Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Book 4, Part 17, Chapter 6

By Charles Dickens

Book 4, Part 17, Chapter 6

A Cry For Help

  • We're back with Mr. Eugene Wrayburn, who is on his way to meet Lizzie Hexam. When they see each other, Lizzie is nervous. She asks Mr. Wrayburn to leave the neighborhood the next day and to stop bothering her.
  • The truth is that Lizzie really likes Eugene. But she knows he has no intention of marrying her, since she's so far beneath him socially.
  • Before he leaves, Eugene wants to know what Lizzie would think of him if the two of them were on equal terms socially. She gives a vague answer, and he kisses her once before keeping his promise and leaving.
  • Walking away, Eugene thinks about how much he's grown as a person since meeting Lizzie. He's way less selfish, and deep down, he thinks that he truly—
  • Wham! Wait, what happened? There's someone attacking Eugene now. Eugene has just enough strength to turn and try to grab onto his attacker. But it's no use. Both his arms are broken and his head is smashed in. The attacker tosses Eugene into the river and leaves him for dead.
  • Meanwhile, Lizzie is walking alone along the river when she hears a scuffle. She heads toward the source of the noise and finds Eugene lying in the river, though his face is so bloody she doesn't know it's him.
  • Using all he strength, Lizzie pulls Eugene to shore and brings him into the local pub. The doctor who shows up is amazed that someone Lizzie's size was able to carry Eugene's body all the way to the pub. In any case, the doctor doesn't think Eugene has any chance of survival.