Chapter 28 Summary
One day, the princess suggests to Undine that they travel by train to Nice. With Madame de Trezac entertaining her mother, the princess can slip away without her mother’s either noticing or caring. The trip would be refreshing, providing new scenery and a chance to do some shopping, the princess suggests.
Undine is delighted. She had made previous expeditions with the princess and they had all proven to be exciting. At Monte Carlo a few days earlier, the princess had introduced Undine to a music composer who played for them excerpts from his most recent opera. Undine might have worried about leaving Madame de Trezac alone with the duchess, afraid that she would fill in details of Undine’s past, but Undine had gained enough signals that the woman actually appeared to want to remain in Undine’s favor.
So Undine and the princess travel to Nice. They shop for a few hours, but then the princess says she must visit some friend who is ailing. She had almost forgotten about the previous arrangement and promises Undine she will return in a few hours. After the princess is gone, Undine becomes suspicious about the princess’s motives. She questions if the princess had dragged Undine along with her as a cover for some activity about which the princess did not want her mother to know. Undine distracts herself for a few hours and purposefully arrives late at the place where she is to be reunited with the princess.
While Undine waits, she happens to see a familiar face across the woman. It is Moffatt. Undine is surprised at her feelings upon seeing the man. She must be feeling very lonesome, she realizes, as she is about to gesture to Moffatt. Undine then sees Moffatt turn to another woman. The woman is dressed in what Undine refers to as a vulgar fashion. Everything about the woman looks cheap and gaudy. However, Moffatt appears to be very attracted to this woman. Moffatt sees Undine, but it is obvious that he does not want to come speak to her.
It is just then that Undine notices the princess walking toward her table. A young man is with her. Undine recognizes the man as Raymond de Chelles, a French nobleman who had once been attracted to Undine, back when Undine was involved with Peter Van Degen. Undine had used Chelles to make Peter jealous. Undine is happy to see that Chelles is still interested in her. Although the princess and Undine return to Nice several more times, Undine curiously informs the princess that she does not want to meet with Chelles again.