A stranger to Cloisterham, Datchery professes to being an idle dog looking to settle in the town. With his shock of white hair, he is rather a distinctive character, and quickly made the acquaintance of several of the townsfolk. He is now staying in the Topes’s lodgings, having received a reference for their character from John Jasper. In speaking to Jasper of this, Datchery has also met Mr Sapsea, and through him learned the details of the recent tragic events befalling Edwin Drood, the outline of which has already reached Datchery’s ears through the gossip of the neighbourhood.
Indeed, to some it would appear that Datchery is taking an extensive interest in John Jasper. He has spoken to Durdles and Deputy; the one has agreed for Datchery to visit him at work much as Jasper has already done on a previous occasion, and the latter seems to be engaged in Datchery’s investigation into the choirmaster. Datchery is the only person in town to know Deputy’s real name, and together they have encountered the Princess Puffer and through her some sense of Jasper’s opium habit. He keeps a strange tally chart of the information he uncovers, but the aim of all this, or the reason why he is doing it, is not yet known.