Kind of an odd section. All over the lot. The Old Girl’s birthday as celebrated by her dear Lignum — she must be very glad it only comes once a year. And the icing on the cake, old George is arrested for murder by disingenuous Bucket. Credit to him though, he waited until they’d left the party. That was tactful. Caddy is ill. Esther notices something bothering Ada, but instead of just asking her, assumes she knows the problem is all about her and she must be relentlessly cheerful to fix things. Argh. Painful. And unusually egomaniacal of Esther who is more apt to think the rest of the time that things have nothing to do with her.
An entertaining interview between Mr. Woodcourt and Mr. Vholes.
“You seem to forget,” Woodcourt informs Vholes, “that I ask you to say nothing and have no interest in anything you say.”
Slam! Gloves are off. But Vholes doesn’t seem unduly upset. No pistols at dawn. Eventually he tells Woodcourt that Richard lives next door. Oh, Richard. You just get dumber and dumber and I didn’t think it was possible. At least, put a few blocks of fresh air between yourself and Vholes, but no.
Shortly after this Esther and Ada visit Richard where the truth is revealed — Ada has up and married the dimwit. Bye, Ada. Better get a job because you’re going to have to earn all the money in that family. Poor ol’ Esther still visits and steals kisses even though she now lives across town. Hold out, Esther! If Ada is strong enough she might outlive Richard and come back to you! Esther who still calls her now fiancé guardian is obviously not into him.
Mr. George receives visitors and refuses lawyers. The Old Girl will just see about that and off she goes with her umbrella.
Then we have the big reveal. Bucket knows all and what’s more, he tells all. Kudos to Mr. Bucket on his investigative prowess and to Mrs. Bucket for her able assistance. No kudos on the character of the French maid who after a very unusual beginning has devolved into a spitting cobra. I wasn’t at all sure Sir Leicester wasn’t going to have a stroke. The visits of the Chadbands and Smallweed ably handled by Bucket – more kudos. But shouldn’t all this happen in a giant climactic scene in about 80 pages?
And then George meets his old mother whom he hasn’t seen since he was 17. And it’s Mrs. Rouncewell! As Raych at Books I Done Read said a couple weeks back “Errrrrrbody is related.” George listens to reason for once.
We have everybody in this section almost. The Return of Guppy.
Guppy feels impelled to warn Lady D of impending disaster: the letters exist, all and sundry know all and that includes Sir Leicester. Then this line cracked me up:
Mr. Guppy considers this a favourable moment for sticking up his hair with both hands.
And why not? There’s not much else he can do. Poor Guppy. A decent chap after all.
And so Lady D runs away!
We’re in the home stretch. I doubt I will spend a week reading the last part. Will Sir Leicester forgive all? Will Lady D see Esther or fling herself in the Thames? Will Guppy find love? Will Woodcourt just propose already? Will Richard recover his sanity? [No.] Will Miss Flite? [Probably not.] Will Ada raise eight children who all attend chancery court instead of school? Everyone needs a good talking to by the Old Girl.