Chapters 14-16 Summary
Richard leaves to begin his career as a surgeon, although he fully expects to become rich when the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce is settled. Esther, Ada, and Mr. Jarndyce go to London. They attempt to visit Mrs. Jellyby, but she is never at home. Esther joins Caddy on a trip to her new dancing master; Caddy decided she needed refinement after she had met Esther. She tells Esther that she is secretly engaged to Prince Turveydrop, her dancing teacher. Esther is concerned about the secrecy of their relationship but likes Prince when she meets him. Caddy and Esther join Ada and Mr. Jarndyce on a visit to Miss Flite, who is thrilled to see the young ward in Jarndyce and Jarndyce once again. The dark surgeon, Mr. Woodcourt, is also there; he is the surgeon who determined Nemo’s cause of death.
While he is in London, Mr. Jarndyce meets with Mr. Skimpole, who tells him that Coavinses (a debt collector Skimpole calls after the name of a debtors’ prison) has been replaced, and his successor has foreclosed on Mr. Skimpole’s house. Mr. Jarndyce goes to visit the home of the former debt collector and encounters two small children (Tom and his baby sister) who are home alone while their older sister, Charley, is out washing clothes. Their father, Neckett, has recently died but the people do not help his orphaned children because Neckett had been a “follower” (debt collector). Mrs. Blinder, the woman who lives downstairs from the children’s rooms, tells Mr. Jarndyce that Charley, who is just thirteen, has done her best to care for her brother and sister. Mrs. Blinder is letting the children stay there free of rent. Another lodger, Mr. Gridley, also helps the children when he can. He tells Mr. Jarndyce about his own lawsuit in the Court of Chancery.
Sir Leicester’s gout confines him to Chesney Wold, so Lady Dedlock goes up to London alone. Mr. Tulkinghorn looks out his office window and notices a lady dressed like a servant, veiled and walking down the street. This lady approaches Jo and asks if he is the boy mentioned in the newspaper about the death of Nemo, the law writer. Jo replies that he is. The mysterious lady asks him to take her around to all the places associated with the law writer. Jo can tell that this person is a lady, though she insists that she is only a servant. He takes her to the places Nemo frequented and eventually to the graveyard. He shows the lady where Nemo is buried. She gives him a gold coin and leaves.