Chapters 52-54 Summary
Good Mrs. Brown stops Mr. Dombey on the street and asks him to come to her home if he wants to hear news about Edith and Mr. Carker. Reluctantly, Mr. Dombey does so and even agrees to give her some money, if the news should be substantial. Mrs. Brown says that she is expecting a visitor who will tell him what he wants to hear.
When Rob Toodle arrives, Mr. Dombey hides so that he can overhear the conversation. With a great deal of effort, Mrs. Brown gets Rob to talk about Mr. Carker. Rob says that Edith came to Mr. Carker’s house, but the two did not leave together. Rob went with Edith to Southampton, from where she departed to go to the continent. Mr. Carker left separately and gave Edith a note containing the location where they would meet. Rob saw the name and writes it down for Mrs. Brown. Mr. Carker and Edith are to meet in Dijon, France. After Rob falls asleep, Mr. Dombey enters the room, gives some money to Mrs. Brown, and silently leaves.
Mr. Perch, the messenger from Dombey and Son, delivers a letter to John Carker from Mr. Dombey, stating that because of his brother’s actions, he was now dismissed. Harriet remembers the man who came to the house and offered assistance. She describes him to John, but he does not know who it is. Soon, the mysterious stranger comes to the door; he is Mr. Morfin, a clerk from Dombey and Son. He tells them what he knows about James using the firm to his own advantage, though he never stole anything outright.
Later, Alice comes to the house and asks Harriet simply that she be believed. When Alice was young, her mother forced her into prostitution. One of her “clients” was James Carker. When Alice was arrested for being an accomplice in a robbery, James refused to help her, seeing her transportation as beneficial to him. This is why Alice threw the money back at Harriet when she discovered who she was. She tells Harriet now that James is in Dijon.
Mr. Carker and Edith register as man and wife in an apartment in France. When Carker approaches her, however, Edith grabs a knife and threatens him with it. She explains that she used him to humiliate Mr. Dombey, even if that meant humiliating herself. She tells Carker that she saw her husband in a carriage that very evening. The doorbell rings. Edith, knowing it is Mr. Dombey, escapes, followed by Carker.