Study Guide

Little Dorrit Book 2, Chapter 9

By Charles Dickens

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Book 2, Chapter 9

Appearance and Disappearance

  • All right, everyone, get ready for the plot to thicken! Fasten your seatbelts – it's about to get crazy!
  • Oh, right, sorry – first this. Meagles tells Arthur that he and Mrs. Meagles are going to take off for Italy to go be with Pet, pay Gowan's debts, and generally provide moral support for their daughter.
  • Arthur promises to look in on the house while they're gone.
  • One day, when he's there, the housekeeper tells him that she has seen Tattycoram hanging around outside.
  • At first Arthur thinks this was probably a dream or something, but then a few days later he's out walking and he sees... Tattycoram! And she's walking with... Blandois! (Whom Arthur doesn't know, but we readers can recognize him from the description.)
  • Arthur follows them until they meet up with... Miss Wade!
  • Then Arthur lurks nearby ninja-style and overhears Miss Wade saying she will pay Blandois tomorrow.
  • They split up, with Blandois going off alone, and Arthur follows Miss Wade and Tattycoram.
  • He is totally flabbergasted to see the two women go into the Casbys' house. What the what?
  • Arthur goes in too, and a servant takes him in to see Flora, who is eating lunch with Mr. F's Aunt.
  • Flora launches into her usual mix of super-fast talking and non sequiturs (jumping from topic to topic with no connection between them). Mr. F's Aunt still hilariously hates him and is still hilariously senile.
  • When Arthur can finally get a word in edgewise and explain, Flora takes him downstairs to see her dad.
  • He admits that Miss Wade and Tattycoram were there, but can't give Arthur any info about them or even an address. They sit in silence for a while, since Casby is very impressive and regal-looking with his full head of luxurious and somehow reassuring hair. Then Pancks shows up.
  • Arthur waits for Pancks outside, then Pancks tells him some of what's up. Miss Wade is an orphan, and probably illegitimate. She does, however, get some kind of allowance from a trust through Casby. Casby probably knows a little bit about her parents, and probably also knows where to find her, but he won't give up any of the info. Arthur then adds that today she was getting the money to pay Blandois – though he obviously doesn't know for what.
  • Pancks then suddenly flips out and says he's often thought about going after Casby with a sharp blade and cutting his... hair.

Little Dorrit Book 2, Chapter 9 Study Group

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