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Summary Chapter 26

 

Lord Frederick Verisopht and Sir Mulberry hawk are recovering from the previous night’s activities.

Mulberry has been determined to find Kate Nickleby. He decides Verisopht would have better luck, since she had been at the dinner as bait for him. He tells Verisopht to find out where she lives from her uncle, with the threat to stop being his client if he doesn’t reveal her whereabouts. Mulberry reckons that Ralph will be obliging. Mulberry had tried to find her without Ralph’s assistance, but he failed. He plans to get revenge on her for her contempt towards him.

They visit Ralph. Verisopht asks to speak to Ralph privately. He asks where Kate lives. Ralph tells him that Kate is a virtuous girl, and that the lord will have no luck with her. She is also very poor. Verisopht assures Ralph he only wants to visit her. Ralph tells him.

Mrs. Nickleby pays a visit just as the gentlemen are leaving. She has found a place and wants Ralph’s approval. Mulberry Hawk approaches her, asking if she is Kate’s mother, and then decides that this is impossible—she is too young. Mrs. Nickleby, flattered, confirms she is indeed Kate’s mother.

They inquire after Kate. Mrs. Nickleby says she had been ill after dining with Ralph, which she blames on her catching a cold from the hackney coach. She says Kate is quite well now.

Hearing that she has walked some distance, Mulberry asks how far. He learns the general location of where they live in doing so. They escort Mrs. Nickleby to the omnibus. She is flattered, thinking she has two potential prospective husbands for Kate. The men continue to praise Kate’s virtues, and she rambles on about how clever and sweet-natured Kate is.

Mrs. Nickleby judges that Kate must have liked one of these men, since she never mentioned them. Mrs. Nickleby favors Mulberry Hawk, even though Verisopht has the better title. She hopes Kate loves Mulberry Hawk, who is a real man.

Ralph is troubled by putting Kate in this situation, for he does have some feelings for her. However, he is profiting from it. He figures he is not much worse than her match-making mother. Kate will shed a few tears and be humbled, but she will suffer no true harm from this. 

Charles Dickens