In Chapter XXXIX, Bill Sikes lies ill as Nancy attends him. In a bad temper, as well, Sikes orders her to help him from the bed into a chair; when seated, Nancy complains of his ill treatment since she has been so solicitous for nights. She asks him,
"You wouldn't have served as you just now if you'd thought of that, would you? Come, come; say you wouldn't."
"Well, then," rejoined Mr. Sikes....Why damme, now, the girl's whining again!"
Nancy tells Sikes that it is nothing, and that "it'll soon be over."
Savagely angered, Sikes asks her what she is up to, and orders her to busy herself. Later, Fagin and the Artful Dodger arrive with food for the ailing Sikes. When Sikes demands some money from Fagin, he says he must return to his residence and takes Nancy along. In a short time, another man names Monks appears; he want to speak to Fagin privately, but Nancy spies on them and eavesdrops upon their conversation, a conversation that is not revealed to the reader. But, after Fagin counts out the money to her, she is distraught.
Nancy tends Sikes and sneaks some laudanum in Sikes's drink, and after he is asleep, she hurries out. When she reaches a hotel, she asks for Miss Maylie. The disapproving help finally lead Nancy in to speak with the lady, Clearly, Nancy has some extremely important information that is dangerous to know and realizes that sharing this knowledge with others may cause her harm.