Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes
CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
Police officers arrive at Chertsey. Before they start questioning, they go around the place. They explore possibilities and suspect the staff to be involved in the robbery. Since the work was carried out in a professional manner, they feel it could have been the work of city criminals. In the meantime, Mr. Losborne expresses concern about Oliver. He is not sure whether he would be able to save the boy from the law. Mrs. Maylie and Rose look distraught. However, before they decide to meet Oliver, Dr. Losborne suggests that they should have drinks. Readily accepting the offer, the officers relate their adventurous encounters over a glass of drink. The doctor leaves them to attend to a few duties in the house. After they have their drinks, Dr. Losborne offers to take them to meet Oliver. The boy is sound asleep. The doctor tells them how the boy had appeared at their doorstep through some unfortunate circumstance and how Mr. Giles, mistaking him to be the culprit had shot at him. When Mr. Giles and Mr. Brittles are asked to identify the boy as an accomplice to the robbers, the servants fumble. They are unable to prove any thing against Oliver in their subsequent visits. Finally Oliver is released on bail by the magistrate who gets an assurance from Mrs. Maylie that the boy would be produced before the office whenever necessary. Thus, Oliver's new life starts under the care of Mrs. Maylie, Rose, and Dr. Losborne.
Oliver's integrity is put to the test. Again the boy's life hangs in a balance. While Rose, Mrs. Maylie, and the doctor do their best to prove the boy's innocence, the policemen investigate and interrogate the servants to prove the boy's guilt. However, luck favors the boy. When the servants express their inability to identify the boy and when news arrives about the arrests of two men and a boy, the policemen dismiss the case. Oliver, thus crosses one more hurdle in his life to enter the realm of peace and security.
Oliver takes time to recover completely. Mrs. Maylie and Rose do their best to bring him to normal. Oliver feels indebted to them and waits for an opportunity to repay their kindness. He also gets an urge to meet Mr. Brownlow and express his gratitude to him. So, when he is strong enough to undertake the journey, Dr. Losborne accompanies him to meet the kind old man who had once saved his life.
They travel in a coach and soon as they ride on Chertsey bridge. Oliver excitedly points out the dilapidated cottage where he had halted with Bill Sikes before they had gone to rob the house. The doctor alights from the carriage to explore the house. However, when he knocks at the door, it is opened by a hunchback who swears he is unaware of Bill Sikes or his associates. When Dr. Losborne does not find anything similar to Oliver's description of the house and fails to get any useful information from the cripple, he surmises that the boy had made a mistake. Thus cursing himself, he returns to the carriage.
Soon they reach London and as per the directions given by the Oliver stop near Mr. Brownlow's residence. However, the house is vacant and they read a bill on the window which says "To Let." After inquiring from the neighbors, they get the information that Mr. Brownlow, along with his friend, the housekeeper, and the staff had left for the West Indies only a few weeks ago. Oliver looks dejected. He feels sorry that he could neither clear his reputation in front of Mr. Brownlow nor express his gratitude to him.
After a fortnight, Mrs. Maylie Rose and Oliver leave for the countryside for a change of scene. The soothing air and tranquillity of the place work wonders on Oliver. He undertakes long walks, sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of the two women. He learns to read and write from an old gentleman near the church. He learns to pick and arrange flowers and studies books about the care of birds. He learns to appreciate music too, as he listens to the melodies played by Rose on the piano.
Oliver, thus spends happy and memorable days in the company of the two women who reciprocate his love and affection.
Oliver recovers his strength and security under the supervision of Rose, Mrs. Maylie and Dr. Losborne. The love and care showered on him by his new friends remind him of the goodness of Mr. Brownlow and Mrs. Bedwin. When he visits Pentonville and gets to know about his old benefactor's trip to the West Indies, he feels dejected. However, he gets over his disappointment in the company of Rose and Mrs. Maylie and visits the countryside with them. He establishes a strong bond of friendship with the two women. He also becomes aware of his natural abilities and talents and makes the best use of them. Thus Oliver finds true happiness in the company of his new friends.
This chapter reveals that if an orphan like Oliver is given proper attention and encouragement to bring out his talents, he can do his best and become useful to society.