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Summary Chapter 46

It is the schoolmaster. He is stunned to see them. He tells the grandfather that Nell is exhausted and has been taxed too far. The grandfather says she is perishing of want, and he hadn’t realized how sick she was.

The schoolmaster gathers Nell up and bids grandfather to follow him to an inn. The landlady tends to Nell. A doctor is called. After examining her, he gives orders for her care—everything the landlady has already been doing. When Nell is disturbed by being separated from her grandfather, they make a bed in her room for him.

The schoolmaster considers it fortunate he was there to help Nell and her grandfather. The landlady questions him about the two guests. He tells her what he knows. He asks her to look after Nell, and that he will pay for all their expenses.

Nell is better the next morning but still weak. She weeps and thanks the schoolmaster for his kindness when he visits her. He tells her that he has made his fortune. He has been hired as a clerk and schoolmaster in another town. He was on his way there when he met them. He asks her about what has happened since their last meeting and what their plans are. Nell, touched by his kindness, reveals everything that has happened. He is impressed by her selflessness and heroism. He tells her they should come with him. He will see that they get employment.

They leave that evening in a stagecoach. They travel several days before reaching the town. The schoolmaster leaves them at a church to present himself. Nell is fascinated by two deserted dwellings in the church graveyard.

Charles Dickens