Chapters 36-38 Summary

Tom Pinch arrives in Salisbury and decides that he will go on to London. The next available coach does not leave until the next night, so Mrs. Lupin brings his trunk to him, along with a basket full of food for the journey. The coach driver is interested both in Mrs. Lupin and in the basket, so Tom shares the food with him. In London, Tom goes to see John Westlock, who is overjoyed to see him. Afterward, Tom goes to the home where his sister, Ruth, is governess. He is offended by the rude treatment of the footman. He greets Ruth warmly but is surprised to see that she has been crying. He ascertains that she has been ill treated, which he can quickly guess from the footman. Ruth's employer, his wife, and his daughter (Ruth’s pupil) arrive to tell Tom that they are dissatisfied with Ruth because she cannot command respect from her pupils. Tom argues back that the man and wife themselves show nothing but disrespect for the governess, so their daughter’s behavior is learned from them and is not to be blamed on Ruth. He takes Ruth away, although he has no place to live at the moment. They decide that they will go to nearby Islington, which will be close to London but is a place where they can live cheaply.

Returning to London from Islington, Tom becomes lost. He is surprised when he meets Charity Pecksniff, who is glad to hear that he left her father’s service. She guides him to Mrs. Todgers’ boarding house, where Mercy is visiting. Tom notices that she has changed much. She tearfully begs him to tell Mr. Chuzzlewit, should he ever see him again, that she often remembers his advice to her before her marriage and regrets that she did not heed him. Mrs. Todgers privately tells him that Mercy does not talk about her troubles, but both she and Tom know that Jonas is treating her badly. Charity has Augustus Moddle, her “intended,” escort Tom back to Furnival’s Inn, where John Westlock is living. John offers him money, but Tom tells him that he has five pounds that Mrs. Lupin had given him in a letter on his leaving Salisbury.

Mr. Nadgett has been spying on Jonas Chuzzlewit. When he reports to Tigg, the latter is filled with glee at the findings. Jonas conveniently arrives at that point, stating that he is not satisfied with how his investments in the Anglo-Bengalee are turning out. Tigg replies that he has just decided to ask Jonas to invest more money. When Jonas laughs at this suggestion, Tigg whispers information into his ear that turns Jonas white. Jonas agrees to give more money, as well as to try to talk Mr. Pecksniff into joining the company as well.