Bleak House: “Attorney and Client”

Chapter 39: “Attorney and Client”

Summary: Richard consults his attorney, Mr. Vholes, concerned his case is going nowhere (it is) and will continue to go nowhere over the break (it will). Mr. Vholes is considered a very respectable man, and he assures Richard that he will not give up. Then we jump to Guppy and Weevle; Guppy tells Weevle they are done with all the Krook/letters stuff. If those letters still exist and they find them, Guppy intends to destroy them. The Smallweeds are searching Krook’s place for anything valuable, and Tulkinghorn is lurking around as well.

Reaction: I was surprised to see that Mr. Vholes actually does seem respectable. Other characters have been described one way and have revealed a gaping hole of contradictions, but I haven’t seen anything like that in his case, except an exceeding fondness for his three daughters (not an inappropriate gross one–just that they come up a lot). And I was impressed that Guppy seems to be keeping his promise, though I figured he would. He rises a little in my esteem.

Prediction: It doesn’t matter that Guppy is no longer involved in the search. Tulkinghorn is already on the same track, and he’ll find what there is to find.

Why This Book Is a Classic: Lawyers aren’t all dishonest–some even keep their words.

Our Lesson: You might actually be able to trust the stalker-lawyer who makes a sworn statement to you–maybe.

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