Chapters 45-47 Summary
Ruth Pinch usually waits for her brother after his day is done at work, but one afternoon, Tom is late. John Westlock happens to pass by and approaches Ruth. Tom arrives just then, and John invites them to dinner at his rooms. Tom accepts gladly and teases Ruth about her previous dinner that John had shared at their home. As they dine, Tom talks about what a perfect life John lives in his bachelor flat, though John tries to say how solitary an existence it is. Tom refutes this and dominates the conversation, with Ruth only occasionally drawn in. Tom tells John of his encounter at the wharf and his concern that Mercy will think that he is somehow involved in the matter, whatever it is. John urges Tom to talk to Mercy and set the record straight. At the end of the evening, John insists on walking them home, Ruth’s arm in his. Tom still keeps talking, but that night, it is Ruth whom John thinks longingly of.
On their way to talk to Mercy, Tom and Ruth encounter Charity and Mr. Moddle looking at furniture. Charity explains that they are on their way to Mercy’s as well, and so they accompany them. Mrs. Gamp is also there, and Mercy gives them all tea. Mr. Chuffey, still sitting by the fire, suddenly asks who is dead upstairs. Mercy, who has become less selfish since her unfortunate marriage, assures him that all is well. Jonas comes home unexpectedly and is not pleased to see the company. Charity tells him that they are leaving, and if he will send her a bill, she will be glad to pay for the tea. Mr. Moddle weakly moves to confront Jonas, but Charity drags him away. Tom tries to explain about the letter that he delivered to Jonas, but Jonas becomes belligerent, so Tom and Ruth also depart. Jonas turns on Mercy, accusing her of calling the others to plot against him. He tells her that he is going to sleep for two days in a room downstairs and not to disturb him. Mrs. Gamp tells him about Mr. Chuffey’s remarks about a dead person upstairs, which upsets Jonas. That night, Jonas dresses in dark clothing and sneaks out of the house.
Jonas knows that Tigg was to meet with Pecksniff the next day, so he waits in the woods by the side of the road. As Tigg passes by after leaving Pecksniff, Jonas clubs him to death with a fence post. He returns home and sneaks into the room where he was supposedly sleeping. He sleeps after his night of crime, and when he awakens, Mercy tells him that Mr. Nadgett had come to see him, but she had told him her husband was not to be disturbed.