Chapters 47-49 Summary
Allan Woodcourt takes Jo to Mr. Krook’s, but he finds that Miss Flite has moved to Mrs. Blinder’s. He decides to take Jo to Mr. George, who is willing to take him in even though Jo is ill and is the cause of Esther’s illness and disfigurement. Mr. Woodcourt tells Mr. George that it was Mr. Bucket, at Mr. Tulkinghorn’s command, who took Jo after he left Bleak House. Mr. Woodcourt visits Mr. Snagsby, who tells the doctor that someone told him something about Jo that he is not supposed to share. He agrees to visit Jo at Mr. George’s. Jo asks Mr. Snagsby to write out his account so that no one will think he intended to hurt anyone. Mr. Woodcourt stays by Jo’s side and assures him that he will be buried by Nemo, who was so kind to him. As Mr. Woodcourt leads Jo in praying the Lord’s Prayer, Jo dies.
The Dedlocks return to London, where Lady Dedlock decides to take matters back into her own hands. She tells Rosa that she is dismissing her and has called Mr. Rouncewell to come to take her away. Rosa is upset. When Mr. Rouncewell arrives, Rosa asserts that she would like to stay. Although Mr. Rouncewell and Sir Leicester declare that it is unfair to dismiss her, Rosa leaves. Mr. Tulkinghorn, who has been present, later tells Lady Dedlock that she has broken their agreement. He has not decided when he will tell Sir Leicester about Lady Dedlock’s past, but he will do it soon. He returns to his rooms. The next morning, his body is found there, shot through the heart.
At the Bagnet home, the family is celebrating Mrs. Bagnet’s birthday. Mr. Bagnet worries that Mr. George seems unsettled for some reason beyond the burden of his debt to Mr. Tulkinghorn. Mr. George arrives for the party, visibly upset by Jo’s death. Mr. Bucket sees Mr. George through the window and invites himself to the celebration, where the children welcome him. When it is time for Mr. George to leave, Mr. Bucket accompanies him. When the two men pass a pub, Mr. Bucket pushes Mr. George into the pub and to a private chamber, where he informs the former trooper that he is under arrest for the murder of Mr. Tulkinghorn. Mr. George is shocked at Mr. Tulkinghorn’s death and assures Mr. Bucket that he is innocent of the crime. Mr. Bucket informs him, as he leads him away, that Sir Leicester has offered a sizable reward for the capture of Mr. Tulkinghorn’s murderer.