Bleak House: “Interlopers”

Chapter 33: “Interlopers”

Summary: Everyone is on the scene of the spontaneous combustion. Snagsby is worried that someone will think he’s involved, or that he was somehow inadvertently involved. Then his wife catches him there. Weevie and Guppy hang out at the nearby bar and Weevie tells Guppy there’s no way he’s spending another night in that creepy apartment, though Guppy thinks there’s more to learn from the place. The Smallweeds show up. Apparently Mrs. Smallweed was Krook’s sister, so Mr. Smallweed wants to see what he’s inherited. Finally, Guppy reports back to Lady Dedlock–the letters seemed to have been destroyed with Krook. She seems relieved. Mr. Tulkinghorn is there as well and hears everything.

Reaction: I think it’s kind of weird that though everyone thinks Krook’s death is creepy and interesting, no one dwells on the fact that it was spontaneous combustion–I mean it was weird, and even if people back then believed in it (and from Dickens’ intro I got the idea that not everyone did) it’s not like it happened all that often. So why isn’t there someone who’s like, “This wasn’t spontaneous combustion–this was murder!” or something.

Prediction: Maybe Mr. Bucket will come in and do some proper investigating.

Why This Book Is a Classic: I’m going to stick with spontaneous combustion because only in a classic will the majority of people believe that this is actually possible.

Our Lesson: If you go back in time and murder someone but make it look like spontaneous combustion you might just get away with it.

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