Chapter 62 Summary

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A dog barks as Humbert gets out of the car and approaches the little shack and knocks on the door. Lolita answers. She is taller, with glasses and a different hairstyle. She is “frankly and hugely pregnant”—but she is still Lolita. She stares at him for a long moment and then invites him in.

Without even saying hello, Humbert asks about her husband. All he can think about is the murder. However, he cannot kill Lolita. As he explains to the reader:

You see, I loved her. It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.

Lolita points to Dick, a young man in overalls, who is out in the backyard fixing something with a one-armed neighbor. He is not the man who stole Lolita away from Humbert three years ago—and so Humbert decides not to kill him, either. He asks where the other man is.

Lolita begs Humbert not to bring up her past. She does not want to talk about it, and she definitely does not want Dick to know anything. When Humbert pries, she says a bit coyly that she always thought he would guess who took her away. It was Clare Quilty, the famous playwright. She explains that Quilty, whom she calls by the nickname Cue, was the only man she ever really loved. Dick is “a lamb,” and she is glad to be with him, but it is not the same. Hearing this, Humbert asks if she ever loved him. This question seems to surprise Lolita, and she says it is ridiculous. When she sees that this hurts him, she tries to console him, saying he was "a good father, she guessed."

Lolita explains that Cue knew her mother and that he liked to put Lolita on his lap and kiss her when she was a little girl. She bumped into him at the Enchanted Hunters, and then they met again when she performed in the play of the same name in Beardsley. She fell for him, and they made up the mad scheme to drive across the country and torment Humbert.

At this point, Dick and the one-armed neighbor, Bill, come in for a beer. Lolita introduces Humbert as her dad, shouting the information because Dick is nearly deaf due to a war injury. Everyone sits and chats for a few minutes, with Humbert reflecting condescendingly on the men’s sloppiness and simplicity.

Eventually Dick and Bill go back outside to finish their repair project, and Humbert presses Lolita to finish telling the story about how she “betrayed” him. She says that she did not betray anyone, but she goes on anyway. She explains that Cue was a pedophile and that he always had a liking for her. She fell passionately in love with him, and he promised to take her to Hollywood to try out for a bit role in a movie. However, they never reached the audition. On the way, they stopped at a ranch owned by one of his relatives. There, Cue wanted Lolita to participate in a filmed orgy, and she refused because she did not want to have sex with anyone but him.

Humbert wants to know the exact sex acts her lover wanted her to perform, but she refuses to describe anything so dirty while she is pregnant. She only tells him that Cue kicked her out. She spent a couple of years traveling around with another girl, doing odd jobs, making a living as she could. Eventually she met and married Dick.

Although Humbert wants every detail of the story, he sees that it...

(This entire section contains 799 words.)

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is difficult for Lolita to tell it. He decides not to ask any more questions. He watches her in her grief and realizes that he still loves her, even though she is “only the faint violet whiff and dead leaf echo of the nymphet” he met years ago. He realizes that he will continue to love her no matter how old she gets.

He asks Lolita to run away with him. She grows furious, thinking he means that he wants sex in exchange for the money she needs to get to Alaska. He says that he will give her anything she wants, but that he would rather have her. He hands her four thousand dollars, all of the money from the rent he has collected on her mother’s house through the years. He says:

You are sure you are not coming with me? Is there no hope of your coming? Tell me only this.

Lolita says no. She says it kindly, and she calls him “honey,” but she does not leave any room for doubt. She leads him out to his car and bids him good-bye. Humbert drives off in the rain, sobbing.

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