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Summary Chapter 27

Mr. George has agreed to meet with Grandpa Smallweed's associate Mr. Tulkinghorn whose interest in Captain Hawdon's fate has occassioned Grandpa Smallweed's visit (to Mr. George's shooting gallery.): They--Grandpa Smallweed and Mr. Tulkinghorn--believe that Mr. George's private papers will prove that Captain Hawdon wasn't a man of no account, but a man integrally involved in the case Jarndyce and Jarndyce.

Thus, Mr. George, Grandpa Smallweed, and Judy Smallweed, repair to Mr. Tulkinghorn's residence at Lincoln's Inn Field where Mr. Tulkinghorn's servant admits and conveys them to Mr. Tulkinghorn's office. There Mr. George observes with interest a box containing the files to a client named Sir Leicester Dedlock from the Manor Chesney Wold when Mr. Tulkinghorn makes his entrance.

Greetings are exchanged with little ceremony beofre Mr. Tulkinghorn declares his purpose for having Mr. George invited to his office. He would like to have a look at Mr. George's private papers for the purpose of ascertaining Captain Hawdon's identity. He hands Mr. George an affidavit concerning the case Jarndyce and Jarndyce which presumably has handwriting that Tulkinghorn believes is Captain Hawdon's. It isn't long before Mr. George gives his reply: He would rather not get involved. But since Mr. Tulkinghorn and Grandpa Smallweed are so insistent on Mr. George handing over the papers, Mr. George will do them the courtesy of consulting a trusted friend before giving them a definitive reply

Mr. George's trusted friend is a Matthew Bagnet, a former artillery-man who has settled down with a wife and kids. When they meet, Mr. Bagnet, who has just returned from a musical engagement (Mr. Bagnet is a professional bassoon player), is adamant that Mr. George withhold disclosing his business until after they have partaken of dinner. Needless to say, Mr. George obliges his friend.

The dinner finished and the washing of the dishes done, the Bagnets give Mr. George their undivided attention. Mr. George states his case. Mr. Bagnet defers to Mrs. Bagnet who speaks for the family. Arguing that there's nothing more foolish than getting involved in a matter which one can't make heads or tails of, Mrs. Bagnet advises Mr. George to have nothing to do with Grandpa Smallweed's and Mr. Tulkinghorn's affairs.

Directly, Mr. George returns to Mr. Tulkinghorn's office to reiterate his initial reply: He won't have anything to do with Mr. Tulkinghorn's and Grandpa Smallweed's affair regarding Captain Hawdon. Mr. Tulkinghorn acknowledges Mr. George's decison but not without censuring Mr. George for providing safe harbor on behalf of Gridley whom Mr. Tulkinghorn deems a "threatening, murderous, dangerous fellow."

Charles Dickens