Chapter 11 Summary
Catherine wakes up in a happy disposition, anxious for her walk with Mr. Tilney and his sister. But as she stands at the front window, watching the darkening skies, she fears that it will rain. Soon it does. Though her spirits are dampened, Catherine holds out hope that the clouds will clear before it is time for the Tilneys to appear at her door. They have promised to be there at noon.
At twenty after twelve, the rain continues and the Tilneys have not approached her door. Catherine discusses with Mrs. Allen the prospects of walking after such a downpour. It will be dirty, Mrs. Allen warns.
Shorty afterward, two carriages appear, as they did several days before. James Morland and Isabella are sitting in one. John Thorpe is in the other. John bangs on the door and comes in, insisting that Catherine dress as quickly as possible so they can begin their journey to Blaize Castle. Upon hearing of the castle, Catherine conjures up images of Gothic charm she has read about in her favorite novels. She wants to know if it is a real castle. John assures that it is. But she is torn. She tells John she has arranged a previous engagement with the Tilneys. At this, John acts surprised. He tells her he just passed the Tilneys. They were in a carriage, going in the opposite direction.
Catherine surmises that maybe the Tilneys had thought it too dirty to go for a walk. John confirms this, stating that the mud is at least ankle deep. Reluctantly, Catherine agrees to join his party. She rushes upstairs to dress, and soon they are off.
As they drive down the streets of Bath, John mentions that a curious woman had been staring at Catherine as they passed by. He wants to know who she was. Catherine turns to see Miss Tilney walking with her brother. At seeing them, Catherine is shocked. She wants to know how John could have deceived her so. John declares that he could have sworn it was Tilney he had seen earlier, riding out of town. The man looked just like him. Catherine also notices that there is no mud on the streets. Catherine insists that John stop the carriage immediately. John laughs as he spurs his horses on even faster than before. Even when Catherine yells at him, John does not slow his pace.
About halfway to their destination, James stops his carriage and tells John that it is taking them too long. They should have left earlier. They will not be able to make it to the castle and still have daylight left to make it back home. John curses James’s slow horses, but he agrees to go back.
Upon arriving at the Allens’ house, Catherine learns that Mr. Tilney and his sister had come looking for Catherine. They were surprised that she was not there and that there was no message for them. Catherine goes to bed in tears.