by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca Chapter 27 Summary
- After leaving Dr. Baker's office, the de Winters, Colonel Julyan, and Favell stand together for a minute.
- Favell asks if Rebecca's cancer was contagious, but nobody answers him. He says he had no idea she had cancer. He can't believe Rebecca didn't even tell Mrs. Danvers about it.
- It seems like Maxim is in the clear.
- Colonel Julyan tells Favell to watch himself. This is one guy who doesn't like blackmailers.
- The rest of them leave Favell and begin to drive. Colonel Julyan says that Rebecca's suicide all makes sense now. She didn't want to face the pain of the cancer. He says that in order to keep everyone from gossiping about murder, it's best to let it be known publically that Rebecca had cancer.
- Colonel Julyan asks if Maxim can drop him off at his sister's place nearby. He plans to surprise her for dinner and then take the train back to Kerrith. He invites Mr. and Mrs. de Winter to eat with them, but they decline.
- Maxim says he has to call Frank and let him know what's going on. Before Colonel Julyan gets out, Maxim thanks him profusely for everything he's done (i.e. not figured out the truth?).
- He says it's his pleasure, and he's sorry about everything. If they ever have trouble with Favell again, they should let Colonel Julyan know so he can take care of it. (Man, it's nice to know people in powerful places.)
- The colonel suggests that Maxim and Mrs. de Winter go away for a little vacation, maybe Switzerland, to let the gossip die down.
- While they're driving away from the colonel, Mrs. de Winter is relieved. Finally, she and Maxim are safe and free to be together.
- In what seems to be their first normal act as a couple, they go to a restaurant in Soho (not the New York one!) for dinner and drinks.
- Mr. and Mrs. de Winter order brandy and sodas. Maxim says that after they eat, they can drive "slowly, very quietly" (27.40) until they find somewhere to spend the night. Then they can drive back to Manderley.
- Mrs. de Winter asks Maxim if he thinks Colonel Julyan knows the truth.
- Maxim says, "He knew, […] of course he knew" (27.47). One thing's for sure: if he does know, he won't say anything.
- Now that they're alone, Mr. de Winter reveals a little more of the truth. He thinks that Rebecca wanted him to kill her, and she told him the perfect lie to make him do it. He says, "It was her last practical joke […] the best of them all. And I'm not sure if she hasn't won, even now" (27.53).
- Wait, what? Mrs. de Winter asks him what he's talking about. He says he's not sure, and then goes to call Frank.
- The restaurant is soothing and nice. Mrs. de Winter's lobster arrives, and it's excellent. Now, there's nothing in their way. Now they can be happy. Rebecca is so over.
- About ten minutes later, Maxim comes back with a funny look on his face. He says that Frank is okay, but that Mrs. Danvers seems to have moved out. He quarters are empty.
- Apparently, she spent the day packing. Then somebody from the train station came by for her things. She got a long-distance call just before 6:00PM, and around 7:00PM, Frith went to Mrs. Danver's room and found that she was gone.
- Since no one saw her pass through the gate, they think she left through the woods. Strange.
- Mrs. de Winter admits that she's glad Mrs. Danvers is gone.
- Still, Maxim is clearly distressed by the situation. His wife tries to comfort him: Mrs. Danvers has no power over them now. If she and Favell are trying to blackmail them, they can just report it to Colonel Julyan.
- Maxim says he's not thinking about blackmail.
- She tells him to stop worrying and eat his lobster. As she says this, she realizes that their roles are reversing. Now she's looking out for Maxim the way he looked out for her. Now she's the strong one.
- Now that Mrs. Danvers is gone, Mrs. de Winter will be able to run the house peacefully. She can learn about running Manderley from Frank, and she can even do some gardening. She may even enjoy taking care of Manderley's guests.
- She and Maxim can have kids together. Of course they'll have kids.
- Maxim interrupts her daydreams and says she wants to get out of there. He asks if she minds sleeping in the back seat while he drives; he suddenly feels it's urgent to get to Manderley tonight. It's around 8:15PM when they set out for Manderley, and they hope to make it there by around 2:30AM. Road trip!
- Mrs. de Winter doesn't understand what he's so worried about. He won't explain, though; he just gets her settled in the back seat so she can sleep.
- As she drifts to sleep, she's bombarded with images from her current life.
- She sees Mrs. Danvers at the top of the stairs and follows her. Mrs. Danvers then vanishes and reappears looking at her "through a hollow door" (27.85). She screams, and Mrs. Danvers vanishes again.
- Mrs. de Winter wakes up. She's yelling, "What's the time? […] What's the time?" (27.86). (Isn't that what you yell when you wake up from a nightmare?)
- Maxim, who looks creepily pale in the darkness, tells her it's around 11:30PM, and they are halfway to Manderley.
- They stop along the road for tea, and then continue on their way, with Mrs. de Winter once again dreaming in the back seat.
- In her dream, she tries to find the Happy Valley, but it's gone. Everything there is dark and scary.
- When she wakes up from this dream, Maxim asks her what's wrong. She says she had a dream, but it's too hazy to remember.
- Back to sleep! Now she dreams that she's in the morning-room writing invitations. But the handwriting isn't her own; it's Rebecca's. She looks in the mirror and sees a beautiful face laughing at her. Mrs. de Winter looks over: Rebecca is sitting on a chair, and Maxim is brushing her long hair and smiling. Man, Freud would have a play day with this one.
- Freaking out in her sleep, Mrs. de Winter yells that they should go to Switzerland as Colonel Julyan had suggested.
- She comes into the front seat and asks for the time. Maxim says it's just after 2:00AM.
- Mrs. de Winter says it looks like the sun is coming up in the distance (at 2:00AM?), but her husband reminds her that the sun rises in the east, and she's looking to the west.
- She asks him if she could be seeing the northern lights.
- Maxim responds: "That's not the northern lights […]. That's Manderley" (27.120).
- She asks him what he's talking about, but he just drives. They approach Manderley, and the sky above them is black and moonless.
- But, "the sky on the horizon [is] not dark at all. It [is] shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes [blow] towards us with the salt wind from the sea" (27.123).
- (Yikes! Now check out "What's Up With the Ending?" for some discussion.)
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