Chapters 8–11 Summary
Noun explains that the portrait is of Ralph, Indiana’s cousin and childhood friend. Ralph is infuriated that this “insipid” Englishman should be part of Indiana’s inner circle. He tells Noun to tell her that he looks “impertinent” in the picture and that he can’t understand why Delmare allows it.
Later that day, Noun forces Raymon to declare his intentions; Raymon offers her money, which distresses her. He explains he has a duty to pay for her child. Noun replies that she will accept it only if he continues to love her, saying even she would accept being his mother’s servant. Raymon says this would be an act of deception towards his mother and instead offers to send Noun away to Lyons until she has had the baby, after which he will get her a job with someone he knows.
Noun says she will not be sent away—she will not lose both him and Indiana at the same time. She says she will tell Indiana everything and that Indiana will forgive her and take care of the child. Raymon is horrified by this. Suddenly a carriage draws forth, and Noun panics and hides Raymon in an alcove behind a set of curtains. When Indiana enters, Noun tries to steer her into the other room, but Indiana will not have it. She pulls back the curtains and screams when she sees Raymon. Raymon tries to draw her into his arms. Noun opens the door at this point and half-faints. Raymon goes to his knees to beg forgiveness, and Noun thinks she has been found out.
Indiana accuses Raymon of having deceived her maid in order to sneak into her bedroom and seduce her (Indiana). She tells Noun that she has no respect for Indiana’s honor. Noun in horror asks if Indiana really thinks Raymon is in love with Indiana. Indiana, weeping in rage, says Noun must have known it to be true, given that she allowed Raymon into the room. At this point, Ralph’s arrival is announced, and Indiana tells Raymon to go, saying she hopes they never meet again.
That evening, Noun does not come to help Indiana undress. Indiana weeps all night at having been betrayed by both Noun and Raymon. In the morning she vows to try harder to love her husband, telling herself she has been spared betrayal. As she walks out by the mill, she sees something floating in the water and realizes it is Noun’s body.
Two months have passed. The Delmares are at home together, and Delmare tells Indiana he has invited one of her “admirers” to lunch to relieve her boredom. It is Raymon. Indiana is distressed and asks why Delmare is so forgiving of him. Delmare says he has been told that Indiana danced with Raymon all evening at a ball and thus figures that his presence will cheer her up. He thinks Raymon is a good fellow; after all, they have been in business together.
Indiana goes to her room. She thinks about Noun, whose death she believes to have been suicide, although this has not be proved. Ralph does not mention his suspicions about Raymon to anyone except Delmare, who says they should not betray the secret—that Raymon and Noun were lovers—to Indiana. However, Indiana half-suspects it on her own and is distressed that Raymon came between Noun and herself. She weeps, wishing she could put her arms around Noun and protect her from the “murderer.” She feels that she hates Raymon.
Raymon desperately desires Indiana’s love and forgiveness, particularly because he feels they are unattainable. He does feel terrible about Noun’s death. At one point, he considers killing himself but instead decides to atone for his crime by devoting himself to his elderly mother. Raymon is a very influential and beguiling young man who has taken up a political middle ground so as to get along with everyone in society. He writes pamphlets—not for money but out of duty—in which he gently criticizes the ministry and advocates for those who want to criticize the constitutional monarchy while retaining their own privileges.
When he returns to society life, Raymon once again begins to...
(The entire section is 1,127 words.)