Our Mutual Friend Part 4, Chapters 8-11 Summary

Charles Dickens

Part 4, Chapters 8-11 Summary

Jenny Wren, having discovered the hypocrisy of Riah, gets scraps for her doll clothes elsewhere, but she does not tell Lizzie what she has learned.

Fledgeby comes to see Jenny since she no longer comes to Pubsey and Co. He asks about Lizzie’s whereabouts, but Jenny will not tell him. He says that Riah has “dark motives” concerning Lizzie that he would like to prevent. Jenny agrees to meet him the following day.

The next morning, Jenny waits while Fledgeby meets with Alfred Lammle, who is leaving the country. Mr. Lammle soon comes downstairs and hands Jenny a broken cane for her to return to Fledgeby.

Jenny goes up to find Fledgeby writhing on the floor. Besides beating him with the cane, Lammle also shoved salt and snuff up his nose and down his throat. Jenny applies vinegar and brown paper, having added some pepper, to Fledgeby’s wounds.

Jenny visits Riah, declaring that he has changed back from being the Wolf to the Godmother, and asks his forgiveness for deserting him. Riah tells her that he has resigned from Pubsey and Co. He is thinking of going to help Fledgeby care for his wounds when a letter from Fledgeby arrives, telling him to leave immediately. Released, Riah tells Jenny that he is going to join Lizzie, but Jenny urges him to stay with her for a while.

A drunken Mr. Dolls goes to Covent Garden Market, where he is beaten by ruffians. He then staggers to the Temple, where he is carted off just as Riah and Jenny pass. Riah sees that Mr. Dolls is dying, so he is taken to the nearest doctor where he is pronounced dead.

Jenny, who always referred to her father as her “bad child,” states that things would have turned out differently if he had been brought up better. Mortimer Lightwood brings Jenny a message from Lizzie that Eugene Wrayburn is dying and has asked to see her.

Jenny arrives at Wrayburn’s bedside but he is too insensible to speak. After four days, Wrayburn requests that Jenny stay by his side while he is dying. He asks Lightwood never to bring his murderer to justice since it would harm Lizzie’s reputation. He insists it was not Bradley Headstone.

Wrayburn begs Lightwood to shield Lizzie. He lingers for days. Lightwood, at Jenny’s suggestion, asks Wrayburn if he wants to make Lizzie his wife, which Wrayburn affirms.

Lightwood returns to London to ask the Rokesmiths to the wedding. John Rokesmith, who still refuses to see Lightwood, will not go, so Bella goes without him. Reverend Frank Milvey, accompanied by his wife, also goes with them to perform the ceremony.

At the train station, they spot Bradley Headstone and tell him that Lizzie is to be married. Headstone falls into a fit, but the wedding party can not stay. Lizzie and Wrayburn are married, with their friends gathered around the death bed.