Chapters 46-48 Summary

Good Mrs. Brown and Alice spy Mr. Carker when he is riding his horse; he's followed by Rob. They do not want to speak to him and know that he would not speak to them as he sees them as mud beneath his horse’s hooves. They stop Rob, however, and learn that Mr. Carker is living in town to be near Mr. Dombey’s house. Mrs. Brown begs Rob to give her a shilling, which he does; but Alice forces her to give it back, saying that she does not want any of Carker’s money.

At the office, John Carker approaches his brother, telling him that none of the clerks of the firm has any respect for Mr. Dombey and want to see him brought low with his pride broken. Mr. Carker the Manager calls them hypocrites, fawning over a man just because he is rich. He goes to the house and thinks about the last time he saw Edith. He knew that the hand she gave him to kiss was injured, which is why he held it just a bit longer as a sign of his ability to manipulate and hurt her.

Edith and Mr. Dombey continue ignoring each other; the only communication between the two is through Mr. Carker. Florence, sensing that Edith has distanced herself from her, asks her what she has done wrong. Edith assures her that although she loves her as much as ever, this is how it must be.

At their two-year anniversary, Mr. Dombey tells Edith that he is having a dinner and that she will attend. She refuses coldly and calmly. He orders that she will not humiliate him in front of his friends. She refuses to discuss it further with Florence and Mr. Carker present, but Mr. Dombey will not leave until she says she will attend the dinner. Edith tells him that she wants a separation. Mr. Dombey is shocked, saying that this is impossible. He appeals to Mr. Carker, who turns on him, stating that the only reason Mr. Dombey has him in his house is to humiliate his wife.

Edith leaves and goes to her room. When she comes down and sees Florence, she tells her not to touch her and not to call her “Mama.” She leaves the house to go to her former home, where she meets Mr. Carker. She has left everything behind. Florence reaches out to her father but he hits her. She at last sees him as he is and realizes that she has no father. With no clear idea of where to go, she leaves the house. As she runs, she discovers that Diogenes has followed her. They go to Uncle Sol’s shop and discover Captain Cuttle living there. He puts Florence to bed, overjoyed that she is safe. Mr. Toots arrives, asking if there is a dog in there as someone heard one. He also relates that someone who had been asking about Sol Gills would return later.