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Summary Chapter 13

Quilp and Brass are awakened the next morning by an incessantly loud knocking at the door. Quilp discovers the door key is missing. He finds it in the door, and he notices that the fastenings are undone. Thinking it is his wife knocking, he opens the door to seize her. Instead, he is met with blows. When he lets the person go, he discovers that it is Richard Swiveller.

Dick explains that Mrs. Quilp had been knocking, but she was knocking too softly. Quilp asks him if he was aware there was an invalid in the house, and what the meaning was in causing so much noise. Dick said he knocked loudly because he thought someone was dead. He says he had come to inquire after the grandfather’s health and to speak with Nell.

Quilp orders his wife to fetch Nell after they come inside. Dick remarks that Mr. Quilp has made himself at home. Quilp replies that he is at home. Dick is wondering what he means by that when he notices Mr. Brass. Before he can inquire about what his business is there, Mrs. Quilp comes down to say that the rooms are empty. Brass comments that this explains why the key was in the door. Quilp goes up to see for himself and finds that the grandfather and Nell have indeed vacated the place.

Quilp assumes the old man will have Nell write to him. Dick is astonished to hear him claim that Nell is fond of him. Dick wonders where they went. Quilp acts like he knows, but he is unable to say. Quilp informs Dick that he has bought the stock of the store.

Dick assumes that the old man made his fortune and has gone to live elsewhere. He is upset because this ruins his plans. Nell, the old man, and the money are gone to places unknown—and he is also denied his opportunity to revenge himself on Sophia Wackles. Quilp is also troubled by the flight, assuming that the old man has a fortune stored somewhere else.

Richard asks Quilp to tell them, when he sees them, that he had called out of friendship. Quilp agrees to mention it, and Dick gives him his card.

The vans arrive to take away the goods. Later, Kit comes to the shop. Quilp asks him where the grandfather and Nell have gone. Kit doesn’t know. They didn’t tell him. When Quilp asks him the purpose of his visit to Nell the other night, Kit says he offered them a place to stay. Quilp assumes that Kit will see them soon, and he asks Kit to tell him when he does. Quilp claims he wants to help them. Kit is about to respond negatively when the tumbling boy finds Nell’s bird. Quilp orders him to kill it. Kit asks Quilp to give it to him instead. The tumbling boy refuses to hand it over. Quilp snatches the cage and orders them to fight for it. He encourages them as they fight. Kit emerges as the victor and runs away with the cage.

He takes the bird home. His mother and brother are alarmed by his bloody face. He explains what happened. The family is delighted by the bird. Kit goes out to get some birdseed.

Charles Dickens