Ralph asks why he didn’t call for him when this occurred. Squeers laments the lost of his family’s honor. He didn’t call for Ralph because his association with him would do him no good.
Squeers had been found with a document and in a thief’s company. They were planning to commit fraud. Squeers couldn’t give a good reason for being in that situation. He was denied bail until inquiries were made.
Squeers points out he could have given them an account. It was not his idea or his fault. He was employed by Ralph and ignorant of the circumstances.
Ralph asks what the document was. Squeers says it was a will that left Madeline an inheritance.
Ralph tells Squeers that they have nothing to convict him with, ad he’ll profit by bringing a false imprisonment charge. Ralph will provide a story for his account. Squeers wants no more stories. If things go badly of rhim, he is going to bring Ralph down with him.
He returns home. Tim Linkinwater comes, claiming he brings bad news. He wants Ralph to come with him.
When he arrives at the Cheerybles, they tell him that Smike is dead. Ralph is pleased.
Brooker reveals himself. He reveals that Smike is Ralph’s child. He tells his story.
There had been a man who had squandered his fortunes. Ralph married the man’s sister, who was entitled to some property. They kept the marriage a secret because without her brother’s consent, her father’s will stated that the property would go to someone else. They kept hoping that the brother would die.
Ralph and his wife had a son. Ralph sent the child away. The wife only saw him occasionally, and Ralph never did. The wife wanted to make their marriage known. She eventually eloped with another man.
Ralph never found his wife, and she died shortly after. He had Brooker bring his child back home. The child was sickly, and a doctor said he had to be taken to the country. Brooker had been angry about Ralph’s ill-treatment of him, and he took the child to Squeers’ school. He told Ralph, when he returned from a business trip, that the child had died.
Brooker wound up in prison. When he returned, he discovered that Smike had ran away with his cousin. He learned from Noggs where Smike was. He tried to talk to him, but the boy was terrified of him. He finally spoke to Nicholas, but Smike was already dead.
Brooker acknowledges his own responsibility in Smike’s fate. Ralph runs out of the house.