Chapters 55-57 Summary

Having escaped from Dombey, Mr. Carker tries to decide where to go into hiding. He had thought that he and Edith could go to Italy or Sicily, but now those places are unlikely since it is so easy for someone to hire assassins. He decides that the best thing to do is return to England and hide out in the country.

He travels by train north to the Channel, unable to sleep at all. When he reaches the English coast, he boards a train for a distant rural spot. Again he cannot sleep. When he reaches his intended destination, he looks out over the landscape and then back to the station, where he sees Mr. Dombey exiting. The two of them lock eyes. In terror, Carker backs away, falling off the platform into the tracks. He feels the vibration but is unable to move. The locomotive strikes him, tearing him from limb to limb. Dombey swoons; when he looks again, he sees men carrying a covered burden on a board, with dogs sniffing at the blood on the tracks.

Although he had difficulty tracing her whereabouts, Mr. Toots returns with Susan. She is maid to Florence once again and suggests that Mrs. Richards take the place as housekeeper for Captain Cuttle. Mr. Toots tells Florence that although his love for her is still strong, he wishes her and Walter joy, asking only to remain their friend. Walter and Florence are going to China for a year, and Susan announces to Florence that she will go with them, not accepting any wages.

Florence asks Walter if, before they go to the church to be married, they could make one stop. Knowing that she means the graves of Paul and her mother, Walter agrees. On the eve of the wedding, the party is gathered together and is surprised when Sol Gills returns. He asks Captain Cuttle why he never answered any of his letters, waiting to hear from him in his search for Walter. When Sol explains that he sent the letters to his address at Mrs. MacStinger’s, Cuttle explains that he no longer lives there and has been hiding from his former landlady.

Walter and Florence are married without much ceremony, only their friends standing by them. After they leave, Captain Cuttle, Sol, Mr. Toots, and Susan gather in the shop and contemplate having the last bottle of Madeira in honor of the happy couple. After reading the letter that Walter wrote to Mr. Dombey announcing his and Florence’s wedding, Sol decides it should wait.