Chapters 4–7 Summary
Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 945
Few would believe that Raymon de Ramière, who is of a high social class, could feel genuine attachment to a woman such as Noun. However, he is indeed in love with Noun, who is extremely beautiful. However, he quickly worries that she loves him back, at which point he “repent[s]” of having won her over so easily. But it is too late, so he consigns himself to loving her and being loved in return.
As soon as he recovers from his fall, he returns to meet Noun in a forest, where he tells her he loves her. In January, the Delmares leave for Paris and Ralph leaves for his own estate, leaving Noun to conduct her affair with Raymon. Noun does not realize that she loves Raymon more than he loves her. As it turns out, he does not respect her more after she has given up her reputation for him. He realizes that she is only a working girl, and he cannot marry her and thereby lose his status. He decides to stop seeing Noun; he leaves Cercy and does not return.
Noun is distressed and writes to him, but Raymon is embarrassed by the poor spelling and burns the letter. At Cercy, his absence is noticed, given his popularity there. He returns eventually at a ball at the Spanish Embassy, where he is admired by several young women. At the ball, he again meets Delmare and Indiana.
Raymon is remorseful at his treatment of Noun, but also cannot help noticing Indiana, who is the belle of the ball. He hears women remarking that Indiana has “made a pretty stupid marriage.” Raymon eventually asks her to dance, and she recognizes him from their previous meeting. Raymon appreciates her shyness and her Creole voice. He tells her he owes her a debt of gratitude for her care.
Raymon is a man who loves often and foolishly. He has eloped with—and compromised—multiple women and taken part in duels. As he escorts Indiana back to her carriage, she kisses her hand, which affects Indiana greatly. Subsequently, Raymon completely forgets Noun and becomes enamored of Indiana. The day after the party, he hears that Delmare has gone away, leaving Indiana under the protection of the Spanish Madame Carvajal, her aunt.
Raymon realizes that if he becomes close to Madame de Carvajal, it would enable him to see Indiana, so he introduces himself to her. A few days later, he is invited to her drawing room, where Indiana sits.
In the drawing room, elderly ladies are playing cards. Indiana is very shy and embarrassed when Raymon speaks to her. Madame de Carvajal intervenes and begins speaking to Raymon, but Raymon continues to direct his comments to Indiana.
That night, Indiana feels strange; she has never been in love before. Between her childhood and her cold marriage to Delmare, she has become accustomed to an absence of affection in her life. Now, feeling the interest of Raymon, she begins to feel enchanted—but knows she is married. Therefore she decides to avoid Raymon. That night, she tells her aunt she must go to the ball without her. But she is distressed and cries to herself. Raymon, at the ball, is told that Indiana is ill, whereupon he returns to the house unannounced to ask how she is.
He enters Indiana’s room to find her crying. They discuss her husband; Raymon says that Delmare is a tyrant and that he would be a much better husband to her. Indiana tells him not to speak to her like that, but Raymon goes on that the two of them can never be torn apart. Raymon embraces Indiana and says that he defies Delmare to tear them apart. When he declares his love and kisses Indiana, she is so overcome that she faints. He rings the bell for the maid, and Noun comes in. Raymon lies to her, saying that he came to see Noun and that Indiana has fainted out of shock.
Noun writes another letter to Raymon. She is pregnant and is starting to look unwell. She begs Raymon to look after her, threatening to tell Indiana everything if he does not comply. Raymon, in panic, tells her not to say anything to Indiana and that he will meet her that evening at Lagny. Raymon is prepared to give Noun money, but he is worried that he can no longer say he loves her.
Noun dresses up, thinking she can win Raymon back. He lets himself into the grounds of the house and meets Noun at the summerhouse. She leads him into a beautiful drawing room with a bed in it, which he recognizes as Indiana’s. He tells Noun they should leave; Noun says she feels “wretched,” because he has rejected her and she is dishonored—but she feels that she would not mind the dishonor if he loved her. She begs him to kiss her, and Raymon, moved by her speech, does. However, Raymon is thinking of Indiana as the pair then make love.
He wakes in the morning and tries to leave the room but finds he is locked in. He feels deeply ashamed of having betrayed his love for Indiana, and he falls to his knees in agony. When Noun wakes, she says she has locked the room because she wishes Raymon to be her prisoner that day. When Noun leaves to get breakfast, Raymon begins to leaf through all the albums in the room. He finds a framed picture behind Indiana’s bed and is surprised to see that it is a portrait of a handsome young man.