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Summary Chapter 39

Richard Carstone confides in Mr. Vholes after another frustrating session in Chancery where nothing has been gained or progress made with regard the case Jarndyce and Jarndyce. Indeed, Rick is disgusted with the way things are going. He mocks Mr. Vholes when Mr. Vholes tries to console him. Mr. Vholes' saurian (and creepy) imperturbability prevails over Rick's despondency however. Rick praises Mr. Vholes for his unflagging (and creepy) dedication to duty and, having paid Mr. Vholes for his most recent work, Rick returns to his post in the army via Chancery Lane.

On Chancery Lane, Mr. Guppy is questioning Mr. Jobling if he--Mr. Jobling--had even the slightest of suspicions that Mr. Krook's papers regarding Captain Hawdon had perchance survived the spontaneous combustion, and that those papers yet existed somewhere within Krook's rag and bottle shop when Richard Carstone walks by, taking no note of them though they note him and remark how he is internally combusting albeit at a rate far slower than spontaneously. Presently, Mr. Guppy and Mr. Jobling go to Krook's rag and bottle shop to fetch what personal effects Tony had left behing in his haste to distance himself from the creepy premises.

At Krook's rag and bottle shop, Mr. Guppy and Mr. Jobling are greeted by Bart Smallweed who ushers them to Grandpa Smallweed who is busy inventorying Krook's possessions with Judy and Grandma Smallweed doing most of the work. Mr. Guppy is taken aback when he sees Mr. Tulkinghorn in Grandpa Smallweed's company. By and by, Mr. Jobling gets permission to reclaim his possessions, and the two friends repair to Mr. Jobling's former lodgings. They are busy packing Tony's personal effects when Mr. Tulkinghorn interrupts them and requests to have a word with Mr. Guppy. Mr. Guppy objects, arguing that if Mr. Tulkinghorn has anything to say to him, then he ought to say it in Tony Jobling's presence. Mr. Tulkinghorn obliges, and commends Mr. Guppy for leading a life that most people would envy, i.e. a life hobnobbing with the affluent and the fashionable; namely, with Lady Dedlock. Mr. Guppy claims his right to say nothing on the matter. Mr. Tulkinghorn honors Mr. Guppy's claim and leaves.

Subsequently, Mr. Guppy exhorts Mr. Jobling to keep a secret which was never imparted, persuading Mr. Jobling to think his friend has lost his mind.

Charles Dickens