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Summary Chapter 56

Clennam is going to an address Pancks had referred him to where he could find Miss Wade. He gives his name as Blandois to the house lady.

Miss Wade is surprised to see him. He tells her he knew she wouldn’t see him if he gave his own name. He is searching for Blandois and wants information, knowing that Miss Wade is acquainted with him. He reveals that he knows she has met Blandois by the river, which he witnessed by accident. He tells her that Blandois has disappeared. She denies knowledge of this. He is eager to find the man and dispel the suspicions surrounding his mother (that she had something to do with his disappearance).

Miss Wade is interested but not very helpful. She claims she doesn’t know much about Blandois. She hired him in Italy to transport money. He is a wretch. She assumes Mrs. Clennam probably knows more about him. Miss Wade no longer has use for him, and she doesn’t care if he is alive or dead.

She points out that Blandois was a friend of Mr. Gowan’s. Arthur claims that Mr. Gowan doesn’t know anything about him either. She expresses a smoldering hatred for Pet. She hates Gowan too, for she once loved him. She gives Arthur a letter, saying it will explain everything.

She calls in Harriet after Mr. Clennam claims he is not there to see her, since he has no authority over her decisions.

Harriet denies knowing anything about Blandois. She asks if the Meagles are well. He claims they are the last he heard, and he asks if she had visited the cottage. She admits that she had.

Miss Wade is contemptuous of Harriet’s desire to visit the cottage. She says the girl is not worth her time, and she should return to the Meagles’. Harriet denies that she wants to return. She accuses Miss Wade of being as bad as they were. Since she has no one else, Miss Wade thinks she can beat her into submission and force her to do as she says. Arthur tells Harriet that the Meagles would take her back, but she refuses to return to them. He takes his leave.

Charles Dickens