Chapter 11 Summary

In the morning, Isabel oversleeps. She gets behind on her work, and she cannot catch up. When she starts to sweep, Madam tells her to air the bedding. Isabel gathers all the bedding and hangs it in the backyard. By the time she returns to the house, Madam yells at her to clean the floors and polish the balconies. When that task is finished, Madam shouts again—this time because Isabel has been so stupid as to hang the bedding out to air on a day when it looks like rain.

Isabel goes outside to bring in the sheets. As she folds them, she keeps an eye on the gate, waiting for the rebel soldiers to arrive. She imagines that they will whisk her and Ruth away as soon as they find evidence of Master Lockton’s treachery. Then she and Ruth will be put on a boat back home. This time, surely, they will not have to ride with the cargo. This time they will ride in a cabin like fine ladies.

Becky calls Isabel to help clean up the drawing room. Isabel expects this to be a room used for artwork, but it is just a giant parlor. As they uncover the furniture and begin cleaning, Becky grumbles that it is ridiculous to clean the place up now, when the pantry is practically empty and the city is “getting ready to explode.”

This diatribe is interrupted by rebel soldiers pounding on the door. When Becky lets them in, they immediately begin dismantling windows and curtains. Bellingham is with them, barking orders. The Locktons enter and protest that the soldiers are stealing, but Bellingham explains that the rebel army needs lead for bullets. Evidently enjoying himself, he says sarcastically:

I thought a Patriot such as yourself would welcome the chance to contribute to the army.

When the soldiers find Madam’s linen chest, she sits down on it and shouts about “assaults on the dignity of women.” Master Lockton, however, smiles mildly and tells her that all is well. Immediately she gives in and allows the men to search the chest. Inside they find a pile of dirty undergarments—and nothing else. Master Lockton grins and invites Bellignham to search all of the clothing in the house. Clearly Lockton has found a new hiding place for his bribe money.

In spite of the lack of physical evidence, Bellingham places Master Lockton under arrest. Madam protests, but Bellingham seems quite confident. On his way out, he takes one surreptitious glance at Isabel, who cowers in terror under his gaze. However, he does not speak to her.