Chapter 13 Summary
Catherine is walking with her brother, James, Isabella, and John Thorpe. Isabella tells Catherine about a plan they have concocted. They will once again attempt to go to Blaize Castle the following day. Catherine tells her she cannot go because she has scheduled a walk with Miss Tilney. Isabella does not allow this to bother her: all Catherine has to do is change that appointment to another day.
Catherine does not want to do this. She already missed the first time she was supposed to walk with Miss Tilney. John Thorpe tells Catherine she must go with them. She has only to tell Miss Tilney that she had forgotten about a previous engagement she had made with them. Catherine still resists.
Isabella becomes very disturbed. She says if Catherine does not go, then she cannot go. She cannot be the only woman with two men. Catherine suggests that they invite one of Isabella’s sisters to join them. At this, John is disgusted. He walks off as Isabella and James continue to berate Catherine for not giving in to their wishes. James calls his sister selfish and uncaring. He tells her that he used to think she was the nicest and most compassionate of all his sisters. Now he has changed his evaluation of her.
John returns to tell them the matter has been settled. He saw the Tilneys walking down the street and ran after them. He explained that although Catherine had been looking forward to walking with them, she had forgotten that she had already promised to go with him. He added that Catherine had sent him to deliver this message to them.
Catherine is terribly distressed. She tells John he had no right to tell them a lie. When she tries to leave, Isabella grabs her arm and will not let her go. Eventually Catherine gains her release and runs after the Tilneys.
She catches the Tilneys as they are entering their home. She explains everything. General Tilney accepts the story she tells them. He is impressed with Catherine; she can tell from the way he smiles at her. He asks if she can stay the rest of the day and dine with them. Although Catherine is grateful for the invitation, she has to refuse because the Allens are planning for her to be home for dinner.
When Catherine returns to the Allens’ home, she is rattled. She is glad she will be meeting with Miss Tilney the next day, but she is sorry that Isabella and her brother are so upset with her. She tells Mr. Allen what has happened. Mr. Allen assures Catherine that what she did was correct. Mrs. Allen adds that it is inappropriate for young girls to go out to the country with young men, eat at public dining places by themselves, and ride in open carriages. Catherine should refrain from all those activities. Mr. Allen suggests that Catherine should no longer have anything to do with John Thorpe.