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Emma Chapter Forty-One Summary
As the summer wears on, Mr. Knightley becomes convinced that Frank’s relationship with Jane Fairfax (or at least to Jane Fairfax) is more than meets the eye. He’s caught Frank staring at Jane at weird moments. Often. Worried that Frank’s attention to Jane might hurt Emma, Mr. Knightley treks over to Hartfield. He doesn’t really want to share his suspicions with Emma, but his honor won’t permit him to keep silent. They sure don’t make men like they used to! Or could he have another motive? Frank passes a few days at the Westons’. The Westons, Frank, Jane and the Bateses gather at Hartfield. Frank asks Mrs. Weston whether the doctor has ordered his new carriage yet. Surprised, Mrs. Weston confesses that she knows nothing about a new carriage. Frank blushes and seems confused. He was sure that he read about a carriage in a letter from Mrs. Weston…but perhaps he made it up. Mr. Weston laughs at what seems to be a good joke – the doctor is indeed getting a new carriage. In fact, Weston learned of it when he was visiting the Bateses. Mr. Knightley immediately glances at Jane, who is blushing deeply. Before he can deduce anything further, Emma calls them all in to tea. After tea, Emma pulls out a set of alphabet cards which she made for her nephews. It’s raining, and there’s not much else to do, so the group starts to make word scrambles for each other. Frank makes a scramble for Jane, who pushes it away rapidly. Don’t worry – we can always count on Harriet to create an awkward situation! She picks up the word and asks Mr. Knightley to help her with it. The word is "blunder." That’s another word for a mistake. Does anyone else sense that there’s more going on than meets the eye? Frank, already on to new mischief, creates a word for Emma. It’s "Dixon." Jane sees it and turns angrily away. Calling to her aunt, she gathers up her things to leave. Mr. Knightley stops to investigate the cause of her sudden departure. (Let’s just call him Sherlock Holmes for this chapter, shall we?) He asks Emma to show him the words Frank made. Embarrassed, she says that it’s just a private joke. This worries Knightley even more. (Remember the beginning of the chapter?) He awkwardly tries to gauge how much in love with Frank Emma is by asking her if she’s noticed an attachment between Frank and Jane. Laughing at Mr. Knightley’s ignorance, Emma assures him that there’s absolutely nothing between Frank and Jane. At least, she’s positive that Frank doesn’t care for Jane. Uneasy, Mr. Knightley leaves. (Who is he uneasy about? Read on, friends. Read on.)
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