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Summary Chapter 53

Besides Sir Leicester Dedlock, Lord Doodle, William Buffy, and Sir Leicester's debilitated cousin are the three notable attendants at Mr. Tulkinghorn's funeral. Also attending is Mr. Bucket who notices his wife paying her respects by turning out for the procession.

The funeral over, Mr. Bucket goes to the Sir Leicester's town house where, since Mr. Tulkinghorn's murder, Mr. Bucket is allowed unrestricted access. Upon arrival, Mr. Bucket is met by Mercury who gives him a letter. It is the sixth letter that Mr. Bucket, who isn't too fond of corresponding himself, has received in the last 24 hours. Presently, in his temporary office, a library within a library in Sir Leicester Dedlock's town house, Mr. Bucket collates the six letters and makes note of a common thread in the letters: the name Lady Dedlock. He decides to inform Sir Leicester Dedlock of his findings tomorrow.

For now, Mr. Bucket meets with and humors Sir Leicester Dedlock who is in the company of Volumnia and his debilitated cousin. By a show of tears, Sir Leicester demonstrates just how much Mr. Tulkinghorn meant to him and the Dedlocks. Sir Leicester makes it clear that he will spare no expense to apprehend and punish the murderer. To that end, Sir Leicester has put up a wanted sign in his very house, and when Mr. Bucket asks if that's necessary, Sir Leicester explains that it shows just how serious he is in his determination to apprehend the murderer. All throughout Sir Leicester's emotional outburst, Mr. Bucket pays homage to Volumnia whom Mr. Bucket regards to be a model of grace and refinement.

When Mr. Bucket takes his leave of Sir Leicester and his cousins, he engages the butler Mercury in a conversation. They are talking about Mercury's height, which Mercury avers is 6' 3", when Lady Dedlock arrives in the town house, having dined out. She asks Mr. Bucket whether he has any business with her, and being told no, she retires to her room upstairs. Subsequently, Mr. Bucket and Mercury share a few words about Lady Dedlock. Mr. Bucket learns that Lady Dedlock oftens takes walks to deal with a chronic headache, and that on the very night Mr. Tulkinghorn was murdered she had taken a long walk.

Charles Dickens