Back on the streets, Humbert decides that the New England countryside would be a good place to settle down.
An opportunity to live with a Mr. McCoo, the cousin of a former employee, appeals to him because McCoo has a twelve-year-old daughter. But their house burns down. Still, Mr. McCoo reports, "a friend of his wife's, a grand person, Mrs. Haze of 342 Lawn Street" (1.10.3) offers to take Humbert in.
Living in Ramsdale is not Humbert's idea of a good time and the outside appearance of the Haze house horrifies him. Inside is just as bad, with its foreign bric-a-brac, fake French masterpieces, and vulgar aspirations to sophistication.
Enter Charlotte Haze – wagging cigarette, sandals, slacks – not unattractive but a living cliché of the suburban American middle-aged woman. In a word: banal.
A tour of the house reveals the real appeal: Charlotte's twelve-year-old daughter, Dolores, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Annabel, his "Riviera love" (1.10.11).
That's it – he's moving in – or as he puts it: "I find it most difficult to express with adequate force that flash, that shiver, that impact of passionate recognition" (1.10.13).
Humbert concludes the discussion by addressing his "judges" (his readers), knowing they will think his desires are those of a madman.