Chapters 29-31 Summary
Louisa Chick visits Miss Tox early one morning. She announces to her friend that her brother has returned home from his holiday. Miss Tox is glad to hear that he is feeling much better. Louisa begins to talk of the requirements of a second wife for Mr. Dombey, such as a woman who has beauty, family, dignity, and connection. Miss Tox believes she is talking about her. Louisa mentions also that Florence has returned as well. She speaks of “her” being a credit to the Dombey name. Miss Tox believes that she is speaking of Florence. When Louisa says that she is speaking of her brother’s second wife, Miss Tox stands up and furiously begins to tend to her flowers. Louisa rattles on about Edith and her lack of essential qualities while Miss Tox says nothing.
All this time, Major Bagstock is watching through his eyeglass from next door. His servant, the Native, walks in on the two ladies, and Miss Tox takes the opportunity to faint into her arms. When she is revived, Louisa proclaims that she is shocked that Miss Tox could ever have thought that she herself could be the second Mrs. Dombey. Miss Tox counters with the evidence that Louisa had been in favor of the idea, which Louisa rejects. She leaves and returns home to her husband, who had also thought his wife was trying to join her brother and Miss Tox. Louisa says that she is done with Miss Tox forever.
When Edith comes to the house a week before the wedding, Florence asks her if she could have Paul’s old room, since the whole house is being redecorated. Edith willingly agrees and asks Florence to come live with her until the wedding. Florence eagerly accepts and packs her things immediately. Mrs. Skewton welcomes her and announces that Mr. Dombey is coming for dinner. When he arrives, she hides Florence under her shawl and surprises him. He is surprised but not pleased, which causes Florence to rush from the room.
The three adults discuss the legal preparations necessary before the wedding, but Edith says that Mr. Dombey and Mrs. Skewton can decide between the two of them. On the night before the wedding, Edith tells her mother that she wants Florence to go home after the wedding, while she and Mr. Dombey are in Paris. She does not want her mother corrupting the girl who she has come to love. When Mrs. Skewton objects, Edith warns her that if she does not, she will refuse to be married right in the middle of the ceremony and humiliate all of them. She begs her mother to forget the past and all its wickedness.
The wedding of Mr. Dombey and Edith Granger takes place with great ceremony, the bride given away by her cousin Feenix. The couple leaves for Paris, Florence returns to her home, and Mr. Carker departs while repeating the wedding vows to himself with hidden meaning.