Here, Paul's health declines even further in this 'great hothouse' and he finally dies, still only six years old. Dombey pushes his daughter away from him after the death of his son, while she futilely tries to earn his love. In the meantime, Walter, who works for Dombey and Son, is sent off to work in [[Barbados]] through the manipulations of the firm's manager, Mr James Carker, 'with his white teeth', who sees him as a potential rival through his association with Florence. His boat is reported lost and he is presumed drowned. Walter's uncle leaves to go in search of Walter, leaving his great friend Captain Edward Cuttle in charge of the Midshipman. Meanwhile, Florence is now left alone with few friends to keep her company.
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| caption1 = Mr. Carker and Edith Dombey.
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| caption2 = Captain Cuttle and Florence Dombey, | alt2 =
Dombey goes to [[Royal Leamington Spa|Leamington Spa]] with a new friend, Major Joseph B. Bagstock. The Major deliberately sets out to befriend Dombey to spite his neighbour in Princess's Place, Miss Tox, who has turned cold towards him owing to her hopes – through her close friendship with Mrs Chick – of marrying Mr Dombey. At the spa, Dombey is introduced via the Major to Mrs Skewton and her widowed daughter, Mrs Edith Granger. It is here that he develops an affection for Edith, encouraged by both the Major and the avaricious mother. After they return to London, Dombey remarries, effectively 'buying' the beautiful but haughty Edith as she and her mother are in a poor financial state. The marriage is loveless; his wife despises Dombey for his overbearing pride and herself for being shallow and worthless. Her love for Florence initially prevents her from leaving, but finally she conspires with Mr Carker to ruin Dombey's public image by running away together to [[Dijon]]. They do so after her last final argument with Dombey in which he once again attempts to subdue her to his will. When he discovers that she has left him, he blames Florence for siding with her stepmother, striking her on the breast in his anger, and she is forced to run away from home. Highly distraught, she finally makes her way to The Midshipman where she lodges with Captain Cuttle as he attempts to restore her to health. They are visited frequently by Mr Toots and his prizefighter companion, the Chicken, since Mr Toots has been desperately in love with Florence since their time together in Brighton.