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Summary Chapter 51

In his dismal old house, Arthur Gride is examining his old wardrobe and singing about a wedding. He chooses a suit he bought at a pawnbroker’s, which he considered his lucky suit. He had found a shilling in the pocket when he had bought it, and an enemy had died in a fire the same day. He decides it is a good suit to be married in and orders his housekeeper to mend it.

Peg Silderskew, his deaf housekeeper, is expecting to lose her place and is insulting. She tells him he’ll look just as old in any suit he wears, and his bride won’t be bothering to look at him.

Arthur assures her he isn’t going to throw her out, though they will have to be more careful with money with another mouth to feed. However, he doesn’t want to deprive his wife so much that she’ll lose her looks—for he enjoys looking at her. She can earn her own keep.

Arthur Gride keeps Peg because she is frugal, and her deafness keeps her from listening at keyholes. She is also discreet.

Newman Noggs pays a visit. He has a letter from Ralph. Mr. Gride is happy when he reads it. He goes out of the room and drops the letter. Noggs picks it up and reads it.

Ralph has written that Bray has agreed to the marriage, which is the day after tomorrow. Ralph tells him not to visit the girl, who doesn’t care for him. Ralph advises him to leave her to her father for the two days.

Gride writes a reply to the letter. He gives Noggs a drink to toast his bride.

Newman returns to the office and gives Ralph the message. Ralph asks Noggs about the man he saw him with the other night. Noggs says it is a man who has called twice. His name is Brooker. He says the man keeps asking to let him see Ralph. Ralph tells Noggs to call the ppolice the next time the man approaches him.

Noggs goes to Nicholas and says he is going to investigate one of his uncle’s secrets. He’ll tell Nicholas if he learns anything.

When Noggs learns that the woman Nicholas originally loved was name Madeline Bray, he asks Nicholas if he is willing to try and save her from a bad marriage. Nicholas storms out of the pub after hearing the situation. Fearing he’ll do something drastic, Newman chases after him, shouting that he is a thief. 

Charles Dickens