’s criminal heart for ever.

One of Fagin’s girls, Nancy, overheard the conspiracy, and told Mr Brownlow, on condition that the police were not involved. But when Fagin told her abusive lover Bill Sikes of their tryst, he left that part out, and that night, as Fagin expected, Sikes murdered Nancy.

Wanting no part in Nancy’s death, a frightened Leeford signed a paper recognising Oliver, and restoring his legacy.

Even criminal London turned against Sikes and Fagin. Their stories both conclude at the end of a rope.

But Oliver lived on with Mr Brownlow, and happily: for that is the reward of affection and humanity of heart, and of gratitude to Him whose code is Mercy and Benevolence.

Based on ‘Oliver Twist’ (1837), by Charles Dickens.

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Picture: © Derek Harper, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0. View original
Chertsey Bridge over the River Thames in Surrey, built in the 1780s. Chertsey was where Sikes bungled a burglary, which led ultimately to the unmasking of Leeford’s conspiracy.
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Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
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Part One
Based on the play by Aristophanes
(c. 445-386 BC)

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