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As Adela climbs after Aziz, she thinks of her own impending marriage. She thinks of how well she and Ronny will get on because of their common sense – but do they love each other? To her dismay, she realizes that they don't. But successful marriages don't require love, she thinks.
She asks Aziz about his own wife. He lies and says that his wife is still alive, rather than killing the mood by talking about her death.
Then Adela really puts her foot in it and asks him how many wives he has. Aziz is appalled. He's too polite to explain to Adela how much she's offended him, so he dives into a cave to escape her and recover his composure.
The novel switches perspective abruptly at this point and says that Adela also goes into a cave, without seeing Aziz, thinking about how bored she is and thinking about her marriage.