Oliver Twist

In what activities does Sikes engage in order to distract himself from his guilt?

Chapter 48

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Sikes cannot block out what he's done or deal with the guilt. After sitting completely still, staring at Nancy’s body, Sikes finally gets up and cleans himself, his clothes, and his weapon off as best he can. He leaves the apartment with his dog, and locks the door behind him. He wanders around, stopping for a bit to sleep, then wanders some more. Finally, by night, he finds a pub remote enough that he feels comfortable entering, and goes in for dinner. While he is eating, a peddler comes in who is selling stain remover. To encourage buyers, he says that he will get the stain out of Sikes’s hat, and grabs it. Sikes lunges for it, and upon getting back, rushes out of the pub.

Sikes walks on without destination, and begins to feel terrified by the sense that Nancy’s ghost is following him. He finds a shed in which he stops for the night, but while there, he has a vision of Nancy’s dead eyes floating in the darkness, everywhere he looks. He is utterly terrified, until he hears men shouting, which, although actually dangerous, energizes him. He rushes out of the shed and sees that there is a large fire, which he runs to. He joins in the fray of people trying to fight it, and works frantically all night. When the fire is out, he eats some food with the other men, and while doing so hears the firemen talking about the murder, and the manhunt for Sikes.

He hurries off until he drops onto the ground and sleeps. He wanders some more, then decides to go back to London and hideout for a week, before escaping to France. On his way, his dog suddenly refuses to follow him anymore, and runs off. Sikes waits for awhile, but the dog never returns, and so he continues on to London alone.