Dining with Mr. Tulkinghorn, Snagsby tells him what Jo has said about the mysterious woman who was inquiring about Nemo. Mr. Bucket, a detective hired by Tulkinghorn, goes with Snagsby to search for Jo. Meanwhile, Lady Dedlock has fired her French maid, Mlle. Hortense.
When Jo is located, he is taken to Tulkinghorn's, where he identifies Hortense as the lady who gave him the gold coin. However, when he sees the woman's hands and hears her speak, he changes his mind. The detective is now certain that the disguised woman who asked Jo questions about Nemo is Lady Dedlock herself.
The reader's revulsion to the crafty, secretive, self-seeking Tulkinghorn increases as the lawyer is shown to be ever more intent upon prying into matters which are really none of his business. Hortense's ugly nature shows itself again as she seeks revenge upon Lady Dedlock. Lady Dedlock, despite her haughty shortcomings, appears to be of higher character than these people.