Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 809
Even now, she hates everything about packing. She has heard that the Cote d’Azur has been remodeled and is under new management, and she wonders whether the suite of her former employer, Van Hopper, even still exists.
The evening before the two weeks of Van Hopper’s convalescence are up, she announces that they will be leaving tomorrow. They will eventually go to New York, and the misery on the girl’s face must be visible because Van Hopper scolds her for being ungrateful for the opportunity to travel the world without having any money of her own. Finally Van Hopper sends the girl to the office to make the arrangements, but the girl stops in the bathroom and mourns at having to leave de Winter. She fears they will have to say their good-byes in passing, like casual strangers, “meeting for the last and only time,” while her mind screams out that she loves him and is miserable because she is certain love will never come to her again. Sitting on the bathroom floor, she sees her future, and it is horrible in every way.
The girl is busy packing all day and visitors come to tell Van Hopper goodbye. The girl invents a reason to go to the front desk, but the clerk knows she is looking for de Winter and tells her he will not be returning to the hotel until midnight. That night, she cries youthful, bitter tears.
In the morning, Van Hopper sends her on an errand; instead the girl goes straight to de Winter’s room. He is shocked when she tells him that she and Van Hopper are leaving today. She tells him she is going to hate New York, and he asks her why she is going. Obviously, she tells him, she cannot afford not to go. He tells her to wait while he changes, and they go to breakfast; he tells her he must talk to her. He says that both he and Van Hopper are leaving Monte Carlo; one is going to New York and one is going to Manderley. Casually, he asks her which place she would prefer to go.
She assumes he is asking her to be his secretary, but he is asking her to be his wife and has to assure her he is not doing so just to save her from New York: “philanthropy is not his strongest quality.” He had assumed she loves him, and she assures him she does. He knows she would have preferred something more romantic, so they will go to Venice for their honeymoon—but he is anxious to show her Manderley.
She imagines herself as Mrs. de Winter, and he interrupts her reverie by asking which of them is going to inform Van Hopper of the change in plans. She wonders how he can speak so casually about something that to him is a light change of plans but to her is an explosion, shattering her entire world. He will tell Van Hopper, and she is already trembling in anticipation. He takes her hand as they walk down the hallway to Van Hopper’s suite and asks whether forty-two seems old to her. She assures him she likes older men. He hopes she will not mind a rather hasty, informal wedding before they go off to Venice; she has to adjust her thinking a bit but agrees to his plan.
De Winter goes in to see Van Hopper alone while she waits alone in her bedroom. She cannot hear their conversation, but she imagines all sorts of scenarios. De Winter has not mentioned the word love to her yet, but she assumes it is merely an oversight. His proposal was not romantic, and she tries to justify it by comparing him to silly boys who are all words and no substance. Surely he would not want to take her to Manderley if he did not love her.
She cuts the inscription out of the book of poetry de Winter gave her to read, and as she burns the scrap of paper, she feels empowered. De Winter arrives and says the matter is settled, but when the girl goes to Van Hopper’s room, the woman is rude and hard, accusing her of being devious to catch a rich, older man. Van Hopper warns her that she is going to have to adapt to de Winter’s ways and he is probably difficult to please; she does not think the girl is capable of doing so and is making a “big mistake.”
The girl does not speak, knowing she is inexperienced, shy, and young; however, Van Hopper will be gone soon and she will be Mrs. de Winter. Van Hopper throws one last dart at the girl, saying de Winter admitted he cannot go on living at Manderley alone.