Chapters 49-51 Summary

Florence awakens and finds her chest bruised from her father’s blow. She tries not to think of him, counting herself as having no earthly father. She and Captain Cuttle discuss Walter, with the captain mentioning repeatedly throughout the day that Walter is drowned.

Florence must buy some clothing, since she left without anything. Captain Cuttle tries to give her some money, but she insists she has at least a little money of her own. The next evening, Captain Cuttle tells her a story of a ship that went down in bad weather. Three of the men escaped, but only two of them survived and were picked up. Florence realizes that he is talking about Walter, who enters the room to surprise her. He had been the man Toots saw, but he went to lodge with Mr. Brogley, the loan broker, because he feared that the sight of someone whom they believed to be dead would be too much of a shock. Since Florence is staying in his room, he will return to Brogley’s to spend the night. That night, Captain Cuttle dreams that Sol Gills has been kidnapped and held prisoner by Mrs. MacStinger.

Walter and Captain Cuttle discuss the need of a female companion for Florence for the sake of propriety. Susan Nipper is the obvious choice, but they do not know where she is now. The captain says that Mr. Toots would be the only one who would know her location, and just at that moment, Mr. Toots arrives. Introduced to Walter (whom he calls “Lieutenant Walters”), Mr. Toots asks to speak with Captain Cuttle alone. He tells the captain that Florence has disappeared but is overjoyed to find that she is alive and in that very building. He resigns himself to the fact that Walter is his rival and most likely will be successful. Walter tells Florence that he will soon be leaving to find some way of earning money. Florence expresses her love for him, no longer as a sister. Captain Cuttle is overcome when he learns that they are to be married.

Mr. Dombey refuses to discuss the departure of his wife, assistant, and daughter to anyone. Major Bagstock and Cousin Feenix are not able to find out any news or any plans from him. Miss Tox disguises herself and comes to the Dombey home to talk to Mrs. Pipchin. The housekeeper, however, is glad that Edith is gone and has no use for Miss Tox’s sentimentalism. At the Dombey and Son office, the clerks discuss who will take Carker’s place.