Chapter 30 Summary
Undine runs into Elmer Moffatt again. This time both of them are alone and are not reluctant to speak to one another. Moffatt mentions Undine’s divorce. Undine confides in him that the marriage was a mistake from the beginning; it should never have taken place. In the course of their conversation, Undine invites Moffatt to come to her apartment with her so they can talk in private.
Undine finds Moffatt as unattractive as she had in the past, but something makes her glad he is there. As they continue to talk, Undine makes a point of saying that she often suffers from loneliness. She hopes this will soften Moffatt’s attitude toward her. She notices that Moffatt is pleased to be with her, but she also can tell that she has very little influence over him. He is distracted by something. So she encourages him more, suggesting a future relationship with him. Moffatt finds this alluring, but he tells Undine that he is leaving Paris in a few days to go back to the States. He had come to France to get away from some undisclosed business, but he has since learned that someone is willing to pay him a large sum of money if he returns to the States. Moffatt is not clear about the details of the matter, but, as usual, he is focused on gaining power through the accumulation of money.
Undine wastes no more time in asking for Moffatt’s help. She tells him about her wanting to be married and how her divorce is standing in her way. Moffatt believes that if Undine could collect a large sum of money, he might be able to present it to influential people who might help her gain an annulment of her marriage. Undine had hoped that Moffatt himself might be willing to invest in her, but says he has come into hard times and has no ready funds.
When this conversation comes to its conclusion, Moffatt brings up the subject of Undine’s son. He asks her who has legal custody of Paul. He makes Undine fully realize that Paul is hers, according to the court. Ralph might fight her, but Undine has the right to full custody of her son. Now that Undine has a prospect of marriage and could provide a father figure for Paul, the court would undoubtedly give her the boy. Then Moffatt points out that Ralph and his family would probably offer Undine a lot of money in the fight for Paul if Undine threatened to take the boy away from them.