Joe drives the Cloisterham coach, in which capacity he brought the newcomers Helena and Neville Landless into Cloisterham along with their imposing guardian, Mr Honeythunder. “A good fellow”, he nonetheless loses his temper after a long and tiresome journey in the company of the bullish philanthropist, partly due to the conversation and partly due to the practical discomfort of being sat to such a large man for so long a time, so that when Honeythunder offers his card and brotherhood to Joe, the coachman is less cheerful in his response than might normally be expected of him.
A large, strong man, Joe was one of the group who later apprehends Neville under suspicion of murdering Edwin Drood, yet even in this tense situation he strived for “Fair play”, telling the others not to get involved when Neville struggled with him, and offering friendly advice to Neville to “better say nothing” until he saw Crisparkle.
It is Joe who assisted Rosa in her flight from Cloisterham after she was subjected to Jasper’s surprising and distressing outpouring of affection. Joe’s willingness to takes Miss Bud under his protection can be partly explained by his half wishing that he might have her love for himself.