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Summary Chapter 42

Nell has been following the Edwards sisters. They go home, and she is alone. She is unhappy because her grandfather avoids her, though he still takes her money. He is often absent during the day and night.

She is walking through a camp of gypsies when she recognizes someone familiar near the fire. It is her grandfather. She advances closer without revealing her presence so she can hear the conversation.

The card players from the Valiant Soldier are there with her grandfather. They are talking to a gypsy named Mr. Jowl. The grandfather is accusing them of plundering him. Mr. Jowl complains that losers always accuse them of that—but when a loser finally wins a hand, they have no qualms about taking their money.

Since he cannot go on with the game long enough to ever win, they advise him to rob his employer. He will have enough money to certainly beat the odds and win for a change. His employer will likely think someone else stoled the money, since many people pass through the exhibit—and the lady keeps the door unlocked.

The grandfather leaves, determined to steal the cash box. Isaac compliments him on his bravery, saying the gypsy will regret advising him to the theft after he beats him at cards. They advise him how to rob the cash box without casting suspicion on him.

When the old man finally leaves, the men continue to discuss how they finally convinced the old man to steal the cash box. They plan to cut his acquaintance as soon as he hands it over to avoid suspicion.

Nell leaves quietly and hurries home. She is tempted to leave with him immediately, but since he isn’t going to steal the cash box until tomorrow, she decides to think it through. She checks to make sure the cash box is where it ought to be. She tries to go to sleep, but she is too frightened. She finally goes to her grandfather and convinces him that they must flee. She packs a few things, and they hurriedly leave town.

Charles Dickens