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14  The end of the mystery

 

The next day O liver travelled with Mr  Brown low Dr LosberneMrs May lie and Rose back to his birthplaceHe had been told a little of his historyand knew that the re would be more explanations at the end of this journeyHe was anxious and uncertainwondering what he would hear

But towards the end of the journeyhe began to recognize familiar placesand in great excitement pointed the m out to RoseThe re was the path he had taken when he had run awayThe reacross the fieldswas the  ‘baby farm’The nas They drove into the townhe saw the house of Mr So wer berry the undertakerand the workhouse that had been his prison

They stopped at the biggest hotel in the townand went in to their roomsDuring dinner Mr  Brown low  stayed in a separate roomand the older members of the group went in and out with serious facesMrs May lie came back with her eyes red from cryingAll this made Rose and O liverwho had not been told any new secretsvery nervous and uncomfortable

At nine o’clock Dr Losberne and Mr  Brown low  brought Monks into the roomO liver was very surprisedthis was the same man he had bumped into once outside a puband seen another time with Faginlooking in at him through the window of the country cottageO liver was told that Monks was his half-brotherand the boy stared at him in shock and amazementMonks looked back at him with hatred

 ‘We have the whole story here in the se papers’said Mr  Brown low putting the m on the table ‘All we need now is for you to sign the mMonksAnd to tell O liver what happened

Monks started hesitantly ‘My father had arrived in Italy to collect the money he had inheritedwhen suddenly he fell illWhen he diedwe found two papers in his deskOne was a letter to his girlthe other was a will

 ‘What was the letter’asked Mr  Brown low

 ‘It was written when he was illtelling the girl how ashamed he was that she was pregnantHe asked her not to remember him as a bad man but as someone who had made a mistakeHe reminded her of the day he’d given her the locket and ring

O liver’s tears fell fast as he listened to the story of his father

 ‘And what about the will’asked Mr  Brown low

Monks was silent

 ‘The will’continued Mr  Brown low speaking for him ‘was in the same spirit as the letterHe talked of the misery of his marriage to his wifeand the evil character of youMonkshis only sonwho had been brought up by your mother to hate himHe left you and your mother an annual income of $800The rest of his property he left to his girl Agnes and to their childif it were born aliveand if it showed itself to be of a goodkind characterThe money would only go to youMonksas the older sonif The younger turned out to be as evil as you

 ‘My mother’said Monks ‘burnt this willand never sent the letterThe girl Agnes left her home in secretso that her pregnancy would not bring shame on her familyI swore to my motherwhen she was dyingthat if I ever found my half-brotherI would do him all the harm I couldHe would feel my hatred like a whip on his backI paid Fagin to trap O liver into a life of crimeBut the n he escapedand that stupidinterfering girl Nancy talked to youIf I’d had the chanceI would have finished what I’d begun’Monks stared at O liverand his lips moved in a silent curse

 ‘And the locket and ring’asked Mr  Brown low

 ‘I bought the m from Mr and Mrs Bumblewho had stolen the m from the nursewho had stolen the m from Agnesthe dead girlI’ve already told you how I threw the m into the river

Mr  Brown low  turned to Rose ‘I have one more thing to explain’he said to the girl

 ‘I don’t know if I have the strength to hear it now’she murmured ‘having heard so much already

Mr  Brown low  put his hand  under her arm ‘You have a great deal of couragedear child’he said kindlyHe turned to Monks ‘Do you know this young ladysir

 ‘Yes

 ‘I don’t know you’said Rose faintly

 ‘The father of poor Agnes had two daughters’said Mr  Brown low ‘What happened to the other onewho was only a young child at the time

 ‘When Agnes disappeared’replied Monks ‘her father changed his name and moved to a lonely place in Waleswhere no one would know about the family shameHe died very soon afterwardsand this young daughter was taken in by some poor peopleMy mother hated Agnes and everybody connected with herShe hunted for this young sisterand made sure that her life would be unhappyShe told the poor people who had taken her in that the girl was illegitimateand that she came from a bad family with an evil reputationSo the child led a life of miserable poverty-until Mrs May lie saw her by chancepitied herand took her home

 ‘And do you see this young sister now’asked Mr  Brown low

 ‘YesStanding by your side

Rose could hardly speak ‘SoO liver is my nephew

 ‘I can never call you aunt’cried O liver ‘You’ll always be my own dear sister

They ran into each other’s armsboth of the m crying in their happinessA fathersister and mother had been lost and gainedand it was too much for one eveningThey stood for a long time in silenceand the others left the m aloneThe court was full of facesfrom every cornerall eyes were on one man-FaginIn front of himbehindabovebelow -he seemed surrounded by staring eyesNot one of the faces showed any sympathy towards himall were determined that he should hangAt lastthe re was a cry of ‘Silenceand everyone looked towards the doorThe jury returnedand passed close to FaginHe could tell nothing from their facesThey could have been made of stoneThe n the re was complete stillness-not a whispernot a breathGuiltyThe whole court rang with a great shoutechoing through all the rooms as the crowd ran out of the building to tell all the people waiting outsideThe news was that he would die on Monday

Fagin thought of nothing but death that nightHe began to remember all the people he had ever known who had been hungHe could hardly count the mThey might have sat in the same prison cell as he was sitting in nowHe thought about death by hanging-the ropethe cloth bag over the headthe sudden change from strong men to bundles of clothe shanging at the end of a rope

As his last night camedespair seized Fagin’s evil soulHe could not sit stilland hurried up and down his small cellgasping with terrorhis eyes flashing with hate and angerThe n he lay trembling on his stone bed and listened to the clock striking the hoursWhere would he be when those hours came round again

In the middle of that Sunday nightMr  Brown low  and O liver were allowed to enter the prisonSeveral strong doors were unlockedand eventually They entered Fagin’s cellThe old robber was sitting on the bedwhispering to himselfhis face more like a trapped animal’s than a human’s

 ‘You have some papersFagin’said Mr  Brown low  quietly ‘which were given to you by Monks to look after

 ‘It’s a lie’replied Faginnot looking at him ‘I haven’t got any

 ‘For the love of God’said Mr  Brown low very seriously ‘don’t lie to us nowon the night before your deathYou know that Sikes is dead and Monks has confessedWhere are the papers

 ‘I’ll tell youO liver’said Fagin ‘Come here’He whispered to him ‘They’re in a bag up the chimney in the front room at the top of the houseBut I want to talk to youmy dear

 ‘Yes’said O liver ‘Will you pray with me

 ‘Outsideoutside’said Faginpushing the boy in front of him towards the door ‘Say I’ve gone to sleep-They’ll believe youYou can take me out with you when you go’The old man’s eyes shone with a mad light

 ‘It’s no good’said Mr  Brown low taking O liver’s hand ‘He’s gone too farand we can never reach him now

The cell door openedand as the visitors leftFagin started struggling and fighting with his guardsscreaming so loudly that the prison walls rang with the sound

They left the prison building in the grey light of dawnOutside in the streethuge crowds were already gatheringjoking and laughingand pushing to get the best places near the great black platformwhere the rope hung ready for its morning’s work

Less than three months laterRose married Harry May lieFor her sakeHarry had abandoned his political ambitionsand had become a simple man of the churchThe re was no longer any mystery about Rose’s birthbut even if the re had beenHarry would not have caredThey lived next to the church in a peaceful villageMrs May lie went to live with the mand spent the rest of her days in quiet contentment

Mr  Brown low  adopted O liver as his sonThey moved to a house in the same quiet villageand were just as happyDr Losberne discovered suddenly that the air in Chertsey did not suit himIn less than three months hetoohad moved-to a cottage just outside the villagewhere he took up gardening and fishing with great energy and enthusiasm

Mr  Brown low  suggested that half the remaining money from the will should be given to Monks and the other half to O liveralthough by law it should all have gone to O liver aloneO liver was glad to accept the suggestionMonks went off with his money to the other side of the worldwhere he spent it quickly and was soon in prison for another act of fraudIn prison he became ill and diedThe remaining members of Fagin’s gang died in similar ways in other distant countriesall except Charley Bateswho turned his back on his past life of crime and lived honestlyas a farmer

Noah Claypole was given a free pardon for telling the police about FaginHe soon became employed as an informer for the policespying on people and telling the police about anyone who had broken the lawMr and Mrs Bumble lost their jobs and became poorer and poorereventually living in poverty in the same workhouse that They had once managed

In that quiet country villageTheyears passed peacefullyMr  Brown low  filled the mind of his adopted son with

knowledgeand as he watched the boy grow uphe was reminded more and more of his old friendO liver’s fatherThe two orphansRose and O liverled lives that were truly happyThe hardships that They had once suffered had left no bitterness in their gentle soulsand all their lives They showed the mercy and kindness to others that God himself shows to all things that breathe


 

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