- Summaries (2)
Guppy finds alcohol addict Krook, burned to death in gin, which the coroner's court rules 'spontaneous combustion'. Guppy thus fails to get hold of Nemo's love letters, nor to ascertain if they were burned or are part of the estate, which is claimed by Smallweed, engaging Tulkinhorn, who now manages to make sergeant George show him Hawdon's letters. Richard decides to engage his own lawyer in the Jardnyce inheritance case. Esther Summerson's reckless amateur nursing of urchin Joe and others ends in her own contagion with often fatal pox.
Tulkington has had Jo spirited away from Bleak House but Esther Summerson soon after falls deathly ill, diagnosed with smallpox. She survives but is badly scarred. Tulkinghorn again pressures Sgt. George for a sample of Capt. Hawdon's handwriting. Guppy calls on Krook to collect the letters but finds only his burnt remains. The coroner quickly rules it a case of gin-induced spontaneous combustion and Smallweed claims what is left of Krook's estate as payment of his debts. Esther learns that Allan Woodcort has been shipwrecked but has survived and is well.
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