Mr. George (Rouncewell) and his co-signer Matthew Bagnet have borrowed about a hundred pounds from Grandfather Smallweed. The promissory note (which has been renewed several times) is now due but George and Matthew are unable to raise the cash. Smallweed is unmerciful and sends them to his lawyer, Tulkinghorn. Tulkinghorn too insists on immediate payment, but he relents when George gives him the specimen of Captain Hawdon's handwriting. The note is then renewed and Matthew is free from the contract. George goes to dine with the Bagnets and is cheered up by Mrs. Bagnet.
George Rouncewell continues to come across as a likable personality. The plot advances as Tulkinghorn at last receives a sample of Captain Hawdon's handwriting. Clearly, from Tulkinghorn's reaction when he receives the sample of Hawdon's handwriting, he is planning mischief. Suspense is one of Dickens' key elements here.