Chapter 50 Summary
Alone with her brother-in-law, Milady remains silent for some time, calculating. She has, in fact, committed many crimes that might make him want to lock her up, but she is not sure which of them he knows about. She resolves not to say anything at all until she knows for sure; otherwise she might accidentally condemn herself twice.
Nevertheless, Milady is glad that, of all her enemies, it is Lord de Winter who has captured her. He is not terribly treacherous, nor is he very cunning. She has little doubt that she will outmaneuver him and escape in no time. However, for now she smiles politely, waiting for him to give away some clue about his intentions.
Lord de Winter asks why Milady has returned to England, and she says mildly that she only wanted to visit him. He says that this is natural, since she is his only heir. This shocks her into silence. She has been eager to inherit his fortune for some time, but she had no idea he knew it. She berates herself inwardly for having said aloud, on several occasions, that she wanted him dead.
Now that he has her attention, Lord de Winter reveals that he knows all about Milady’s original marriage, and about the fleur-de-lis on her shoulder. He says that he is too respectful of his brother's memory to have her locked up or hanged. Instead he is imprisoning her himself until he can have her shipped off to some faraway colony. He adds that he will have her killed if she attempts to escape before or during her upcoming journey.
Milady is furious, but at the moment she has nothing to gain from showing it. She forces herself to look calm and compliant as Lord de Winter explains the rules of her imprisonment. She will remain locked in her room at all times, and she will not be allowed to speak with any guard except Mr. Felton, the officer who brought her to this castle. Of all of de Winter’s men, Mr. Felton alone is too loyal and too disciplined to be swayed by Milady’s feminine charms. At this, Lord de Winter calls Mr. Felton and reminds him of his promise to remain constantly suspicious of Milady.
Though inwardly plotting to find a weak spot in her brother-in-law's plan, Milady forces herself to look meek and beaten. Even after the men leave, she retains this expression for some time in case they try to spy on her through the keyhole. Then, when she is sure they are gone, she settles into an armchair to consider her plan for escape.