Chapter 27 Summary

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Outside the doctor’s house, no one speaks for several moments. Favell looks gray and ill. He speaks first, asking if anyone knows whether cancer is contagious. No one answers him. Favell is so shaken that de Winter asks him if he will be able to drive, and Julyan tells the man to collect himself and quit making “an exhibition of himself in the street.”

Favell is bitter, saying that none of the others have anything to worry about any more; de Winter has been exonerated and Julyan will be considered family to the de Winters from now on. The magistrate warns Favell that he has the power to ensure that Favell is dealt with if he tries to blackmail de Winter again. Favell only looks at de Winter with his “old unpleasant smile” on his lips. He tells de Winter the law can still get him—and so can he. 

As de Winter begins to drive, Julyan says he was sure Baker would clear up the matter and at least Rebecca was spared the pain of a lingering illness. He keeps talking, mostly about insignificant things, but the only talking de Winter does is occasionally agreeing with the magistrate. When Julyan invites the couple to have dinner with him and his sister, de Winter thanks him for the offer but declines, saying they will probably stop at an inn for the night. Julyan’s final advice to the couple is that they should go somewhere, perhaps somewhere abroad, until the sensationalism over this case has time to fade into obscurity.

After dropping Julyan at his sister’s, the de Winters are alone and the strain is finally over for them. “The sensation is one of almost unbearable relief.” The girl is certain that nothing can touch them anymore; “they have come through their crisis.” They stop for dinner, and de Winter says he is certain Julyan knows the truth but will remain silent. His own theory is that Rebecca goaded him into killing her by lying about being pregnant. She laughed as she died because she saw how it would all happen. The girl does not speak, relieved that everything is settled and sure that her husband no longer needs to worry; however, de Winter still senses that Rebecca may have defeated him, even now.

He finally calls Crawley and returns minutes later; the estate manager had been waiting by the phone and was relieved to hear how things have turned out for them. There is one odd thing, though; Danvers has disappeared, taking all of her belongings with her. Someone must have helped her, but no one saw her leave. The girl is again relieved, for they would have had to dismiss the housekeeper when they returned, but de Winter does not like it. Danvers received a call from Favell before she left, and de Winter is afraid the two of them might do something worse than attempt blackmail.

While her husband worries, the girl anticipates all the changes she will make at Manderley and imagines the family she and de Winter will raise there together. Suddenly de Winter asks his wife if she can sleep in the back seat of the car if he drives through the night without stopping. She is confused, but he is certain something is wrong and wants to get home as soon as possible.

In the back seat, the girl dreams of many things; toward the end of the drive, her dreams begin to frighten her, and she wakes up screaming that they should go somewhere abroad. It is half past two and they are close to home now; however, the girl looks out the window and says it feels to her as if dawn were nearly breaking. Her husband reminds her that the unnatural light she sees is coming from the wrong direction to be dawn.

In the distance, against the darkest night, Manderley is burning on the horizon, glowing “crimson, like a splash of blood.” The breeze from the ocean blows the ashes toward them as they watch Manderley burn.

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Chapter 26 Summary