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by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca Chapter 3 Summary
Back in the present, the narrator wonders if her life-path would have been different if not for Mrs. Van Hopper's snobbery. She continues her memories: Mrs. Van Hopper is always on the hunt for some well-known person written up in the papers. She probably also reads <em>Us Weekly.</em> She uses the narrator to help trap these unwilling victims, who run for the nearest exit when they see Mrs. Van Hopper coming. So embarrassing! Now Mrs. VH is sitting on the sofa in the lounge of the hotel waiting for Mr. de Winter, who is just checking in to the hotel. She tells the narrator to go to the suite and get a letter from Mrs. Van Hopper's cousin. Apparently, Mrs. VH plans to use the letter to lure Mr. de Winter into conversation. Sneaky. The narrator doubts that Mr. de Winter will enjoy this. (So do we.) Apparently, he was in the papers about ten months ago, and he has problems he doesn't want to talk about. The narrator wishes she could warn Mr. de Winter, but he's already sitting with Mrs. Van Hopper when the narrator comes back downstairs with the letter. When she comes with the letter, Mrs. Van Hopper speaks to the narrator dismissively; basically, we she wants Mr. de Winter to know that the narrator is small potatoes. But Mr. de Winter asks the narrator to sit down and orders a cup of coffee for her. Take that, Mrs. VH. Mrs. Van Hopper doesn't look too happy that he's being nice to the narrator, but she brushes it off and begins showing him pictures of her cousin Billy and his new bride Dora in Palm Beach. She asks Mr. de Winter if he remembers meeting her at a party where Billy was in attendance. He says he does remember her. He also says he doesn't think he'd like Palm Beach. Hmm. The narrator can't picture him there either; he looks like a man from an older time, full of dignity and mystery, like a painting the narrator once saw. Now, Mrs. Van Hopper is talking about Manderley and how she's heard it's so beautiful. The narrator can tell that Mr. de Winter doesn't want to talk about this, and she's embarrassed by Mrs. Van Hopper's rudeness. Mr. de Winter can see that the narrator is embarrassed, and he asks her how she likes Monte Carlo. Of course, Mrs. VH interrupts the narrator's answer, calling her spoiled. She then goes on gossiping, and Mr. de Winter slyly pokes fun at her, though (surprise, surprise) she doesn't get it. The conversation is finally over when Mrs. Van Hopper gets a message that her dressmaker has arrived. Before leaving, Mrs. VH offers to loan Mr. de Winter the narrator if he needs someone to unpack his clothes. He says no, he'd rather be alone. After he leaves, Mrs. Van Hopper tells the narrator she was rude to try to dominate the conversation and that she should be embarrassed. <em>She</em> should be embarrassed? Later, the narrator tries to sketch (draw) Mr. de Winter while Mrs. Van Hopper and her friends have a bridge party in the hotel suite. While she's sketching, a note is delivered to her. It's from Max de Winter, asking her to forgive him for being rude earlier. It's addressed to the narrator, with her name properly spelled on the envelope. Usually, people misspell her name. Nailed it, Mr. de W!
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