If I was surprised last week at how much I enjoyed a section devoted entirely to Esther, then this week was a sense of disappointment of not having any contact with her. Which is not to say I didn't like this section--it's just that I'm engrossed in her story and am saddened to be pulled away from it.
Vholes is awful in a quiet, insidious way. Oh, Richard. You would do so much better to take counsel from Mr. Jarndyce and Esther.
What's up with Tulkinghorn's little show at Chesney Wold? Why would he not just go to Lady Dedlock directly with his insinuations? It sounds as if he might blackmail her, and then he turns on the dreadful Hortense when she tries to blackmail him. I am not clear on Tulkinghorn at this moment.
There were many lines I marked as delightful. Regarding Vholes: "He never misses a chance in his practice; which is a mark of respectability. He never takes any pleasure; which is another mark of respectability. He is reserved and serious, which is another mark of respectability. His digestion is impaired, which is highly respectable."
"All the while, Vholes, buttoned up in body and mind, looks at him attentively. All the while, Vhole's official cat watches the mouse's hole."
The gorgeous piece at Chesney Wold, looking at the artwork devoted to generations of Dedlocks:
"But the fire of the sun is dying. Even now the floor is dusky, and shadow slowly monts the walls, bringing the Dedlocks down like age and death. And now, upon my Lady's picture over the great chimney-piece, a weird shade falls from some old tree, that turns it pale, and flutters it, and looks as if a great arm held a veil or hood, watching an opportunity to draw it over her. Higher and darker rises shadow on the wall--now a red gloom on the ceiling--now the fire is out."
Volumnia, with "a mouth of false teeth like a pianoforte too full of keys."
This week's Gorey, of Lady Dedlock after her private consultation with Tulkinghorn. Next week, chapters 43-46.