Chapters 35-38 Summary
Mr. Dombey and Edith return home, proclaiming that Paris was dull. Mrs. Skewton chides them for this opinion. Mr. Dombey is pleased with the remodeling of the house. Florence wants to be near her father but is afraid he will reject her. She asks Edith to show her how to gain the love of her father, but Edith says that she is the last person who can teach anyone to love.
That night, Florence dreams that she sees Paul and Walter coming toward her. Edith seems to be moving in and out of every scene in the dream and eventually leads Florence to a grave in which Edith herself lies. Florence cries out and seems to see Edith holding and comforting her. The next morning, she finds herself alone and wonders if Edith’s presence had been part of the dream.
The Dombeys hold a party at their home, inviting friends from both sides of the family. Mr. Carker, of course, is present, as is Edith’s Cousin Feenix. As the Dombey side is taciturn and the Edith side is talkative, the two sides do not interact. After the party, Dombey reproaches his wife, in the presence of Carker and Mrs. Skewton, for not doing her duty in making his guests welcome. The only answer Edith gives is to twice point out that there are people present listening to him berate her. Mr. Carker asks to be excused and Mrs. Skewton also leaves. Edith goes off to bed, first checking on Florence.
The next morning, Mr. Carker comes to see Edith, who at first says that she is going out and not available. Mr. Carker insists and is therefore admitted. He apologizes to her for not interfering in the situation between her and Mr. Dombey the evening before, but he is merely an employee. He informs her that Walter has drowned, but Florence already told her this. He warns her that if she allows Florence to continue her association with Captain Cuttle, it will influence Mr. Dombey to take stern measures against both her and Florence.
After he leaves, the maid comes running to say that there is something wrong with Mrs. Skewton. When Edith enters her mother’s room, she sees that her mother has had a stroke. According to the doctor, she will recover. Edith goes out, which infuriates her mother.
Miss Tox, feeling cut off from her former associates, decides to visit the Toodle family so that she might talk about Mr. Dombey with Polly. At the home, she is swarmed with children and offers to teach the Toodle boys and girls something, thus making herself invaluable, as she had with Paul Dombey. Mr. Toodle has great reverence for education and so agrees. Rob walks Miss Tox back home and she gives him some money.