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Drood Summary: Sixth Installment (Chapters XXI-XXIII)

Prepared by Cindy Kogut

Upon regaining consciousness, Rosa ponders her options. She 
cannot go to Helena for fear that Jasper will carry through 
on his threat. She then begins to wonder whether Jasper 
himself murdered Drood. Yet she cannot figure out why he 
would have acted as he had if he were the murderer. She 
finally resolves to go to Grewgious immediately. She writes 
a note to Miss Twinkleton and departs Cloisterham for London.

Once in London, she tells Grewgious that Jasper has declared 
his love for him and that she fears him. She asks Grewgious to 
protect her "and all of us" from Jasper, which Grewgious 
promises to do. To help take her mind off her troubles, 
Grewgious tells her of his clerk, Bazzard, who is currently 
off duty.  Bazzard's big secret is that he has written a play, 
a tragedy that "nobody will hear, on any account whatever, of 
bringing out." Bazzard works for Grewgious in order to 
avoid starvation while he is pursuing his dramatic genious. 
After conversing for a while, Grewgious takes Rosa to 
Furnival's Inn and obtains a room for her for the night.

In the morning, Grewgious and Crisparkle both arrive to 
see Rosa. Crisparkle had learned of her whereabouts from 
Miss Twinkleton, and he came out to see if she was alright. 
Neither man has figured out yet what to do to protect Neville 
and Helena from Jasper. At that point, the chambermaid 
knocks and announces that a gentleman wishes to see 
Mr. Crisparkle. This gentleman turns out to be Tartar, 
Neville's neighbor, who was also an old school friend of 
Crisparkle. Tartar had, in fact, saved Crisparkle from 
drowning once. Rosa is very taken with the newcomer's courage.

Tartar's presence gives Grewgious an idea: They will use 
his rooms for Rosa to communicate with Neville and Helena. 
In this way, even if Jasper is watching the rooms, he will 
not be aware that Rosa is in communication with the twins.
 Tartar agrees to the plan. He gives his arm to Rosa, and 
they all walk to his rooms.  Rosa is able to see and talk to 
Helena, who guesses Rosa's feelings toward Tartar. Helena 
suggests that it is best if Neville not know that Rosa is so 
near. Rosa agrees. The group also agrees with Helena's 
suggestion that it would be best for Tartar to visit Neville 
openly, in the hope that Jasper would confront him and warn 
him away. In that way, they might gain more information 
about Jasper's intentions. The two friends then bid each 
other farewell for the moment.

Grewgious suggests that Rosa invite Miss Twinkleton to 
come and stay with her in London in furnished lodgings for 
a month, while they see what happens. Accordingly, they 
rent rooms from a Mrs. Billickin, who becomes a comic 
adversary of Miss Twinkleton. And so time passes.

Jasper travels to London. He puts up at a hotel/boarding-house 
and then goes to the opium den. The proprietress is surprised 
to see him; she had assumed that he must be dead since he has 
stayed away for so long. She prepares a pipe for him, which he 
smokes. He asks her if it is as potent as usual, since it doesn't 
seem to taste the same and seems to act more slowly. She replies 
that it just seems that way because he's more used to the drug.  
As he is becoming more dreamy, she engages him in conversation. 
He talks about how he has done something in his mind "over and 
over again...hundreds of thousands of time in this room." He did 
it so often in his mind "that when it was really done, it seemed 
not worth the doing, it was done so soon."

The woman questions him about this "journey" of the mind: Did 
he do it in many different ways? No, always the same way. The 
way in which it was really done at last? Yes. Has Jasper come 
here to take the journey again? Yes. She asks if he had a 
fellow-traveller on the journey. Yes, one who didn't know it 
and who never saw the road.  Jasper then states that he's 
making the journey now, but it must be a vision because it's 
"too short and easy....this is the poorest [vision] of all. No 
struggle, no consciousness or peril, no entreaty--and yet I 
never saw *that* before." The woman asks him what he saw, 
but he replies only with vague words and unmeaning gestures 
before he falls into a stupor.  The woman then sits watching 
him and gloats that she once heard him saying "Unintelligble!" 
over her and two others, but that he shouldn't have been so sure. 
She "may have learned the secret how to make ye talk."

When Jasper leaves, she follows him, muttering to herself,
"I'll not miss ye twice!"  She follows him all the way back to 
Cloisterham the next day. She sees him turn into the gateway 
that leads to his rooms, but loses him at that point. Datchery, 
however, sees her through his open door and calls to her, 
asking her who she is looking for. She in turn asks Datchery 
if a gentleman went by just then, and what was his name 
and his calling. He gives her the information and tells her 
she can see Jasper in the Cathedral at the service next morning. 
She thanks him. He suggests that she can go upstairs to see 
Jasper right now, but she shakes her head no. She asks him for 
money to stay at the traveller's lodging. While he counts out 
coins, Datchery engages her in further conversation, asking 
her if she had ever been to Cloisterham before. She tells him 
about her previous encounter with a young gentleman named Edwin.

After she departs, Datchery walks out to try to meet up 
with Deputy. When he eventually finds him, he asks Deputy 
about the new lodger.  He tries to find out her name, but 
Deputy just calls her the "Royal Highness the Princess Puffer." 
He tells Datchery that she came from London. He also informs 
Datchery that she plans to go to the Cathedral in the morning.
 Datchery returns to his lodging after receiving this 
information, opens the door of a corner cupboard, and 
adds a mark to the chalked strokes there.  He remarks to 
himself that he likes "the old tavern way of keeping scores. 
Illegible except to the scorer." He sighs over the fact that 
there is only "a very small score" on the cupboard at the moment.

The next day, Datchery attends the Cathedral service. He looks 
around to try to see the woman from the opium den, but it takes 
a while before he finds her. She is hidden behind a pillar, out of 
Jasper's view, although she is watching him "with the closest 
attention." She shakes her fist at him, unseen. After the service, 
Datchery asks her if she has "seen him." She has. "And you know 
him?" "Know him! Better far than all the Reverend Parsons put 
together know him." Datchery returns home and "adds one thick 
line to the score, extending from the the top of the cupboard 
door to the bottom."

And here the novel ends, unfinished.