Chapter 34 Summary
Ralph once again goes to his lawyer, who in turn communicates with Undine’s attorneys and discovers that Clare’s supposition about Undine is very near the truth. Undine will settle the issue of custody, giving Ralph the right to keep Paul, in exchange for a large sum of money. Undine states that she has reconsidered the situation and it might be more beneficial for her son to stay with his father.
For the next few days, all Ralph can think about is where to get that much money. Clare has offered to help him by giving him money she has been saving. Ralph’s mother and grandfather have also told him they will help support his efforts. However, this amount is still not enough. Ralph must find some way to double what he has gathered. This reminds Ralph of the investment he made with Moffatt years ago. He wonders if Moffatt might help him again.
Moffatt’s office had changed since the last time Ralph was there. The furniture and decorations are much more luxurious. It is obvious that the man has been doing well. Moffatt reiterates Ralph’s situation, asking if what Ralph wants is to make a large sum of money in a short time. Ralph acknowledges that this is exactly what he needs. Moffatt tries to make light of the situation, stating that there probably are many thousands of men who would like to do the same thing. When Ralph tells Moffatt that he believes he can come up with fifty thousand dollars, Moffatt assures him that he can double it, or at least he will try.
Afterward, Ralph returns to Clare’s. He is joyful because he believes he has solved all his problems. He will soon have the money to buy back his son. Undine will marry, and that will be the end of it. Ralph tells Clare the details of the investment, adding that Moffatt told him it was a “safe thing.” Clare is excited for him. She tells him she does not care about the details. She is only happy that he will have his son. When Ralph tells her where the money is coming from, Clare is glad that he has come up short, thus needing her help. She wants to be a part of the plan to save him. Although Ralph tries to refuse her money, in the end he gives in. She reassures him that the money belongs to her, not to her husband. Clare and Ralph are cousins, so the money really is coming from Ralph’s side of the family.
Once the financial weight of the speculation hits Ralph, he has a slight feeling of desperation. He asks Clare, what if the scheme fails? What if he loses everyone’s money, especially hers? Clare assures him that nothing can go wrong. At this, Ralph feels overcome with a torrent of emotion, pulls Clare to him, and gives her a very passionate kiss.