Bleak House: “Springing a Mine”

Chapter 54: “Springing a Mine”

Summary: Mr. Bucket takes Sir Liecester aside and begins to explain this murder and what he’s decided really happened. As he begins to touch on the subject of Lady Dedlock, several characters burst in the scene: Mr. Smallweed, Mr. and Mrs. Chaband, and Mrs. Snagsby. They start to explain their positions and witnessings in hopes of getting some compensation from Sir L, who has issued a reward. Mr. Bucket chases them off and declares that the former maid, Hortense was the murderer, who shows up and is arrested. Sir Leicester, finally left alone, still loves his wife as much as before her secret was spilled.

Reaction: What a big chapter (and it seemed to take a long time to read, but I think that was partly because of some misbehavior in the nap room). This time all the characters I don’t like came together in one place, but luckily, it seems to have turned out favorably.

Prediction: I know saying this now doesn’t mean a thing, but as I began this chapter I realized that it was probably very likely that Hortense had been responsible, since I still couldn’t see Lady Dedlock as a cold-hearted murderer. Hortense is easy to picture. This story isn’t over yet. I’m not sure how much there is to go, but I think the chapters go to the sixties. It’s hard to judge on my Nook because it looks like I still have a ways, but I know there’s been tons and tons of endnotes, and who knows how many pages those have taken. It does look like this will end fairly happily, though.

Why This Book Is a Classic; Classic murder mystery reveal: Mr. Bucket wasn’t going to let anyone steal his thunder and even threatened Mr. Smallweed (I loved that!). He wanted to be able to stand up and explain all he’s found out to the concerned party–especially to brag about how smart he was to figure it out in front of the culprit. That’s something only classic mysteries can pull off.

Our Lesson: Again, you can’t trick Mr. Bucket. But if you want to try to trick him, for heaven’s sake don’t lodge in his house!

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