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Drood Summary: Third Installment (Chapters X-XII)

Prepared by Cindy Kogut

The third number opens with a conversation between Mr. Crisparkle 
and his mother concerning Neville's character.  Mrs. Crisparkle 
is convinced that Neville will come to no good, and will not listen 
to any of her son's arguments in his favor.  She states that whatever 
is of a positive nature in Neville can be attributed to Helena, who 
has a great influence over him. 

After Vesper Service that evening, Mr. Crisparkle encounters Neville 
and Helena walking by the river. He takes the opportunity to talk to 
them about a rapprochement between Neville and Edwin Drood.  Neville 
states that whenever he thinks about that night he is still as angry 
as he was then.  He proceeds to confess to Crisparkle that he admires 
Rosa and therefore holds an additional grudge against Drood on her 
behalf, feeling that Drood treats her with conceit and indifference.  
Crisparkle is amazed by this declaration and tries to talk Neville 
out of his "outrageously misplaced" feelings for Rosa, a tactic that 
causes Neville to become even more passionate in his declarations.

Crisparkle at last declares that the feud between Drood and Neville 
cannot go on any longer and that he will do everything in his power 
to make sure that Drood makes the first advance toward peace, on 
the condition that Neville pledges that the quarrel will be forever 
over on his side. He also asks Neville to pledge that his feelings 
concerning Rosa will remain secret forever and that Neville will 
take no action whatsoever upon them except to try to erase them.  
After some internal struggles, Neville gives both pledges.

Crisparkle then goes to speak to Jasper about the possibility of 
a truce between the two young men. He finds Jasper asleep.  
When he enters, Jasper springs from the couch "in a delirious 
state between sleeping and waking" and cries out, "What is the 
matter? Who did it?"  Crisparkle then outlines his plan of a 
truce and asks Jasper to write to his nephew and get him to 
write a note saying he's willing to shake hands.

Jasper seems rather perplexed at first, but at last agrees when 
Crisparkle states that he can answer for Neville's future behavior 
toward Drood. He explains that he has agreed "for the comfort of 
having [Crisparkle's] guarantee against [his] vague and unfounded 
fears" concerning Drood's safety. He shows Crisparkle some diary 
entries where he wrote of his "morbid dread" concerning Neville's 
"demoniacal passion" being directed against Drood. 

Shortly after this conversation, Jasper shows Crisparkle a letter 
from Edwin agreeing to let bygones be bygones. Drood suggests 
that Jasper invite Neville to dinner on Christmas Eve and the 
three will "shake hands all round" then. Jasper counts on Neville 
coming to the dinner, he tells Crisparkle.

The scene then moves to Staple Inn in London, "a little nook of 
two irregular quadrangles" that contains the chambers (both 
professional and personal) of Mr. Grewgious, Rosa's guardian. 
His only employee is a mysterious clerk named Bazzard, who 
Grewgious treats "with unaccountable consideration."  Bazzard 
shows in Edwin Drood, who is then invited to stay to dinner.

After dinner and toasts, Grewgious "draws a picture of a 
true lover's state of mind," a verbal portrait that includes such 
things as not using pet names in public places. This portrait 
greatly embarrasses Edwin and seems to engender some serious 
thinking.  Unlocking a bureau, Grewgious then takes out a 
ring-case from a secret drawer and shows Edwin the ring. He 
explains that the ring belonged to Rosa's mother and was 
removed from her dead hand, in Grewgious' presence, by her 
grieving husband. When Rosa's father was near death, he gave 
the ring to Grewgious in trust, to give to Edwin when (and if) 
the betrothal prospered and came to maturity.  If the betrothal 
fell through, the ring was to remain in Grewgious' possession.

Grewgious tells Edwin that if he places the ring on Rosa's 
finger, it will be "the solemn seal upon your strict fidelity 
to the living and the dead."  Therefore, Grewgious continues, 
if there is anything slightly amiss in the relationship between 
Edwin and Rosa, he must bring the ring back to Grewgious. Edwin 
takes the ring, witnessed by Bazzard, places it "in his breast" 
and departs.  When Grewgious is alone, he wonders whether 
the ring will come back to him, and it is revealed that he 
had loved Rosa's mother "at a hopeless, speechless distance" 
before she wed another.

In the final chapter of the third number, Jasper undertakes a 
moonlight expedition with Durdles to the Cathedral. Before 
they reach their destination, Jasper sees Neville and Crisparkle 
walking together and spies on them while they converse.  After 
the two pass out of Jasper's sight, he "bursts into a fit of 
aughter." Jasper and Durdles then proceed to the Cathedral, 
entering the crypt.

Throughout their tour, Durdles drinks from the wicker bottle 
that Jasper had brought with him. As they are ascending the 
steps from the crypt, Durdles recounts a strange event that 
occurred to him there last Christmas Eve: He heard "the ghost 
of one terrific shriek...followed by the ghost of the howl of a dog."  
He believes they were ghostly cries because no one else heard them.

Upon returning to the crypt after their ascent of the tower, 
Durdles falls asleep and has vague dreams of hearing footsteps, 
of being touched, of hearing something clink and grope about, and 
finally of being alone for a long time. When he awkens, much time 
has in fact passed. Jasper states that he tried to wake Durdles, but 
without success. Durdles ties up his dinner bundle and the two 
depart the Cathedral, only to run into Deputy, who dutifully stones 
Durdles for being out too late. Jasper is incensed and grabs Deputy, 
who forces Jasper to drop him by acting as if he were being 
strangled. Jasper leaves the two of them to their ways and 
returns to his gatehouse alone. "And thus...the unaccountable 
expedition comes to an end--for the time."