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Summary Chapter 33


Noggs returns home before the time he had agreed to with Miss La Creevy, being too impatient to stay out longer. Both Smike and Noggs are concerned as the hour gets late, and Nicholas has failed to return.

When Nicholas does come back, Noggs is aghast to see his condition. Nicholas tells Noggs he has heard part of the story and has guessed the rest, and he knows why Noggs has summoned him. However, he wants to hear Noggs’ version of events. He refuses to let Noggs tend to his wounds until he does.

Noggs tells him what has transpired, much of which Nicholas already knows. He is still furious. Nicholas then tells Noggs about his confrontation with Mulberry Hawk. Noggs’ anger causes him to be a bit rough in treating Nicholas’ wound, causing him some pain.

They make plans to have his mother leave his uncle’s house. They will send Miss La Creevy to break the news to her. Nicholas writes a letter to his uncle, which Noggs will deliver.

Nicholas wakes up alert the next day. He tells Smike that Noggs will visit shortly. Nicholas takes a coach to the Witterlys. Kate sobs when she sees him. She begs him not to leave her there, for she is miserable. He tells her he will never leave her again. He only had done so before to prevent misfortune from befalling her and their mother, but he has been miserable in being separated from them.

Mr. Witterly enters, and Kate introduces him. She tells her employer that she is leaving. Nicholas agrees that they will forfeit her salary with this abrupt departure, and he will send for her things. Mr. Witterly is glad to see the back of Kate, who has been more upsetting to his wife than a comfort of late.

Nicholas and Kate leave. He sends Kate in before him to prepare his mother for his appearance. Noggs is already carrying out their furniture from the house.

Mrs. Nickleby, despite being prepared by Miss La Creevy, doesn’t understand what is going on or why she has to leave. She suggests that Nicholas talk to his uncle to find out what his version of the story is. Nicholas tells her that his uncle doesn’t deserve the consideration. He has insulted their honor. His mother does complain about how drab the house is, and how Ralph never painted the walls for them.

She is upset that Mulberry Hawk is a scoundrel. She was hoping he’d marry Kate and get Nicholas a position in the government. Miss La Creevy tries to comfort her. Mrs. Nickleby worries about what the two fine gentlemen Mr. Pyke and Mr. Pluck will think when she tells them that Hawk is a scoundrel. They won’t believe her, she is certain, and will laugh. Nicholas tells her they won’t have the opportunity to laugh at them.

The Nickleby family is welcomed back to Miss La Creevy’s place until they can find other lodgings. Mrs. Nickleby keeps worrying that they have left something behind at the other house.

Nicholas meets Noggs and gives him the letter he had written to his uncle and the key to his uncle’s house. Nicholas warns Noggs not to mention the fight with Mulberry Hawk to his family. He asks Noggs how badly Hawk was hurt, but Noggs doesn’t know. Noggs tells Nicholas to get some rest, for he is feverish and obviously ill.

Noggs delivers the letter after admiring it. Nicholas has written to his uncle saying that his family has left his house. They renounce him in disgust, for he shames them. He hopes Ralph will remember his dark deeds on his deathbed.

Ralph Nickleby is furious, particularly when he sees Noggs staring at him. He goes back to his figures. 

Charles Dickens