Jonas has several reasons why he wants to be part of Tigg’s enterprise. There is a lot of money that can be made, and it gives Jonas particular pleasure that it is made at the expense of other people. It is also a career that gives a person status. Jonas desires wealth and power because he doesn’t believe he has any other attributes that would command respect.
Jonas plans to be careful and observe Tigg. However, Tigg’s admission that Jonas was too quick to be taken in by him has played into Jonas’ conceit. Jonas doesn’t believe Tigg will take advantage of him or will be able to.
He goes to Tigg’s home. Bailey answers the door and acts very casually, assuming Jonas remembers him from Mrs. Todgers’ establishment. However, Jonas doesn’t. Tigg’s lodgings are just as elegantly decorated as his office is. Mr. Crimple and Doctor Jobling are there. Jonas is introduced to Mr. Wolf and Mr. Pip. Wolf is a literary person who writes in the weekly paper. Mr. Pip is with the theater.
The party has dinner. Jonas calculates the cost alone of the dinner. He assumes this is a special party, but Tigg says he dines like this every night. It is how he chooses to spend his money. Besides, it is important that someone nurture the connections for the company—and Tigg enjoys this aspect of it. However, he expects Jonas to spend his money differently—which Jonas agrees he would. Tigg says it isn’t necessary for Jonas to follow his example, but he hopes Jonas will come to dine with him frequently. Jonas agrees.
The men compliment Jonas’ superiority and puff up his ego. He becomes more talkative. Though he insults his host, everyone is good-natured about it. Tigg and Crimple watch Jonas, who is revealing more than he realizes.
Later, Tigg tells Crimple that Jonas is hooked. Crimple says that Nadgett came by earlier but went away when he saw that Tigg had guests. He told Crimple he would come back in the morning.
Bailey takes Jonas home, who is unsteady on his feet from drink. He is shocked at how changed Mercy has become in appearance and demeanor. She is dejected and timid. Mercy is happy to see Bailey, revealing something of her former self. She asks if they came from Todgers. Bailey says he left that place long ago. He now works for the man that Jonas had been dining with. Bailey helps Jonas inside. Mercy gives Bailey some money and sends him away. He lingers, though, to listen to the conversations between Jonas and Mercy.
Jonas insults his wife. He is making good his vow to pay her back for how she treated him during their brief courtship. Mercy is amazed at how it has affected her, and how subservient she has become. Jonas regrets marrying her, for he could have gotten better prospects if he had stayed single.
Mercy tells him she’ll be glad to defer to him. They could be very happy if he’d be gentle with her. He smacks her.