Smike escapes with the help of an old friend and makes his way to Newman Noggs' lodgings where he is reunited with Nicholas. It doesn't stop his Uncle Ralph from trying to force Smike's return to Wackford Squeers. Nicholas is bowled over by the beautiful Madeline Bray who cares for her ill and spendthrift father. Ralph Nickleby is soon party to a scheme to marry off Madeline to a elderly gentleman who will pay all of her father's debts, including the considerable sum owed Ralph. Sir Mulberry Hawk returns to London intent on seeking revenge against Nicholas. Kate meanwhile meets the the handsome young Frank Cheeryble.