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Summary Chapter 48

Rumor of Mr. Marks and his errand spreads quickly within the town. He receives a lot of attention at the inn, especially from those recently left unemployed by the closing of the waxwork.

Mrs. Nubbles is surprised to see Mr. Quilp, who offers his room to Mr. Marks. Marks says he prefers to be alone. Mrs. Nubbles remarks that she had seen Quilp at the church the night before. Marks asks the waiter when Quilp arrived and when he is leaving. The waiter says that Quilp came that morning on the night coach, but he doesn’t know when Quilp is planning to depart. Marks tells waiter to deliver a message to Quilp that he would like to speak with him.

Bevis Marks hadn’t been surprised to see Quilp. He isn’t afraid of him. He dislikes and is repulsed by the dwarf. Quilp greets Mr. Marks and Mrs. Nubbles. Marks mentions that they have met before—when Marks arrived in London. He had found Quilp in possession of another man’s belongings. This man had been reduced to beggary and driven from his home.

Quilp replies that he has every right to the possessions, and he didn’t drive the grandfather from his home. The grandfather left of his own accord. Marks angrily states that Quilp would not give information then, but now he finds Quilp dogging his footsteps. Quilp denies this. He claims he goes to church before every journey to petition a safe return. It is a coincidence. Marks claims that Quilp has the same errand that he does, but if he is not going to be helpful—then he can leave them alone. Quilp bids them farewell.

Quilp had learned through Dick Swiveller that Bevis Marks had been in communication with Kit. Quilp had remembered Marks as the man who had been inquiring after the grandfather and Nell. He had gone to the church that night to speak to Mrs. Nubbles. When Kit had led her away, he had followed. He had learned the destination of the carriage she had left in. He left on another carriage and had arrived that morning. He had mingled with the crowd outside the waxwork and had learned of Marks’ errand and its failure.

Quilp has no love of humanity, but he is nursing animosity towards the grandfather and everyone associated with him. He hates the grandfather for being successful in fooling him for so long. He hates Nell because his wife constantly feels guilty about betraying the little girl. He hates Bevis Marks because Marks doesn’t make it any secret that he has an aversion to Quilp. He hates Kit and Mrs. Nubbles because they naturally distrust him and interfere with his plans. Quilp decides he is going to kill Kit.

Quilp tries to trace the grandfather and Nell, but they have disappeared. He hires three scouts to track them down. He returns to London on the same coach Mrs. Nubbles takes. During the journey he frightens her by making faces at her. She is convinced he is the Devil himself. Kit meets her at the station and is surprised to see Quilp. His mother tells him how Mr. Quilp had frightened her. Kit confronts Quilp, saying if he doesn’t leave Mrs. Nubbles alone, Kit will beat him. Quilp tries to intimidate him but doesn’t fight. Finally, Mrs. Nubbles drags Kit away.

Charles Dickens