Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Book 4, Part 17, Chapter 7

By Charles Dickens

Book 4, Part 17, Chapter 7

Better to be Abel than Cain

  • Bradley Headstone arrives back at Mr. Riderhood's lock and knocks on the door. Once inside, Headstone tells Riderhood that he'll be heading back to London.
  • Headstone sits down to eat with Riderhood. But while slicing some pie, he cuts his hand and shakes blood all over Riderhood's clothes.
  • After a while, Headstone says he's going to head out for a while. Riderhood follows him and sees him bathing in the river. But when Headstone comes back out of the river, he leaves his old clothes behind and puts on a new suit altogether. Riderhood is again suspicious. After all, he's heard news already of the murder of Eugene Wrayburn.
  • The next day, Headstone returns to London and resumes his job as a teacher. He bumps into Charley Hexam and asks after Charley's sister. But Charley says he never wants anything to do with Lizzie ever again.
  • Meanwhile, back at the river lock, Mr. Riderhood fishes around in the river until he finds the bundle of clothes that Bradley Headstone dumped into the water.