This week, all my most favorite people got together and shared scenes, and it was like the emotional but slightly comedic lead-up to a sitcom series finale.
Mr. and Mrs. Bagnet (whom I did not think I could enjoy any more than I already did, but then there was Mrs. Bagnet’s traditional birthday celebration with her family preparing dinner and doing the housework badly while she sat in her best gown and provided direction by way of secret winks and twitches) and George all together are something. But add Detective Bucket to the mix, and you have a birthday party I would very much like to attend.
Granted, Bucket was there to arrest George on suspicion of Tulkinghorn’s murder (I told him not to call him a rusty carbine loudly in public), but he arrested him so considerately, and you could tell he didn’t really want to. So no hard feelings, I’m sure.
And George is being ever brave and stalwart through this whole being-wrongfully-imprisoned thing. I tend to agree with his admittedly naïve view of the matter, which is that if he can’t be set free according to the whole truth, he would rather not be set free at all. But knowing the limits of the justice system, I also tend to agree with his friends, who are urging him to hire a fleet of lawyers. Thanks to Bucket and his expert detectiving though, none of that matters at all, and we are free to discuss the way I've decided to imagine that arrest scene playing out:
|No WONDER he's his mother's favorite son.|
But going back to Mrs. Bagnet (and forever and always with hearts in our eyes), this is definitely in my Top 10 favorite moments of the whole book or maybe any book:
“Instantly Mrs. Bagnet put some pins into her mouth and began pinning up her skirts all round a little higher than the level of her gray cloak, which she accomplished with surpassing dispatch and dexterity.
‘Lignum,’ said Mrs. Bagnet, ‘you take care of the children, old man, and give me the umbrella! I’m away to Lincolnshire to bring that old lady here.’ . . .
And she actually set off while we three stood looking at one another lost in amazement. She actually trudged away in her grey cloak at a sturdy pace, and turned the corner, and was gone.”
|Imma just handle this business.|
And do you know, I don’t think Mr. and Mrs. Bagnet are the only functional, healthy married couple in this story after all. Mr. and Mrs. Bucket are quite on the same level of marital success, by all appearances. Aside from the part where he shoves a sheet in her mouth so she won’t exclaim and then leaves it there for the entire conversation. But even that fits nicely with my image of Detective Bucket as Columbo.
The way he puts it to Mr. Smallweed (“Now, don’t open your mouth too wide, because you don’t look handsome when you do it”) and then makes Hortense link arms with him on the couch when she so clearly wants to rip his throat out with her teeth, and the way he is a blue-collar detective investigating the lives of the rich and powerful and saying things like, “I am damned if I am a-going to have my case spoilt, or interfered with, or anticipated by so much as half a second of time by any human being in creation.”
|"When Mr. Bucket has a matter of this pressing interest|
under his consideration, the fat forefinger seems to rise
to the dignity of a familiar demon."
At first, when Ada was being all gloomy around Esther, I was afraid that she had secretly gotten engaged to Woodcourt, which would absolutely break The Girl Code. But it’s all good because it turns out Ada just ran off and tied her tugboat to the Titanic. So phew.
But really, if Ada were a smart girl, she would be flouncing around Woodcourt and trawling for a proposal as though her life depended on it, Girl Code be damned. Because he saved shipwrecked people and doctored Jo and said this right to Vholes’s weasely, pale face:
Everybody else talk about how sweet and heartbreaking Sir Leicester’s reaction to the Awful Truth About His Wife was. I have some Gerard Butler Google image search results to attend to.“You seem to forget that I ask you to say nothing and have no interest in anything you say.”