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Drood Summary: Fourth Installment (Chapters XIII-XVI)

Prepared by Cindy Kogut

The Christmas recess arrives, and the ladies of Miss Twinkelton's 
establishment head home, except Helena and Rosa. Edwin arrives 
to visit Rosa, still unsure of what his decision will be concerning 
the ring. The two go for a walk together and have a serious 
conversation concerning their relationship. Rosa informs Edwin 
that she wishes to "change to brother and sister from this day 
forth" and never go through with their wedding.  Edwin agrees 
that this is the best course for them.  He thinks about showing 
Rosa the ring, but decides against it and never mentions it at all.

Edwin worries that the news will be a great disappointment to 
Jasper and decides that the best way to break it to him is to have 
Grewgious inform him of their decision after Edwin has gone. Rosa 
and Edwin then kiss each other good-bye, which Jasper observes 
from afar. Edwin escorts Rosa home. They are followed by Jasper, 
an action that Edwin puts down to Jasper's concern and affection 
for him. Rosa gives Edwin "one last, wide, wondering look, as if 
she would have asked him with imploring emphasis: 'O! don't you 
understand?'" and then enters the Nuns House.

On Christmas Eve, the day of the peace-making dinner party, we 
follow the movements of the three particpants. Neville reads and 
writes in his room, and then "sets himself to clearing his table, 
to arranging his books, and to tearing up and burning his stray 
papers." He then packs a knapsack that he purchased the day before. 
He picks up a heavy walking-stick, also newly purchased, and 
heads out, only to meet Mr. Crisparkle on the stairs. They talk 
briefly about walking and walking-sticks. 

Neville then proceeds to the Nuns House to visit Helena. He 
tells her he has decided to go on a walking expedition, starting 
early the next morning, since he "is conscious of unsettling 
and interfering with other people." In addition, he would like 
to avoid "meeting certain people walking together" in 
Cloisterham.  Helena thinks well of this plan. The two then 
part; she to return to the Nuns House and he to Jasper's gatehouse.

Edwin Drood passes a solitary, introspective day. At one point, 
he goes to a jeweller's shop to have his watch wound. The jeweller 
tries to persuade him to buy something, but Edwin says that he 
wears no jewelry except his watch and chain and his shirt-pin. The 
jeweller says he is aware of that fact, since Jasper had told him 
the same thing the other day in similar circumstances.

As Edwin is strolling around Cloisterham, he "becomes...aware of 
a woman crouching on the ground near a wicket gate in a corner." 
He goes up to her to see if he can help her in any way, and we can 
tell from her appearance and speech that she is the proprietor of 
the opium den described in the opening chapter. She tells him that 
she came to Cloisterham "looking for a needle in a haystack, and 
I ain't found it." She then begs for money to buy some opium. When 
he gives it to her, she asks his name and tells him he should be 
thankful it isn't Ned because it's "a threatened name" at the 
moment. Edwin finds this to be an odd coincidence and resolves 
to mention it to Jasper (who alone calls him Ned) the next day. 
He finds her words vaguely troubling.

Jasper "passes a more agreeable and cheerful day than either 
of his guests," preparing for the dinner and singing "in beautiful 
voice" at the Cathedral.  After the service, Crisparkle comments 
on how cheerful Jasper is. Jasper states that his earlier forebodings 
concerning Neville were due to his being out of sorts and that 
now he knows he was exaggerative. He walks with Crisparkle 
o Minor Canon Corner to pick up Neville, only to discover that 
Neville has already left for the gatehouse. Jasper then hurrys 
off to meet his guests.

There is a great storm and much wind that night. In the morning, 
the Cathedral is discovered to have been damaged by the wind. 
While people are clustered around watching workmen go aloft 
to inspect the damage, Jasper arrives and loudly asks where 
his nephew is, stating that Drood had gone down to the river 
with Neville to look at the storm and had never returned. On 
being asked where Neville was, Crisparkle replies that he 
left early that morning.

Neville is off on his walking expedition. He becomes aware 
that he is being followed by a group of men--four in front and 
four behind.  He finally asks one subset of the men why they 
are following him, but they won't tell him right away. Neither 
will they let him pass.  When Neville attempts to go on with 
his walk, he has a scuffle with one of the men during which 
both are besmeared with blood. Neville is overpowered and 
aken to the other subset, whose "central figures were 
Mr. Jasper and Mr. Crisparkle."  Jasper begins questioning 
Neville about his nephew's whereabouts and the events of 
last evening.  Neville states that they went down to the river 
together, spent about 10 minutes there, and then walked back 
to Minor Canon Corner, where they parted at the door. Edwin 
said that he was going straight back to Jasper's.

Neville returns to Cloisterham with Crisparkle and the others, 
and is brought before Mr. Sapsea (now Mayor of Cloisterham).  
Mr. Sapsea is very suspicious of Neville, but does not commit 
him to jail due to Crisparkle's intervention. The river is 
searched for Drood's body, but nothing is found.

Mr. Grewgious arrives the next night and visits Jasper, who 
has spent the whole day searching for Drood.  Grewgious tells 
Jasper that he has information that may surprise him. He then 
goes on to relate Edwin and Rosa's decision to end the betrothal 
now and forever, and that they parted "on the evening when you 
last saw them together." Jasper had been turning ghastly white 
throughout Grewgious' narration and at this conclusion he 
shrieks and becomes "nothing but a heap of torn and miry 
clothes upon the floor." Grewgious warms his hands at the 
fire and looks down at Jasper.

After recovering from his "fit or swoon," Jasper tells Grewgious
that he finds some comfort in the news he has just received: He
now believes that Edwin may have left Cloisterham of his own
free will in order to avoid embarrassment and awkward 
explanations concerning the broken betrothal.  When Mr. Crisparkle
joins the two men, Jasper repeats his new point of view regarding
the disappearance of Drood. He also reveals that the dinner party
preceding the disappearance went smoothly, with no ill will 
between Neville and Edwin. 

Jasper's seemingly changed opinion of Neville induces Crisparkle
to reveal two points about Neville that could be construed
negatively (although Crisparkle himself is convinced of Neville's
innocence), namely, Neville's second outburst of passion against
Edwin during their conversation by the river and his feelings
concerning Rosa. Jasper declares he will cling to the hope that
Edwin left town of his own accord.

Crisparkle, after leaving the gatehouse, walks to Cloisterham
Weir in a preoccupied state, uncertain as to why or how he
ended up there. He feels a sense of something being wrong
with the scene, but can't figure out what it is, so he goes home
to bed. The next morning, he returns to the Weir, where he
catches sight of something glistening in the water. He dives into 
the Weir and discovers a watch, bearing the engraving E.D., 
entangled in the posts. He continues diving to the bottom in 
an attempt to find a body, but finds only a shirt pin sticking
in the mud.

Crisparkle brings his discoveries (and Neville) to Mayor Sapsea.
Jasper positively identifies the watch and shirt-pin as being
Edwin's.  The jeweller also identifies the watch and judges
that it had run down before being thrown in the water. The case
against Neville and for the theory that Edwin has been murdered
begins to look fairly strong. Rosa testifies that Edwin had
planned to wait for Grewgious to arrive before leaving town,
further undermining Jasper's hope that Edwin had left

The search for Edwin's body continues, but without success.
Since there is no proof that he is dead, Neville is released
from custody. Since he is no longer welcome in Cloisterham,
Neville departs the town. Jasper returns to his place in the
choir, his "sanguine mood...gone, and all his worst 
misgivings...back."  He shows Crisparkle an entry in his
diary that states that Jasper now believes Edwin to have
been murdered. The diary records his solemn oaths to never
discuss the case with anyone until he has solved the
mystery and to never relax in his efforts to fasten the
crime upon the murderer and destroy him.