Our Mutual Friend Part 2, Chapters 7-10 Summary

Charles Dickens

Part 2, Chapters 7-10 Summary

Mr. Boffin frequently shows up at Boffin’s Bower, which upsets Mr. Wegg, who thinks that he is being watched. Mr. Venus arrives at the Bower with Mr. Wegg’s leg, which Mr. Wegg says is his by law anyway. Mr. Venus is still in low spirits from being disappointed in love when his marriage proposal was rejected. Mr. Wegg shares with Mr. Venus his resentment at being passed over by Old Mr. Harmon in favor of the Boffins, having spoken to Mr. Harmon on several occasions. The two men discuss the possibility of starting a partnership, searching through the dust around the Bower for articles of any value. They agree to this proposal when Mr. Rokesmith arrives with a message for Mr. Wegg. He tells him that Mr. Boffin does not want Mr. Wegg to feel that he has to stay at home during the evenings in anticipation of Mr. Boffin’s arrival. This increases Mr. Wegg’s resentment, especially since the Boffins have moved into the house where Mr. Wegg’s imaginary family lived.

Mr. Boffin is confused as to Mr. Rokesmith’s refusal to be seen in society. The only person he will see is Bella, who will not go to see her family, much preferring her new life at the Boffins’. After Mr. Rokesmith questions her about this, Bella goes to her old home. She, her mother, and her sister Lavinia immediately begin to argue, with the result that all of them are in tears. Mr. Rokesmith picks Bella up and gives her a package from Mr. Boffin, which contains a purse with fifty pounds in it. She goes to pick up her father and convinces him to go with her to dinner. Bella supplements her father’s wardrobe, seeing his shabby appearance with new eyes. She gives him the money left over and tells him that she is determined to marry a rich man. On her way home, she regrets for the first time that John Harmon is dead.

Sloppy, a boy cared for by Betty Higden, comes to tell the Boffins that Johnny, the boy they had hoped to adopt, was ill. The Boffins and Mr. Rokesmith go to Mrs. Higden’s home and take Johnny to the Children’s Hospital. The doctor says that he was brought too late, and it is not long before Johnny dies. On hearing of the boy’s death, Mr. Wegg chuckles and dances with glee. The Boffins decide that it would be best to give up the idea of adopting a boy and calling him John Harmon, since the name does not seem to bring luck. They decide to turn their attentions to Sloppy and see what they can do for him.