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Summary Chapter 55

The grandfather’s awareness of Nell’s failing health makes him realize how devoted the child is to him and that their miseries have made her ill. Before, he had always concentrated more on his own discomfort, something that she shared. He becomes less selfish and more concerned about her.

Nell becomes weaker and spends more nights on a couch by a fire. Mr. Marton or The Bachelor bring books to her or read to her. The grandfather tries to memorize the tales that the Bachelor tells her so that he can entertain her.

During the day, Nell spends time gardening. She also gives tours of the church. She is very popular, and people refer others. Nell is also well-loved in the village too. People always visit her on church days, some bringing gifts.

She befriends the little boy who lost his brother. One day he comes up and hugs her, crying. She asks him what the matter is, and he tells her that the people are saying she will become an angel before next spring. He begs her not to become an angel. However, if she must—then tell his brother that he misses and still loves him. Thinking of them together will make it more bearable for him.

Nell sobs and promises that she will stay on Earth as long as Heaven permits. He never brings up the subject again. He accompanies her on her walks. He checks up on her in the evening and visits.

The clergyman shows Nell the well. He tells her it is to be closed up and built over next spring.

Charles Dickens