Back at the poor house, Oliver is unwillingly united with Fargin, Bates, and the Dodger, who are sarcastic and cruel toward him; he begs them to return Mr. Brownlow’s books and money that he had given to Oliver to pay for the books, to no avail. And when Fargin is about to give Oliver a blow to teach him a lesson, Nancy steps in to protect him causing her great emotional distress over how she has been forced to make a living in the streets.
Mr. Bumble must go to London on business, and while there, he happens to read the paper in which he observes an ad for a reward for anyone who can tell Mr. Brownlow about the history or whereabouts of Oliver Twist. Without hesitation, Mr. Bumble meets with Mr. Brownlow and tells him only his own biased view of Oliver; Mr. Brownlow is convinced that Oliver was a liar and commands Mrs. Bedwin, who does not believe Mr. Bumble, never to speak of him again.
Oliver is basically under house arrest and cannot escape, and he is forced to listen to Mr. Fagin lecture Oliver on the evils of ungratefulness. One day, while Bates and Dodger demonstrate the particulars of their profession, Oliver meets another character, Mr. Chitling, who just was released from corrections. Also, Fagin is confident that the toxins of isolation and despair are successfully working its way into Oliver’s heart to change him forever.
Oliver does not know it, yet, but Mr. Sikes and Mr. Fagin have arranged for Oliver to assist in a plan to break into and rob a house; it is decided that Nancy will take Oliver over to Sikes’ place the next day.
Fagin never does tell Oliver what his mission was to be with Sikes, but Oliver already suspects it, and before Fagin went to bed – leaving Oliver alone to wait for someone to retrieve him – he gives Oliver a book to read about crime and murder, which causes him to fall to his knees and pray that God will deliver him from such corruption. Then Nancy arrives to take him to Sikes in which he hopes she will help him escape, but she already makes it clear that she cannot help him, or it will be the death of her.