Chapter 14 Summary
Lolita goes out to lunch with her mother, and Humbert spends the rest of the day in a daze, generally elated by his experience of the morning. He feels no guilt. On the contrary:
I felt proud of myself. I had stolen the honey of a spasm without impairing the morals of a junior. Absolutely no harm done.
Lolita, Humbert reasons, is completely safe as long as she does not know what goes on in his mind and body. He, too, is safe because nobody will fault him if they cannot see what he is thinking and feeling. All day, he brainstorms ways to repeat the morning’s experiences. As he lays his plans, he keeps one resolve firm in his mind:
I intended, with the most fervent force and foresight, to protect the purity of that twelve-year-old child.
Unfortunately, Humbert does not get the reward he feels he deserves for thinking this way. "Fat Haze" comes home alone and announces that Lolita is with friends at a movie. Mrs. Haze sets the table for an elegant dinner for two. During the meal, she says offhand that she is sending Lolita to camp for the rest of the summer. Humbert cannot conceal his horror at this. Mrs. Haze asks what is bothering him, and he claims that he has a toothache. She offers to call her dentist, Dr. Quilty, who is some kind of relation of the famous playwright Clare Quilty. Humbert says he does not want a dentist.
Mrs. Haze soon turns the conversation back to Lolita. The mother and daughter are always fighting, and there is an undercurrent of jealousy between them regarding the handsome Humbert. Mrs. Haze seems to fear that her daughter has been bothering Humbert far too much:
I think a summer camp is so much healthier, and—well, it is all so much more reasonable as I say than to mope on a suburban lawn and use mamma’s lipstick, and pursue shy studious gentlemen, and go into tantrums at the least provocation.
Humbert, of course, has no right to fight Mrs. Haze’s decision. He asks meekly if Lolita will be happy enough at camp, and Mrs. Haze says yes. However, it is clear that Lolita’s happiness is not her main concern. She murmurs that the camp will teach her daughter to behave better.
Mrs. Haze seems determined to turn her relations with Humbert in a romantic direction. After dinner, she invites Humbert outside to sit and chat in the garden. Humbert declines. He opts instead to go to his room, claiming that he needs to take care of his painful tooth.