Chapters 10-12 Summary
Mr. Crisparkle tries to talk to his mother out of the dislike she has taken against Neville Landless because of his quarrel with Edwin Drood. He tells her that Neville is very sorry for what he did, but she will not listen.
Mr. Crisparkle goes for a walk after Vespers and encounters Neville and Helena. He again urges Neville to apologize to Edwin since there is now a great deal of prejudice against him in the community. Helena defends Neville, saying that he was provoked. Neville still refuses to apologize, saying that he regards Rosa too highly to stand silent while she is treated with indifference by Edwin.
Mr. Crisparkle warns him that since Rosa is soon to be married, his admiration for her is misplaced. Neville so violently states that he loves her that Helena must restrain him. Mr. Crisparkle further warns him to keep his love a secret and then goes to talk to Jasper. They discuss the situation; a few days later, Jasper receives a letter from Edwin suggesting that they have a Christmas Eve dinner to settle the matter.
Edwin comes to Mr. Grewgious’s office in London. Since it is very foggy, Mr. Grewgious invites him to dinner and to stay until the fog has cleared. Edwin explains that he had stopped in before going down to Cloisterham. He asks Grewgious if Rosa has told him anything about the Landlesses, but she has not. Grewgious gives Edwin a ring that belonged to Rosa’s mother so that he might give it to Rosa as an engagement ring. If he and Rosa do not marry, then Edwin must return the ring to Grewgious.
Mr. Sapsea, the auctioneer, proudly has become mayor of Cloisterham. One evening, he walks through the churchyard. He comes across the dean, Mr. Trope, and Jasper talking about Jasper’s plan to write a book about the cathedral. Mr. Sapsea suggests the stonemason Durdles as a good source of information. Durdles himself arrives and agrees to take care of Jasper.
After Jasper goes home to change clothes, he meets Durdles in the churchyard. They see Mr. Crisparkle and Neville, causing Jasper to stop Durdles until they disappear. On the steps of the cathedral, Jasper gives Durdles a bottle of wine. Unlocking the door, Durdles leads Jasper up the steps to the top of the Great Tower. They look down on the town and then proceed down the steps to the crypt.
Durdles, now drunk, sits down and goes to sleep while Jasper walks back and forth. Durdles dreams that he hears footsteps and then something falling from his hand. It is some time before he awakens and sees Jasper walking back and forth and the cathedral key lying beside him. They walk home; on the way, the boy charged to drive them out of the night and inside pelts them with stones.