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Fagin in his cell

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Fagin in his cell
From the novel by Charles Dickens
Excerpted from Chapter 52

"I am not afraid," said Oliver in a low voice, as he relinquished Mr. Brownlow's hand.

"The papers," said the Jew, drawing him towards him, "are in a canvas bag, in a hole a little way up the chimney in the top front-room. I want to talk to you, my dear. I want to talk to you."

"Yes, yes," returned Oliver. "Let me say a prayer. Do! Let me say one prayer. Say only one, upon your knees, with me, and we will talk till morning."

"Outside, outside," replied the Jew, pushing the boy before him towards the door, and looking vacantly over his head. "Say I've gone to sleep-they'll believe you. You can get me out, if you take me so. Now then, now then!"

"Oh! God forgive this wretched man!" cried the boy with a burst of tears.

"That's right, that's right," said the Jew. "That'll help us on. This door first. If I shake and tremble, as we pass the gallows, don't you mind, but hurry on. Now, now, now!"

"Have you nothing else to ask him, sir?" inquired the turnkey.

"No other question," replied Mr. Brownlow. "If I hoped we could recall him to a sense of his position-"

"Nothing will do that, sir," replied the man, shaking his head. "You had better leave him."

The door of the cell opened, and the attendants returned.

"Press on, press on," cried the Jew. "Softly, but not so slow. Faster, faster!"

The men laid hands upon him, and disengaging Oliver from his grasp, held him back. He struggled with the power of desperation, for an instant; and, then sent up cry upon cry that penetrated even those massive walls, and rang in their ears until they reached the open yard.

It was some time before they left the prison. Oliver nearly swooned after this frightful scene, and was so weak that for an hour or more, he had not the strength to walk.

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Fagin in his cell
From the screenplay by Alan Bleasdale


Oliver :
I'm not afraid.

FX: Prison Door Opening

Fagin :
Your letter is in a secret hiding place, in a canvas bag, in the chimney breast, in the top front room.

Oliver :
In the place where you took the book about h. . . About. . .

Fagin :
Yes, that book, Oliver, but we'll have none of that, not now. Because I see our place. You've come to get me out. Tell them I'm sleeping.

. . . they'll believe you. Look, there I am, sleeping. And then it's out of this door first, I know the way. But if I shake and tremble as we pass the gallows, I know you'll understand. But we must hurry. It must be now. For I cannot sleep much longer. I'm beginning to wake up already, waiting for the bells that chime.

Turnkey :
Have you anything else to ask him, sir.

Brownlow :
No other questions.

Fagin :
Oh no! I've woken up. See. I'm awake and it is all a dream.

FX: Prison Door Closing

Fagin :
Send Monks. Send Monks to see me. Send him to stand by my side. Send him in the morning. Tell him to be here by eight o'clock . . . not a minute later. Dodger, Dodger, always my favorite. But don't tell the others. And the boat? It is ready? Oh good. It will set sail . . . tonight? Always at night. . . .

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Fagin in his cell
From the film

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Oliver asks for more | Nancy finds Oliver | Fagin in his cell

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