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Summary Chapter 69

Kit, as well as the rest of the household, is restless with expectations of the journey.

Kit realizes he is fond of Barbara, and that the feeling is mutual. Barbara is the only one not enthusiastic about the purpose of the trip. She becomes even glummer when Kit mentions his happiness about seeing Nell again. He is glad Barbara will have a chance to meet her. Barbara becomes sulky. He asks her what the matter is. She denies anything is wrong. Kit, guessing correctly what is troubling her, tells her that he is pleased that she will meet Nell because it pleases him that Barbara will meet someone who is important to him. He is confident Barbara will love Nell. He says he thought of Barbara during his troubles, and it was a comfort to him.

He explains that he loves Nell the way a devoted servant loves their master. She has been an angel for him. He used to worry she would forget or regret knowing him, but he realized he was doing her an injustice. He always tries to be a good person because he wants to please her. She has always made him a better person.

Mr. Chuckster arrives with the cab. He has papers and money for Bevis Marks. He still voices his distrust of Kit. He is surprised that Kit is going on this trip, since he didn’t go on the last one due to the grandfather’s feelings about him. Mr. Abel explains that Mr. Garland’s brother will ensure a friendly reception.

Mr. Chuckster notices pretty Barbara and poses before her. He is ignored by everyone. Those remaining behind at the cottage are saying their goodbyes to those going on the journey. Mr. Chuckster is outraged to see that Barbara only has eyes for Kit.

Bevis Marks tells his story during the journey. There were two brothers, twelve years apart, who loved each other. They fell in love with the same woman. The younger brother, who had been a sickly youth, remembered how his older brother used to take time to comfort him. Feeling he has to repay this debt, he leaves so that his brother can be happy. He leaves the country, hoping to die abroad.

The elder brother marries the lady. She dies soon after and leaves him an infant daughter, who is striking in her likeness to her mother. He worships the daughter. She falls in love with a man that is unworthy of her. The father doesn’t want to see her pine. He hopes he is wrong about the man, or that having a fine wife will change him. He lets them marry.

The young man turns out to be a terrible husband in every way imaginable. Still, the woman endures with a kind nature. The husband depletes her father’s wealth. Eventually, they are forced to go and live with him. Both parents die, and the father is left with a boy of ten years and an infant granddaughter.

The elder brother deals in curios to make his living. His grandson grows up to be like his father, and his granddaughter grows up to resemble her mother in appearance and nature. Remembering what his daughter went through, he becomes fearful of poverty and doesn’t want his granddaughter to want.

Though communication between the two brothers was sporadic—often with long gaps of time—they kept in contact. At some point, the younger brother started remembering their happy childhood and desired to be in his brother’s company again. He sells all his possessions and goes back to London. He arrives on his brother’s doorstep and finds him gone. The rest of the tale is known.

Bevis Marks prays that this time they will not be too late. His heart is heavy. Mr. Garland says it is just the prior disappointment and dismal night affecting him.

Charles Dickens