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Summary Chapter 42

Mr. Tulkinghorn returns to his London residence when he finds Mr. Snagsby at his door. Mr. Snagsby has a complaint with regard Madamoiselle Hortense, the French maid, who was present when Inspector Bucket had brought the boy Jo to Mr. Tulkinghorn for questioning, with Mr. Snagsby's help. Apparently, during the questioning, Madamoiselle Hortense had obtained Mr. Snagsby's address for of late she has repeatedly appeared at the law-stationer's shop asking for employment, not only worrying the family housemaid Guster of her job security but making Mrs. Snagsby suspicious and jealous of Mr. Snagsby. Mr. Tulkinghorn acknowledges the complaint and tells Mr. Snagsby to have Madamoiselle Hortense sent to him--Mr. Tulkinghorn--the next time she harrasses the Snagsbys with her unsolicited application for employment.

Mr. Tulkinghorn enters his apartment and is about to settle down with some wine when there is a knocking at the door. It is Madamoiselle Hortense. She is defiant and angry. She demands to be given employment. Avowing her hatred of Lady Dedlock who has rejected her, and reminding Mr. Tulkinghorn that there's nothing he excels at more than in legally ruining the lives of people, Madamoiselle Hortense exhorts Mr. Tulkinghorn to employ her to destroy Lady Dedlock. Unperturbed, Mr. Tulkinghorn strongly advises Madamoiselle Hortense to cease harrassing him and Mr. Snagsby lest he report her to the police who will have no compunctions about throwing her in jail for her unwanted solicitations. He urges her to turn over a new leaf. Madamoiselle Hortense remains defiant, however, and promises Mr. Tulkinghorn that she will prove him wrong.

Charles Dickens