Chapters 28–Conclusion Summary
Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1198
Immediately after sending the letter, Raymon forgets about Indiana. He goes to Lagny, the Delmares’ estate, which has been bought by an industrialist named Monsieur Hubert. When he visits the house, he meets a slender young woman who is painting. The woman asks about Madame Delmare, whom she has heard is remarkable. She says she saw Indiana once at a ball. At this point, Raymon realizes then that he met this woman at the same ball. He learns that she is Laure de Nangy, the adopted daughter of Hubert.
Hubert has a great fortune and is looking for someone to marry his daughter. Raymon feels that this is a stroke of fate and begins to court Laure. He tells himself that Indiana will not fault him if he returns to Lagny often to see Laure and her father. Laure knows that Raymon is interested in her father’s fortune, but she knows she must marry. However, she wants Raymon to build up his own fortune first.
Indiana arrives in France to find a violent disturbance in Bordeaux. Shocked, she leaves her money and clothes on the boat and walks towards town. The king has fled, and many of the ministers have been murdered. Indiana faints and recovers consciousness several days later in hospital.
She spends two months in the hospital with brain fever and eventually leaves two months later with no money, possessions, or hope. She is forced to beg in the streets until she eventually thinks to return to the ship and ask Captain Random for her belongings.
The next day, Indiana leaves for Paris and goes to Raymon’s house, where she is told that he is at Lagny. Indiana thinks he must have bought Lagny as a refuge for her. She dresses carefully before setting out for Lagny, sorry that her beautiful hair has all been cut off in hospital.
She is overjoyed when she reaches Lagny and finds Raymon alone, reading. She runs to him, kisses him, but Raymon is filled with terror and shock and can hardly speak. Indiana tells him that she belongs to him, body and soul, and begs him to take her. At this, Raymon says they must hide her. Indiana is confused, and a moment later, Laure enters. She asks Indiana to leave, whereupon Raymon admits that Laure is his wife.
Indiana is driven back to Paris. She goes to a small furnished room in a hotel, longing for death. She succumbs to fever, and two days later the landlady finds her in her ill state and sends for a doctor.
When Indiana awakes, Ralph is at her bedside. He tells her that Delmare has died. Indiana tells Ralph that Raymon is married. She worries that she has killed Delmare, but Ralph says he never knew of Indiana’s flight, because he died in Ralph’s arms that very night.
Ralph tells her that he heard a rumor that Indiana had fled and knew that he should hurry to Raymon’s house in search of her. Indiana insists they must not talk about Raymon and begs instead for Ralph to speak to her kindly so that she might die happy.
Ralph tries to help her recover with outings and a cheerful demeanor, but Indiana gets steadily worse. She says she wants to forget, and Ralph says that he, too, is miserable and believes the only remedy to be suicide. Indiana says that because Ralph has begged her to live, she could not now bear to leave him. For his sake, she will try to recover. Ralph says that it would be selfish of him to make her live for his sake. Instead, he proposes that they return to Bourbon Island and die together in a suicide pact.
The pair leave France on a schooner for Bourbon Island. On the voyage, both Ralph and Indiana improve, and by the time they reach their destination, Indiana’s “disastrous love was extinguished in her heart.”
Indiana and Ralph walk deep into the beautiful mountains of Bourbon Island. This is a place where they once played as children. Ralph explains that Indiana must be careful if she plans to jump from the cliffs; they should wait for the moon to rise so that they can see better. Indiana agrees, and the pair kneel down to pray. As she listens to Ralph praying, Indiana is deeply moved. Ralph asks for her forgiveness, and Indiana tells him there is nothing to forgive. But Ralph confesses that he has been selfish all his life in wanting to be loved and that the only time he ever felt consoled was when Indiana loved him above all else. He fell in love with her even when she was a child—not coarsely, but purely. He always thought that Indiana would be his wife.
Not wishing to ruin her innocence, however, Ralph said nothing throughout those years as he watched Indiana grow and develop. He was devastated when he was forced to marry his late brother’s betrothed, a woman he didn’t love. When he saw who Indiana had been married to, he felt almost pleased, because he knew Indiana could not love Delmare and thus that he was no true rival. Ralph befriended Delmare because he wanted to remain close to Indiana and protect her. Only when Indiana fell for Raymon did Ralph truly realize the nature of his love for her. He says he hopes that God will punish Raymon.
Indiana says that if she had really known Ralph as she does now, she would never have loved Raymon. Ralph says that now that Indiana has agreed to die with him, he can die happy, feeling that she is finally his and that they will be married in the next life. At this point, Indiana suddenly realizes that she, in turn, loves Ralph. She asks him to be her husband “in heaven and on earth” and the two kiss. Then Ralph picks her up in his arms and moves towards the waterfall.
The narrator describes journeying to Bourbon Island and walking there through the mountains. He makes his way to a dwelling, seeking shelter from the storm and is greeted by Ralph. He and Indiana have been there for almost a year, but Indiana is largely a recluse. The colonists on the island gossip about Ralph and Indiana, suggesting that Ralph killed Delmare. The narrator does not believe this. He finds Indiana playful and very beautiful.
When the narrator says he must leave, Ralph insists he must first share his story. He says he had intended to plunge into the waterfall with Indiana, but something changed his mind. Indiana swore love to him, and the pair decided to try living together. Both remained melancholy for a time, but their love grew stronger and stronger, and now all their days are calm and beautiful, and the couple spend their money trying to free those who live in slavery. Ralph says that some criticize him for having left society but that society should demand nothing from a man who expects nothing from society. He urges the narrator to follow his heart and his destiny.