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Summary Chapter 41

Kit runs through the streets. He stops in front of the Curiosity shop, whose condition dampens his hopes. It seems to be a prophecy of misfortune for its former inhabitants. Kit, though, is not one to indulge such superstitions and dismisses them from his mind.

He goes to his house and is dismayed to see that his mother is away. He guesses she is at Little Bethel, and a neighbor confirms this. He asks for directions to it, but the neighbor doesn’t know where it is. Most of the people in the neighborhood don’t go to it. Finally, he finds someone who does know where it is, having went there with Mrs. Nubbles a few times. Kit has trouble finding it, but he eventually arrives during the service.

Kit enters the church to find his mother sleeping in one of the pews. He despairs over the knowledge that his mother will not come with him until the service is over. He is thunderstruck when he sees Quilp sitting amongst the faithful. He gestures at his little brother to wake their mother. Jacob is too afraid of the preacher to do so.

Kit finally goes up to his mother and wakes her. He tells her she needs to come with him immediately. The preacher calls Kit Satan, saying he is leading off a lamb. Kit says he is a relative, and he wouldn’t lead them off if it weren’t necessary. The mother is mortified as they leave, saying she can never go back there. Kit is glad. He says there is no reason she should be sorry for the pleasures of life, and Little Bethel is always preaching guilt for every pleasure.

He tells her why he needs her to come with him. Mrs. Nubbles is willing to assist, though she has concerns about her clothes and the children. Kit assures her that everything is taken care of. They drop the children off at a neighbor’s and arrive at the Notary’s.

Bevis Marks has bought clothes for Mrs. Nubbles. They ride off. Kit is tearful as he watches them leave. He is looking forward to seeing Nell again, but he expects that she has forgotten that she taught him to read and write.

Charles Dickens