Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1176
When Ralph sees Indiana, he is surprised by how thin and sad she looks. But Ralph thinks he can arouse her self-interest and then convince her to want better things. He tells her it brings him pain to see her, and she confesses that she is ill. Raymon says that if he is the cause of her sorrows, perhaps he can put an end to them, and he goes down on his knees, saying he will offer her his life. Indiana says it is too late; all she wants is Noun back, and Raymon has killed her.
Raymon becomes very pale at this, and Indiana apologizes for hurting him, at which point he begins to sob. Indiana is moved that “you, who didn’t know her” should mourn Noun so. These words confuse Raymon, who is suddenly unsure what she knows or why she blames him.
Indiana now thinks Raymon is a kind soul after all and tells him not to cry, saying really it was she who killed Noun by reproaching Noun when she was in truth angry with Raymon. She says she had thought he loved her that night, but then she discovered that he didn’t even respect her. This fills Raymon with hope: he asks if she loves him and says he will love her passionately. Indiana points out that she has never been in love before and that she must be loved “absolutely, eternally, unreservedly.” She demands sacrifices which she thinks Raymon cannot give.
Raymon passionately declares himself to be hers “body and soul.” At this point, Ralph comes in and, as is customary, kisses Indiana on the mouth, happy to see her, which infuriates Raymon. Indiana then tells Raymon he has a long way to go to make things up to her.
That evening, Raymon speaks intelligently to try to win Indiana over. But Indiana is still convinced that she is a passing fancy for Raymon, even if she loves him passionately.
Raymon stays with Indiana instead of joining the hunt. This concerns Ralph; he suggests that Indiana should go on the hunt next time, but Indiana argues against this, and Raymon feels sure Indiana prefers to stay with him. Raymon notices that Ralph is suspicious. He suggests that he and Indiana follow the hunt together, and she agrees.
All evening, Ralph deliberately chaperones them. The next morning, Ralph comes in to arrange to buy the horse Raymon has brought with him and has expressed a desire to sell. Raymon wonders if this is to make him follow the hunt on foot, but Ralph dismisses this notion. Ralph then presents the horse to Indiana, who is delighted and embraces Ralph. Indiana then leaps onto the horse and canters about.
Raymon is deeply jealous. He says he suffers when he watches them together, especially because he has provided Ralph with the means of pleasing her. Indiana argues that it is merely family intimacy and that jealousy is unbecoming. She says that Ralph is the only constant in her life, and thus she is very fond of him. Raymon says he thinks that Ralph is indecisive and “commonplace” of mind. Indiana says it is true that he often sees things through others’ eyes but that he was made to despise himself by his parents, who preferred his brother to him.
The unhappy Ralph and the unhappy Indiana, as children, comforted each other. Ralph’s brother died when he was twenty; after this, Indiana was his only consolation. Ralph did not marry Indiana because he was already married when she reached marriageable age. His wife, whom...
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he was forced to marry, died only after Indiana was married to Delmare.
Ralph then came to France and introduced himself to Delmare, saying he had always loved Indiana but never been in love with her. He asked if they might make a household of three. At first, Delmare was unsure, but he grew to accept the arrangement. Indiana spends all her life trying to repay her debt to Ralph, who now loves Delmare too. But she feels that Ralph has come to believe what he has been told—that he is cold-hearted—and that he will never love Indiana as Raymon fears he might.
Raymon declares that he wants to give Indiana his life and love, and he kisses her hair just before Ralph appears.
Raymon is surprised by what an excellent horsewoman Indiana is as she gallops into the hunt. He is almost afraid of her boldness. He feels her spirit is so strong that he will have to give way to her.
A shout goes up; a boar has knocked Indiana off her horse. Ralph is about to cut his own throat in despair when Raymon stops him. He then drags Ralph towards the source of the screaming; Colonel Delmare is lying on the ground, having broken his thigh. Raymon and Ralph realize that they must have misheard Colonel Delmare as Madame Delmare. Indiana is frightened but has not had an accident. After this, Raymon is sure that Ralph loves Indiana far more than he loves the Colonel.
Indiana nurses her husband for weeks. It is dreary work, but she becomes ever more full of health, and Raymon loves her even more. Raymon and Ralph are forced into a sort of intimacy through proximity, but in truth, they do not like each other and frequently argue about politics. Ralph is a republican, whereas Raymon believes in hereditary monarchy. They are fundamentally opposed. However, the Colonel, who fought for Napoleon but understands little of the wider context, becomes increasingly upset by the things Ralph says. Raymon, who stimulates these conversations, drives a political wedge between Delmare and Ralph. Delmare begins to prefer Raymon.
Despite the quarreling in the house, Indiana is happy. She knows that Raymon loves her. Raymon has never before passionately loved a woman for six months without physical reward, his relationship with Indiana is different. He enjoys teaching Indiana things, and he appreciates how she meets his eyes boldly. Politically, she believes in the visions Raymon depicts.
Raymon remains very jealous of and angry with Ralph; sometimes Indiana is concerned that Ralph is being made unhappy, as indeed he is. For Ralph, the happy home is being destroyed. However, he says nothing, not wanting to encroach upon Indiana’s happiness. He considers telling her about Noun but does not.
A Belgian trading establishment goes bankrupt, and the Colonel, still weak, has to set off for Antwerp, refusing Indiana’s offer to accompany him because he does not want his creditors to think they are all fleeing. Raymon says that he will follow Indiana wherever she goes.
One morning, he writes her a letter asking if she loves him as he loves her, saying he is unhappy and begging an audience with her in her room, and perhaps a “sisterly” kiss. Indiana replies that she is blissfully happy that he loves her and that he should leave early and then return at midnight to see her in her room.