Chapters 16–19 Summary
Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1086
That evening, Ralph stays up late until Indiana begins to worry that he won’t be in bed at midnight. Ralph is in a dark mood and also suspects that Raymon’s departure was planned for a reason. He reminds Indiana of the occasion, described in chapter 1, when she said she was afraid of danger approaching. Indiana says these were words spoken in illness, but Ralph reminds her that this was the day Raymon first appeared and says he feels her words were prophetic. He wishes he had not saved Raymon’s life.
Ralph then says that had it not been for Raymon, Noun would still be alive. He says he is surprised Indiana never guessed why Raymon really climbed over the wall. Indiana trembles and sits down heavily, which makes him immediately regret his words.
Indiana says that such a suggestion is unworthy of Ralph and that she will not allow him to tarnish Noun’s memory. She leaves, and Ralph, despairing, goes outside and begins to wander about in the forest.
Raymon arrives at the park gate and begins to feel anxious. It is a foggy night, and Raymon becomes scared as he passes the river. Through the fog, he sees a human form and feels paralyzed. The figure comes closer, and Raymon realizes it is Ralph. Raymon is infuriated; he thinks Ralph is trying to spy on him. He hides from Ralph’s view, then slips past him and into the house. At this point, he no longer feels remorseful.
Alone in her room, Indiana is troubled. She recalls that the gardener often mentions Noun and also Raymon, as if he feels there were a connection between the two. She also thinks about the valuable ring that was found on Noun’s finger; Indiana has worn it since and has often seen Raymon blanch at the sight of it. She suspects the truth about the connection between Noun and Raymon but does not dare name it.
Indiana opens the window and curses Ralph for destroying her happiness by planting these thoughts. She knows Raymon is on his way, and now she does not know what to do. She opens the door to him, wearing a fur cloak which Noun wore the last time she met Raymon. For a moment, Raymon is paralyzed by the sight of this cloak, especially because Indiana is also wearing a scarf in Creole fashion.
Raymon goes to his knees before Indiana and sees she is holding a bundle of hair. She asks if he recognizes it, and when he takes it from her, he realizes it is Noun’s hair. Raymon faints, and when he regains consciousness, he feels he no longer loves her. He says it was Noun he wronged, not Indiana. He demands the hair, saying it belongs to him and that Indiana is cruel. He adds that if she says she loves him, he will forgive her.
Indiana resists his embraces and accuses him of using force with her. Raymon says he would rather die than have her against her will. Indiana asks whether Noun ever refused him anything, and Raymon confesses that she did not. When Indiana asks whether he came for her or for Noun on that final night, Raymon admits that it was for Noun and that he had spent the night in the room.
A piece of paper is then slipped under the door. It reads, “Your husband is here.” It is signed by Ralph.
Raymon says that Ralph is lying, but Indiana says that Ralph never lies and that Raymon must run. She says she knows that the ring that Noun wore was from him. As Raymon leaves, he is stopped by Ralph, who demands from him the key which Indiana gave him to open her door.
Raymon is feverish when he returns home, and he feels that his love for Indiana is greatly diminished. He sends his servant to see how Indiana is, and the servant returns with a letter. Indiana says that she needs to believe he loves her more than he loved Noun. She asks whether he is willing to love her even if she will never be his mistress. Raymon does not know what to say. He feels wounded that Indiana will not be his mistress. From that moment, he begins to consider her arrogant, and he senses that he no longer loves her. Cruelly, he even wants to humiliate her.
In his response, he says that he will promise her anything she wants, but that if she loved him, she would not be ashamed to be his mistress. Indiana’s reply is that she can face anything if Raymon loves her and that she and her husband are financially ruined. She says that only death will tear her from Raymon’s side.
Raymon thinks this is a ridiculous sentiment. He goes to the Delmares’ home the next day to find that Ralph is not there. The Colonel says he is going to go to Bourbon Island to start up business again. He also asks if Raymon will comfort his wife, given the distress she will likely feel due to their imminent departure to Bourbon Island. The colonel adds that he will draw Ralph away to the farm to give Raymon and Indiana privacy.
Raymon now feels sure he can seduce Indiana. He tells her what the Colonel asked him to do—he is to convince her to go to Bourbon Island with Delmare. Indiana says there is no way she will go and that she loves him. Raymon feels she is simply repeating things she has read in books and persuades her to say nothing to avoid scandal.
Delmare now refuses Ralph’s financial aid. Instead, the house is put up for sale, and Indiana spends a gloomy winter in Paris. For a time, Raymon even feels guilty about Delmare and tries to reconcile him and his wife, which Indiana does not understand. She feels Delmare is becoming worse and worse. For his part, Delmare would feel terrible to be perceived as unkind, but Indiana simply obeys in silence and thinks darkly of telling him she loves Raymon. Delmare loves Indiana and hates her cold obedience, but does not know what to do.
With Ralph, too, Indiana is cold and stiff, and Ralph does not dare try to reconcile the couple. Indiana feels that Ralph no longer cares about her or about the fact that she loves someone besides her husband.