Study Guide

Silas Marner Chapter 12

By George Eliot

Chapter 12

  • Meanwhile, Godfrey's wife is heading into Raveloe with her mind on revenge: she's going to show up at the Red House with her child and confront Godfrey Jerry Springer-style. She's too bitter and angry to care that the real problem is opium, not Godfrey.
  • It's getting late, snow is falling, and Molly finds herself mightily tempted by the opium tucked away in her dress. Another big mistake. After she takes it, she sits down under a hedge and falls asleep.
  • The little girl Molly was carrying wakes up and sees a light in the distance. This very self-possessed toddler follows the light into Silas Marner's warm cottage, where she tucks down in front of the fire.
  • Oh yeah, and she walks right by Silas on her way in. He's been standing by the door in a trance, and when snaps out of it and turns back to the house, he sees—
  • —a little pile of gold on the floor. He reaches out to touch it, but it's not cold and hard—it's warm and soft. It's the little girl's hair. He's understandably stunned.
  • Well, he would have figured it out sooner or later, because the little pile of gold starts to cry. Silas hugs her and warms up some porridge and sugar (mmmm, porridge). He pulls off her wet boots and realizes that she must have been walking in the snow—that's one mystery solved.
  • He goes to the door and follows her footsteps, until he finds a human body sleeping in the snow. Alas, poor Molly!