Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Summary Chapter 23

Mr. Meagles approaches Mr. Doyce on Arthur Clennam’s behalf about taking him on as a partner in business. Doyce embraces the idea and hands his keys over so that Mr. Meagles can give them to Arthur. However, initially Mr. Meagles had some difficulty in approaching the subject with Mr. Doyce. Apparently, the man feared that by mentioning it to Arthur in casual conversation, he worries Arthur might think he has a sinister motive. He wants Mr. Meagles to examine his books to assure that everything is as it should be. Mr. Meagles dismisses this all as his friend’s eccentricity.

Mr. Meagles and Mr. Clennam go to look over Mr. Doyce’s papers. The papers are easy to understand, though it is obvious that Mr. Doyce does need some assistance. He is not prepared for the investigation that is going on. In three or four days, Arthur Clennam is abreast of the situation. He buys half a share in the business. Mr. Meagles finds Clennam and Doyce to be a good team.

Arthur does not make a lot of money, but the work will keep him busy and has a lot of promise.

There is a trapdoor that leads to his counting house. One day Arthur sees two bonnets rising up. It is Mr. F’s aunt and Flora. Mr. F’s aunt is slipping, and Arthur rescues her.

Flora is upset that Arthur never came back to visit, though it wasn’t expected. She is curious about his new partner. She has come to offer congratulations. She also wants to continue to explain how their parents broke them up in the past and why she married Mr. F.

She had also heard that Arthur was interested in Little Dorrit. Flora is thinking about hiring her. Arthur admits that he is interested in helping the girl and would be grateful.

Flora’s father and Mr. Pancks show up. Mr. Pancks observes that Arthur couldn’t really be a reference for Little Dorrit, since he doesn’t really know her.

Mr. F’s aunt challenges Arthur to try and throw her out the window after making a few insults. She refuses to leave when Flora suggests that they go. Mr. Pancks decides to depart, successfully inducing Mr. F’s aunt to come with him. The rest of the party leaves.

Mr. Pancks returns. He wants to know more about Little Dorrit. He claims he wants to help her. Arthur gives him basic information about the family. He asks that if Mr. Pancks learns any information about them, that he freely share it with him.

Mr. Pancks then asks about whether it is advisable to rent a room to the lame foreigner with a stick who was recently released from the hospital. Arthur vouches for him.

Mr. Pancks goes through the Bleeding Heart yard demanding his rents. The inhabitants are sorry that Mr. Casby has entrusted him with this. However, the benign looking Patriarch thinks Mr. Pancks could have gotten more money out of them.

Charles Dickens