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by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Book 1, Chapter 27 Summary

  • After a sleepless night, Humbert heads back to Camp Q. He takes in all the details as he awaits Lolita's arrival. An extended description of her every feature attends her arrival. Humbert momentarily has paternal feelings but quickly recovers his desire.
  • Humbert has contrived an elaborate story about how Charlotte is in the hospital with "something abdominal" (1.27.6). An indifferent Lolita asks Humbert when he fell in love with her mother and then launches into accusations about her infidelity to him: "I've been revoltingly unfaithful to you, but it does not matter one bit, because you've stopped caring for me anyway" (1.27.23). She kisses him and he shows the will power of a saint.
  • A police officer stops them and asks if they have seen a blue sedan. Humbert races off to the hotel. Between chastising him about his speeding, Lolita cajoles Humbert into admitting that they are lovers. She flirts and provokes and then calls him a "dirty man" (1.27.75) when he shows affection.
  • They finally arrive at The Enchanted Hunters and check into room 342 (same number as their street address). After several high jinx, it turns out that Humbert and Lolita will have to share a double bed. Lolita is catching on to his tricks; when he insists that he is driven by paternal duty, she responds by saying, "The word is incest" (1.27.108).
  • Time for dinner. They go down to the dining hall, where Lolita spots the writer Quilty (who has appeared in a Drome cigarette ad that Lolita has pinned above her bed). Humbert confuses this Quilty for the Ramsdale dentist, Quilty, the uncle of the writer.
  • Humbert gives Lolita sleeping pills, which he tells her are vitamins. A drowsy Lolita tries to confess some naughty behavior at Camp Q but Humbert leaves her to pass out completely.

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