Arthur Clennam is concerned about the motives of Mr. Pancks in interesting himself about the Dorrit family. He isn’t one for idle curiosity, so therefore he must have an agenda. However, Arthur is willing to right any wrong his father may have committed—which Arthur is certain is the case.
He begins to miss Little Dorrit, who is avoiding him. She assured him in a letter that she is well.
He runs into Mr. Meagles one night, who is fretting over Tattycoram. She is missing. He explains that he, Pet, and Mrs. Meagles were discussing going away again for a year. He is hoping an absence will make Pet forget about Henry Gowan. Pet is not pleased, and Tattycoram was even more unhappy about it. Later, she got offended over something Pet asked her to do. Tattycoram told them she hated everyone in the house. She went into a tirade about how they doted and coddled on Pet. Meanwhile, they give Tattycoram a dreadful nickname that is fitted for an animal. Mr. Meagles had taken Tattycoram to her room, but in the morning she was gone. He has been searching for her all day.
Arthur suggests that she went to Miss Wade’s house. Mr. Meagles knows the general street name where Miss Wades supposedly lives, but he doesn’t know the number. They go to the street and make inquiries about Miss Wade at several places to no avail. They finally try a house they initially dismissed as a possible residence of Miss Wade. It turns out that she does live there.
Miss Wade knows they are there about Tattycoram and confirms that the girl is there. Mr. Meagles tells Miss Wade they would like to have her back and are willing to make changes that will make Tattycoram happier.
Miss Wade calls Tattycoram into the room. She tells her that Mr. Meagles is willing to have her back. She can go back and be a slave. She can reclaim having Pet’s superiority constantly thrown into her face. She can have her ridiculous name back.
Tattycoram refuses. Mr. Meagles is upset about how Miss Wade has perverted his actions and distrusts her motivations. He tells Miss Wade that she cannot do much good for Tattycoram, being a woman of mystery and no background.
Tattycoram is unmoved by Mr. Meagles and Arthur’s entreaties to return. Miss Wade looks triumphant. She then informs them that she has the same humble beginnings as Tattycoram. She gives a cruel smile as she tells Arthur that she wishes happiness to Pet and Mr. Gowan’s future marriage.