Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Summary Chapter 13


Martin heads towards London in angry determination and wounded pride. He regrets leaving his clothes behind when he is wet from rain. When he opens Pinch’s book, he finds a half-sovereign.

He is grateful to Pinch. His esteem is boosted when he realizes he must have made an impression on Pinch. He realizes he has talent and can make his way better in the world than someone like Pinch.

He stops at an ale house to eat and dry off. A coach driver named Bill Simmons offers to take him to London in exchange for his silk handkerchief. On the trip, Bill talks about his friend Ned who went to the United States penniless but made his fortune. However, he lost it the next day due to his own carelessness. Martin asks particular questions like how much it cost him to get passage to America, but Bill doesn’t know the answers.

They arrive in London. Martin finds a room. He goes to a pawnshop to sell his watch. He recognizes Tigg’s voice bargaining with the pawnbroker and goes to withdraw. Tigg sees him, however, and asks the pawnbroker to give him a good deal.

Martin makes it clear he doesn’t want to keep company with Tigg. Tiggs informs him he is no longer associated with Slyme. He also feels he deserves a little compensation for helping Martin with the pawnbroker. Martin gives him a half-crown and leaves. He hopes Tigg has parted with Slyme because he doesn’t want the family hearing about his circumstances.

Martin writes to Pinch and asks for his clothes to be forwarded to his current address. He tries to find employment on a vessel to get free passage to America. However, he is too old to be a cabin boy and too inexperienced to be a seaman. His clothes and demeanor also make people prejudiced in thinking he is right for that type of employment. He puts an advertisement in the paper. He pawns some of his clothes for money. He reflects, in the five weeks that follow, how much his view has changed. He used to be ashamed of entering the pawnshop, but now he doesn’t dwell on it.

He gets no replies to his advertisement. His pride prevents him from asking Pinch for help. Just as his money runs out, he receives a letter with twenty pounds.

He receives a visit from Mark Tapely, who followed Martin to his home. Martin is angry at first, but it dissipates with Mark’s good-humor. He has been rather lonely and welcomes Mark’s company.

Mark tells him he is looking for a situation to wait upon a gentleman. Martin says he doesn’t have the finances to hire a valet, and he is also planning to leave for America. Mark tells Martin he has kept an eye on him since seeing him at the Dragon. He knew that Martin was doomed to have a change in circumstances. Mark has saved up money and doesn’t need wages. He does need a position. He wants to go with Martin to America. If he goes alone, he’ll choose the worst ship to cross in and probably be drowned.

Martin’s anger at being stalked subsides quickly. He asks Tapely if he knows anything about the money that was sent to him that day, but Mark doesn’t. Mark asks Martin if he will let him come with him to America. Martin says it will depend on how Mark feels the next day after hearing his story.

Martin tells Mark his story, which is the same story he told Pinch. Mark says he approves of the lady as a love interest. Martin says she hasn’t been happy, and Mark should have seen her in days of old. Mark replies that she has looked better since they have been in London. Martin is astounded to hear that Mary is in London and asks if she still is. Mark is surprised, thinking Martin should know. Martin says he hasn’t seen Mary since he left his grandfather’s house.

Mark says that he saw the grandfather some weeks ago and had inquired about a situation. The grandfather told him to come back the next week. When Mark did, the grandfather said he had changed his mind about hiring him.

Martin asks Mark if he can deliver a letter to the lady secretly. Mark agrees, and Martin sits down to write. Mark starts tidying up the room, relishing in the poor circumstances he finds himself in. He becomes Martin’s valet.

Charles Dickens