That night, in her room, Esther reads Mr. Jarndyce’s letter and, the next morning, is refreshed and hopeful again. When she is alone with Mr. Jarndyce, she timidly asks him if he still wishes to make her the “mistress of Bleak House,” and Mr. Jarndyce assures her that this is the case. They agree that in a month’s time this should be settled.
Esther is worried that Mr. Jarndyce is unhappy with her because he rarely mentions their engagement.
While they talk, Mr. Bucket is announced. The private investigator enters the room, followed by two men who carry Mr. Smallweed. Mr. Bucket explains that Mr. Smallweed has found a will made out in the name of Jarndyce in Krook’s shop, and the old man slouches miserably in his chair and glares at Mr. Bucket. Mr. Bucket explains that Mr. Smallweed very cooperatively agreed to deliver the will to Mr. Jarndyce on the principal that there may be a reward, even if this reward is only escaping the punishment for concealing such a document. Mr. Smallweed leers at him behind his back.
It seems that Mr. Smallweed really had no intention of handing over the will, which is likely very important and valuable, to Mr. Jarndyce, but Mr. Bucket has caught him and forced him to do so.
Mr. Jarndyce thanks Mr. Bucket but says he wants nothing to do with the suit. He takes the document immediately to Mr. Kenge without reading it. Mr. Kenge is amazed; the will was written later than the date of the suit and cancels much of the case in dispute! He calls for Mr. Guppy and sends him to inform Mr. Vholes. He says that Richard and Ada’s fortunes will be made by this and rebukes Mr. Jarndyce for his lack of faith in the Chancery system.
Mr. Jarndyce never thinks about what he may gain from the lawsuit and consistently dislikes it because of the harm it has done to people. Although it seems that Mr. Jarndyce has been wrong to doubt the system, subsequent events prove him quite right to be wary of it.