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 57

Arthur reads Miss Wade’s letter.

She claims from an early age, she could sense when people were concealing things from her. In her youth, she had lived with a woman who claimed to be her grandmother. There were nine other girls who lived with this woman. Miss Wade was the only orphan. Frustrated at how everyone pitied her, she often picked fights with them. She rarely succeeded, but when she did, she was angry that they were quick to make up with her.

She loved one of the girls, even though the girl didn’t deserve it. The girl had a nice temper, which Miss Wade believed she used to injure her purposely. She was invited to the girl’s home during the holidays. She was very jealous of the girl. The girl’s aunt noticed how distressed her niece was around Miss Wade. The girl tried to make Miss Wade happy, but the aunt claimed there were limits to what one can do. Miss Wade overheard this conversation.

Miss Wade returned to her grandmother and demanded to be educated elsewhere, or she would kill herself. She eventually learned that she had no grandmother or any relatives. she learned to be wary of anyone who was nice to her, for she believed they were conquering her.

She had a small property in trust. She became a governess to two small children. Whatever her employer offered, Miss Wade made a point of refusing. She believed the nurse, in appearing to encourage the children to like Miss Wade, was actually trying to turn them against her. Miss Wade finally decided to leave. The mistress tried to get her to stay, but she refused after she found out that they took her in because she was an orphan.

At another situation, she became engaged to her employer’s nephew. His admiration of her disturbed her. She felt people were always judging her value. She did love him. His aunt vexed her in talking about what a nice life they would have in India.

It was then that she first met Mr. Gowan, who was a friend of the family’s. He understood her. He was the first person that ever did. Though he was speaking of his admiration of her, he put a hateful light on everything. He confirmed everything that she thought, and she began to prefer his company.

Her fiancé began to feel jealous, and she was pleased. Her employer finally told her to stop seeing Mr. Gowan. When the woman remarked that Miss Wade had an unhappy temper—which was an often remarked upon sore point—Miss Wade told her what she thought of her. She left the household.

Mr. Gowan remained her friend. However, he told her they had to seek their fortunes. She found out he was courting Pet. She hated the girl. She was curious about her and found a way to travel on the same trip Pet was taking with her parents so she could observe her. That is where she met Harriet, who resembled herself so much. She helped to liberate the girl, and they have lived together since.

Charles Dickens