Chapters 70-74 Summary

The night of the ball at Fernand’s house is hot and stuffy because the party occurs in the middle of July. The guests arrive promptly despite the heat, and though the count wipes his brow to rid it of beads of sweat, he refuses the iced drinks Mercedes’s servants offer him. When the count wonders why the blinds are lowered, Mercedes, who remains focused on him and his intentions, orders that the windows be cleared of all impediments to allow a cooling breeze to waft through the house. Mercedes then invites the count to walk with her through her garden. She is extremely curious about the count and has asked her son many questions about him. Now is her chance to get to know him better, she thinks.

Mercedes takes the...

(The entire section is 965 words.)