Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Book 4, Part 18, Chapter 9

By Charles Dickens

Book 4, Part 18, Chapter 9

Two Places Vacated

  • Jenny goes from Fledgeby's place over to the offices of Pubsey and Co., where she finds Mr. Riah. She tells Riah she knows about Fledgeby, and Riah finally tells her the whole story of how Fledgeby has used him as a screen to make people think an old Jewish man is cheating them when it's actually Fledgeby.
  • While they talk, Riah receives a letter from Fledgeby saying that his debt is all paid and he won't have to work as Fledgeby's decoy anymore. Both Riah and Jenny are glad he's a free man again.
  • Meanwhile, Jenny's father has taken advantage of Jenny's absence and disappeared from his house. He has gone into London to look for something to drink away his sorrows. But on his trip, he gets teased by a group of young troublemakers. The ordeal sends the man into a fit, and he doesn't know what to do but retreat to the office of Mortimer Lightwood, which is the only place he knows nearby.
  • Mortimer isn't there, so the young assistant gives Jenny's dad a shilling for cab fare home. But the man just spends it on drinks. When the money's gone, he returns to Lightwood's office looking for more. But no one will let him in, so he bangs on the door until he collapses.
  • A crowd gathers around the man. Eventually, Jenny passes by and sees him. The crowd takes him to a nearby doctor's shop, but the dude dies.
  • After the funeral preparations are made, Jenny receives a note from Mortimer Lightwood. He wants Jenny to tell Lizzie Hexam that Eugene Wrayburn is dying.