Book 3, Chapter 7 Summary

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Last Updated January 12, 2023.

Tom has slipped away from the crowd around the mine shaft. The next day, Mr. Gradgrind informs Mr. Bounderby that he means to clear Stephen’s name and identify the real thief. Louisa speaks to her father about her suspicions. She recalls that Tom asked Stephen to step out of the room the night they visited.

Mr. Gradgrind asks how they can find Tom and save him. There is little time. Sissy has already sent Tom to Mr. Sleary, and the family immediately sets off to find him, moving secretly and in different directions. They travel by night and try to attract as little attention as possible. They find Sleary’s Horse-Riding circus, and Sissy and Louisa go into the performance. Mr. Sleary realizes they are present and summons them to him.

Mr. Sleary tells Sissy all about the changes that have happened since she has been gone. He assures Louisa that her brother is safe and sound. In fact, he is disguised as part of the act. Mr. Gradgrind arrives, and Mr. Sleary sends Tom to his family. Tom is moody and sulky, but he answers his father’s questions and explains how he pulled off the robbery. Mr. Gradgrind tells him he must go abroad, and Mr. Sleary agrees to disguise him as a carter and get him to Liverpool so he can take a ship. Tom lashes out at Louisa, who forgives him and loves him anyway. Then Bitzer appears and takes Tom into his custody.

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