Chapters 20–23 Summary
Indiana now feels that both Delmare and Ralph dominate her, and she “would have drowned herself at once” were it not for the promise of escape with Raymon. Delmare is putting his affairs in order, expecting Indiana to join him soon on his journey to Bourbon Island. Madame de Carvajal listens to Indiana’s complaints and agrees that Indiana should not risk the voyage in her current state. She tells Delmare that Indiana may stay with her and that she will give the Delmares her inheritance in return. Delmare, however, refuses, but the marchioness continues to encourage her niece’s resistance. She now knows of Indiana’s passion for Raymon and has told others about it.
Raymon is now very bored by the whole affair. One morning, he comes home to find Indiana in his room; she has been there waiting for him in the cold for five hours. Raymon says she has been imprudent, because his servants know she is here. But Indiana says Delmare intends to leave for the colonies in three days and that last night she protested and was locked in her room. Ralph is at Bellrive. She asks Raymon to protect and hide her until Delmare leaves without her. Raymon says that she is insane and that he will not accept her sacrifices and dishonor her. Indiana tells him that by coming here, she is already dishonored in public opinion, so Raymon may as well accept her. Raymon turns the tables by saying that he will, in that case, accept her as his mistress. He kisses her, but the hour has grown late; it is now seven o’clock. He tells her she must leave and promises her that she is not yet ruined. Nobody has yet noticed she has gone; everyone will assume she has spent the night with her aunt.
Indiana suddenly goes into a sort of paralyzed stupor and Raymon, afraid, sits her in a chair, locks her in, and goes up to his mother’s room.
Raymon’s mother is awake when he enters the room. When she asks how she can help, Raymon says that he loves Indiana and that she is in his room now against his will. Raymon’s mother says that she will come down, talk to her, and urge her to leave.
Raymon’s mother goes down and finds Indiana looking dignified; when the pair embrace, however, Indiana begins to cry. She says she will go but that she cannot be comforted. She refuses the offer of a chaperone or a cab, and says she will go home alone.
Indiana walks along the river and eventually falls into an almost trancelike state. Ralph finds her there; she asks, confused, whether he has seen Noun. Ralph carries her to a house of refuge and sends a message to Delmare to say that Indiana has been found. Ralph’s dog, Ophelia, had tracked Indiana, although Ralph first went to Raymon’s house to look for her.
Ralph asks Indiana to swear never to attempt suicide again. Indiana argues that she had been simply unaware of what she was doing. Once at the Delmare house, Ralph carries Indiana up to her room. When the Colonel returns, he is furious. He demands to know where Indiana was; Indiana says she will not tell him. However, she says she no longer wants a separation. Her escape via the window proved to them both that he cannot really control her.
Raymon’s mother meets with Indiana’s aunt, Madame de Carvajal, and is shocked that Carvajal intends never to speak to her niece again. Raymon’s mother is more compassionate and tries to send for word of Indiana.
Ralph comes to see Raymon’s mother and asks what happened. She tells him that although Indiana spent the night in the house, Raymon was not there. When Ralph comments that Indiana therefore must have wanted to be dishonored, Raymon’s mother assumes that he, too, judges her pitilessly. But Ralph replies that this is not the case: he has known for many months what has been...
(The entire section is 1,046 words.)