Smike is one of the inmates at Dotheboys Hall, the orphanage for unwanted boys. While most boys are beaten, not educated as promised and starved, Smike, who is handicapped, receives more abuse than most.
When young Nicholas, another inmate at the orphanage, canes Mr. Squeers and flees, he also rescues Smike and takes him with him to London. Squeers tracks Smike down and takes him back, but Smike manages to escape again. Sadly, Smike eventually dies from the treatment he received as a child at the hands of the Squeers. After his death, Nicholas learns that Smike was actually his cousin.