This readalong is based at The Zen Leaf. Today is the conclusion: a brisk 60 pages in my edition.
Chapter 60: Esther tries to move past her mourning and instead gets to thinking about Ada and Richard (who I had not missed in the previous chapters and had in fact nearly forgotten). Jarndyce asks her if she wants to stay in London so that they can be close. Woodcourt may be receiving a position in Yorkshire that will lead to good things, which unsettles Esther somewhat. She visits Ada every day and sees how Mr Vholes is taking all of their money. Later Ada confides that she is pregnant but she fears that Richard will not live to see his child.
Chapter 61: Esther gets Skimpole to stay away from Ada and Richard and thereafter never sees him again. He ends up publishing memoirs a la his inspiration Leigh Hunt. Richard continues to get sicker and Ada more worried but Woodcourt is the bright spot there. One night he walks Esther home and confesses his love to her. She tells him about Jarndyce but thanks him ever so much.
Chapter 62: After seeing Woodcourt, Esther decides that she and Jarndyce should get married next month. Then Smallweed arrives (I had hoped that we were done with him, maybe he could have died) with Bucket; they have a piece of paper (a will) with the signature of a Jarndyce. This paper proves to be significant to the law suit currently in court.
Chapter 63: George goes to visit his brother and see how he is getting on and is surprised and gratified to be warmly received. Although Rouncewell entreats George to join the iron business, George refuses saying it's better for him to stay with Sir Leicester. There's a mysterious letter to Esther from George that doesn't really make sense to me but now that I think about it, is perhaps from Nemo, her father.
Chapter 64: This chapter is crazy! First Esther is planning her wedding to Jarndyce. Then he calls her down to look at Woodcourt's new house which is furnished just so to her tastes. Jarndyce reveals that he now knows that Woodcourt loves her and she him so they will be married. When they return to London, because of course Esther can never shut up about "her darling," Guppy stops by with his friend and his mother. He proposes again to Esther only to be decidedly rejected. The last bit is rather funny and I imagine it would be even funnier if read aloud.
Chapter 65: The court starts up again and they arrive to find that it has been dismissed. Not though because the will is so important but because the estate has been all used up in legal costs. Kenge and Vholes walk away leaving the people involved to pick up the broken pieces of their lives. Richard finally dies, although not before everybody shows how much he means to them (good riddance, I say!) He and Jarndyce are reunited. Miss Flite ends the chapter, having released all of her birds.
Chapter 66: Sir Leicester now leads a very dull life and his feud with Boythorn is about the only thing that cheers him up. George stays with him and Mr Bagnet visits but Chesney Wold is a sad place.
Chapter 67: And then the final conclusion of what everyone's doing. Ada's baby boy Richard helps her heal. Charley gets married; Caddy is very successful; Mrs Jellyby is now working on rights for women. Esther and Woodcourt have two children and are very settled and respected. It ends very abruptly in the middle of a sentence...not sure why Dickens went that way.
Check back tomorrow for my review of BH!