Mr Tope, “Chief Verger and Showman”, can often be seen in the presence of the Dean himself; Tope, “as is duty bound” is often seen to be “greatly entertained” by the observations and comments of the Dean. He is “accustomed to be high with excursion parties”, and has been known to hold a “silent loftiness” whenever corrected on his grammar. Indeed, Mr Tope can often be spotted as a wordless observer on the actions of others; he was in attendance at the Crisparkle house for their recent dinner, where he is driven “to the verge of distraction” by Mr Honeythunder’s looming presence. He was also present with the Dean when Jasper announced his intention to visit the crypts with Durdles, thanks to the suggestion of Mr Sapsea.
His wife is in attendance upon the choirmaster John Jasper, in which capacity she would often prepare dinner for both he and his nephew Edwin Drood. It is Mrs Tope’s opinion that Jasper was “too much wrapt up” in his young nephew, much to both their discredit, and after Drood’s disappearance her view has been proved to some extent in Jasper’s fragile state of mind and body, in which condition he is nursed back by the Topes after suffering a fainting fit.
The Topes’ financial fortunes have risen lately with a new lodger at last for rooms long left unlet: Dick Datchery, a stranger to Cloisterham.