Study Guide

Silas Marner Chapter 13

By George Eliot

Chapter 13

  • The party's really getting started at Squire Cass's. Godfrey is standing off in a corner staring at Nancy, when he sees a ghost.
  • Psych! It's Silas Marner carrying what seems to Godfrey just like a ghost: his own daughter.
  • The Squire is ticked that some peasant is crashing his party. Silas quickly explains that he just wants the doctor, because there's a woman, probably dead, in the snow near his house.
  • Godfrey's first thought, of course, is—what if she isn't dead? The women try to take the child away from Silas, but he unexpectedly refuses. She's come to him; he wants to keep her.
  • Mr. Kimble grudgingly leaves his card game and prepares to check on the woman. The child cries and clings to Silas. Godfrey volunteers to fetch Dolly Winthrop, who's a good nurse, and the two of them rush to Silas's cottage. Dolly praises Godfrey's good heart, but we know that Godfrey doesn't have a good heart at all; he's just worried that Molly is going to rat on him.
  • Mr. Kimble confirms it: Molly's dead.
  • Godfrey only sneaks a quick peek, but he remembers the sight for sixteen whole years, when he finally tells this story.
  • At the hearth, Silas rocks the little girl. She's got big blue eyes, she has no idea that Godfrey is her dad, and Godfrey sure isn't going to stand in Silas's way.
  • Godfrey hands him some money and heads home, basically rubbing his hands together with glee. His secret is safe, and he's free to marry Nancy. Why would he confess now?