Silas Marner: Novel Summary: Chapter 7

The seventh chapter starts with Silas entering the Rainbow Bar, confronting those he sees there with the apparent robbery of his gold. This is the first time many of those gathered have seen Silas out of his “shell,” and thus some are initially skeptical about his story. Others, however, feel quite sorry for the bachelor weaver, and do their best to help.
Eliot describes a positive side effect to this whole situation, saying that Silas, due to his need to communicate with the others in order to get his gold returned, is forced to grow socially. She follows, “This strangely novel situation of opening his trouble to his Raveloe neighbors, of sitting in the warmth of a hearth not his own, and feeling the presence of faces and voices which were his nearest promise of help, had doubtless its influence on Marner, in spite of his passionate preoccupation with his loss. Our consciousness rarely registers the beginning of a growth within us any more than without us: there have been many circulations of the sap before we detect the smallest sign of the bud.”
After pondering for a few moments what to do, several of the men realize that Justice Malam is unavailable and that one of them must be appointed deputy-constable to take the place of the judge. Although there is a “hot debate” over this, eventually the men decide that two men will go with Silas to the scene of the crime: Mr. Dowlas and the landlord.