Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Book 3, Part 15, Chapter 17

By Charles Dickens

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Book 3, Part 15, Chapter 17

A Social Chorus

  • Well it looks like the Lammles have run out of time. Their mortgage is toast and all of their stuff is getting sold in a public auction to pay their debts.
  • The Veneerings feel bad for the Lammles, so they do the only thing they know how to do: host a dinner.
  • Meanwhile, Mrs. Lammle pays a visit to Mr. Twemlow. She wants to tell him that the truth about her scheme with Georgiana Podsnap was for one-time use only. In other words, if Twemlow sees Mrs. Lammle up to no good in the future, he's not allowed to rat her out. Twemlow is uncomfortable, but he agrees.
  • Before Mrs. Lammle leaves, she learns that Twemlow is in debt trouble with Pubsey and Co., the same company that bankrupted the Lammles. She takes the opportunity to inform Twemlow that Pubsey and Co. is actually owned by his cousin, Mr. Fledgeby, and not by Mr. Riah (which Fledgeby has led everyone to believe). Mr. Twemlow can't believe how badly he's been betrayed.
  • At the Veneerings' dinner, everyone is talking about the Lammles' bankruptcy scandal. People are amazed that a couple could live so far beyond its means without ever telling anyone.
  • During the dinner, Eugene Wrayburn's assistant calls him away and tells him there's a man waiting to speak with him. Eugene goes out to meet the man, who is none other than Jenny Wren's drunk daddy. The guy has found the address of Lizzie Hexam and he wants his fifteen shillings. Eugene is more than happy to give it to him for this information.

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