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Summary Chapter 20

The summer vacation for lawyers and judges alike proceeds apace. Mr. Guppy, a law clerk at Kenge and Carboy, inwardly stews, a state attibutable to unrequited love vis-a-vis Esther Summerson. Subsequently, Mr. Guppy inwardly rejoices when Richard Carstone, whom Mr. Guppy deems an adversary (for his job), immerses himself in Jarndyce and Jarndyce, a quagmire of a court case which would make anyone lose his or her mind should ho or she try to make heads or tails of it.

Presently, Mr. Guppy engages his friend Samllweed, whose admiration for Guppy is such that he emulates Guppy in every way conceivable, including wearing his hat at the same angle as Guppy does, sending him out on errands to fetch him--Guppy--"effervescent drinks." They are joined by Jobling, a hungry, bewhiskered fellow in need of employment, at a neraby restaurant where Smallweed has some clout in terms of knowing which viands to order and which to avoid. Thus, with Smallweed there to guide them, Guppy and Jobling indulge in "veal and ham and French beans" and "pint pots of hand-and-half" which are mixtures of light and dark ales.

Having dispatched his meal with an appetite which had allowed him to finish off a second helping while Guppy and Samllweed were just finishing off their first, Mr. Jobling remarks upon his unemployed status and how it may very well force him to enlist [in the army (?)] when Mr. Guppy offers an alternative. Why not keep tabs of Mr. Krook and report his findings to Guppy and Smallweed who are at a loss as to Mr. Krook's secret agenda? Indeed, Guppy and Smallweed are convinced that Mr. Krook, a nasty, withered, and illiterate old man, has the lowdown on Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the court case on which a fortune may be pending to he could unravel its nightmare of a Gordion Knot. A little more wheeling on Guppy's part with regards Jobling's monetary compensation, and the deal is clinched.

Subsequently, Guppy and Jobling repair to Mr. Krook's rag and bottle shop where they find the nasty, old man asleep in a drunken stupor. When they manage to awake him, Mr. Krook demands a drink (his bottle is empty) which demand Mr. Guppy obliges (has the bottle refilled at a distillery next door) for the sake of getting into Mr. Krook's confidence. The ploy works like a charm, and Mr. Krook accepts Jobling, who registers under the name of Weevle, as a tenant.

The next day, Jobling, a.k.a. Weevle, moves in to his room where he spends the greater part of his days perusing celebrity magazines and newspapers.

Charles Dickens