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by George Eliot

Middlemarch Book 4, Chapter 41 Summary

  • The chapter opens with a description of Joshua Rigg Featherstone – he looks like a frog, as we've already been told, but he's generally a sober and upstanding guy, though possibly a little too ambitious.
  • Rigg, or Rigg Featherstone, as everyone now has to call him (he had to change his name when he inherited the estate), has a visitor – a guy named John Raffles.
  • Apparently Raffles had married Rigg's mother, and Rigg has never liked his stepfather (Raffles says "father-in-law," not "stepfather," but don't be confused – it's a British thing).
  • Raffles is after money, of course. Rigg is ashamed of his stepfather; Raffles knows it and is hoping that Rigg will pay him to stay away.
  • Rigg doesn't disappoint – he gives Raffles a brandy bottle to top up his flask, and a sovereign (a pretty good sum of money in those days).
  • Raffles fills his flask from the bottle, and wedges it closed with a letter he found lying around – something signed by "Nicholas Bulstrode" – and takes off.

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