Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Book 3, Part 14, Chapter 14

By Charles Dickens

Book 3, Part 14, Chapter 14

Mr. Wegg Prepares a Grindstone for Mr. Boffin's Nose

  • As weeks go by, Silas Wegg continues to bide his time and read to Mr. Boffin as if everything is fine and dandy. He makes sure to invite Mr. Venus to their reading sessions to keep him close by.
  • One night, Mr. Venus hands Mr. Boffin a piece of paper without Wegg noticing. When Boffin sees it, Venus puts a finger to his lips. The note asks Mr. Boffin to meet Venus back at his taxidermy shop.
  • Back at the shop, Venus tells Mr. Boffin all about Wegg's scheme. Boffin asks why Venus is telling him this, and Venus replies that his conscience has been weighing heavily on him. Boffin asks if Venus will give him the copy of Harmon's will that Wegg plans to blackmail him with, but Venus refuses. It seems that Venus thinks the only honest course of action is to keep the true will safe and not to let Wegg use it for personal gain.
  • Silas Wegg comes knocking on the door of Venus' shop. Mr. Boffin hides behind a stuffed alligator while Wegg stomps around and brags about his fiendish plan to blackmail Boffin.
  • After Wegg has left, Boffin comes back out from hiding and asks Venus if he'd be willing to go along with Wegg's plan until Boffin sells off his dust mounds. Venus is tough to convince at first, but Boffin promises to make it worth his while.
  • On his walk home, Boffin gets picked up by the Lammles' carriage. They offer him a ride, and it looks like Alfred Lammle is about to initiate Operation Get-Rokesmith-Fired-and-Replace-Him.