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Emma returns to the inn, and finds that she’s missed the Hirondelle, which was there to pick her up earlier. She hires a cab and catches up to the stagecoach. She returns home.
Once there, Félicité sends her next door to the Homais house, saying that it’s urgent.
It’s jam making day in Yonville, a particularly hectic time.
At chez Homais, Emma discovers the pharmacist’s family in an uproar. It turns out that Justin almost made a fatal mistake – he almost used a pan for jam that was dangerously close to the jar of arsenic.
Homais is unbelievably angry; his wife and the children freak out, as though they’d already been poisoned. Emma observes all this, as Homais goes through the whole chain of events again.
Poor Justin. Things just go from bad to worse for him. As Homais shakes him back and forth angrily, a book falls out of his pocket. Not just any book…a book called Conjugal Love. With pictures. The children are struck dumb, and Homais snatches it away furiously.
At this point, Emma successfully breaks into the conversation. She asks what’s wrong.
Homais bluntly tells her that her father-in-law, the elder Monsieur Bovary, is dead.
Emma goes to find Charles as Homais cools down a bit, still grumbling.
Charles has been waiting for his wife, and tearfully greets her with a hug and kiss. Emma, remembering Léon, is grossed out by her husband. She responds with an extraordinary lack of sympathy.
Charles, poor man, just thinks that Emma is struck by grief, when in reality, she just doesn’t know what to say, and doesn’t feel anything.
Hippolyte limps in, bringing Emma’s bags. Emma is embarrassed as ever by his presence, a symbol of Charles’s failures.
The next day, Charles’s mother arrives. Mother and son are debilitated by grief; Emma is unmoved. Instead, she’s daydreaming about Léon.
Monsieur Lheureux, who seems to have an incredible radar system for knowing the absolute worst time for stopping by, stops by.
The merchant and Emma step aside to discuss business. Lheureux slyly proposes another lending arrangement – knowing that Emma is a fool with money, he wants Charles to give her power of attorney (basically control over their financial situation), so he can deal with her.
Soon enough, he returns with yards of black fabric for a mourning dress.
Lheureux keeps pushing Emma about the whole power of attorney business, which she doesn’t really understand. However, she figures things out soon enough.
As soon as Charles’s mother leaves, Emma goes into financier mode. She has a document drawn up by the notary, which gives her control over the family’s money and loans.
Charles is amazed by what seems like Emma’s common sense. She slyly suggests that they should have someone else look over the notarized document before they sign it – and Charles himself sends her to Rouen to meet with Léon. She’s gone for three days.