Chapter 37-39 Summary

The single gentleman has no visitors except men who run Punch and Judy shows. The Brasses and Dick wonder what is going on, trying to overhear their conversations without success. One day, Codlin and Short are shown into the single gentleman’s chambers. He is delighted to finally find the men he is looking for and asks them what has become of the old man and the young girl with whom they were seen at the races. Codlin proclaims that he is not surprised that they have been searched for, knowing that there was something mysterious about the pair, as was Short. However, they cannot tell the single gentleman anything about their whereabouts. The single gentleman is downcast, after finding the pair he was looking for at last but being no more knowledgeable than he was before. Short suddenly remembers that he had met a man named Jerry who had seen the old man and his granddaughter in the company of a traveling wax-work show. Jerry will be in London the next day, says Short. The single gentleman tells Short to find Jerry and bring him to his lodgings, promising him good payment if he is successful.

Kit continues in service to the Garlands and has gained a high reputation with all those he comes in contact with. One day a strange gentleman arrives and asks to talk to Kit. He questions him about the old man with whom he used to live at The Old Curiosity Shop and his granddaughter. Kit tells him what he knows, about the old man’s habit of leaving at night and not returning until morning, and also of their disappearance. The stranger thanks him and tells him he will visit him again. As he leaves, Dick Swiveller passes nearby and recognizes the stranger as the single gentleman. After Kit is alone, Dick asks the boy what he knows about the stranger, but Kit does not even know his name. Thinking that Kit might be holding back information, Dick takes him to a pub and buys him beer, hoping to get Kit to tell him more. When he is convinced Kit has told him all he is going to, the two part company.

The end of the first quarter of Kit’s employment with the Garlands arrives, and he is paid his salary. Barbara, the maid, also receives her wages. The mothers of the two servants meet and immediately become friends. Kit and Barbara are given a half-holiday, so they take their parents to Astley’s, a theater/circus popular in London, and afterwards they go out to supper. At the end of his holiday, Kit walks his family home.