by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca Chapter 9 Summary
- Around noon, Mrs. de Winter hears a car pull up. Uh oh. It must be Maxim's sister Beatrice and her husband. Mrs. de Winter isn't ready to see them, and she rushes out of the morning-room. (Have we mentioned how much we want a morning-room in our house?)
- She goes through a back passage and finds herself in the west wing. She looks into what used to be Rebecca's bedroom. It's dark in here and the furniture is covered up. Mrs. de Winter closes the door.
- She walks down a hallway with closed doors on either side. She comes to a window and looks out at the sparkling ocean. She can hear it, and she thinks it's probably very loud in the winter.
- A cloud passes over the ocean and makes it look dangerous. Now she's glad their rooms overlook the rose garden instead of the ocean.
- As Mrs. de Winter is about to go down the stairs, Mrs. Danvers comes up behind her.
- She tells her that she got lost, and Mrs. D asks her if she has explored any of the rooms. She'd be happy to show Mrs. de Winter the rooms anytime.
- Then she delivers the message: Mrs. Lacy (Beatrice) and Major Lacy (Beatrice's husband, Giles) are in the morning-room waiting for her. Mrs. de Winter wonders if Mrs. Danvers saw her run away.
- Outside the morning-room, she hears Maxim's voice. She goes in and Maxim introduces her to Beatrice and Giles. Beatrice says Mrs. de Winter is different than Maxim had described her.
- Maxim also introduces Mrs. de Winter to Frank Crawley. She thinks she sees "relief" (9.37) in his eyes, and she wonders why. Very curious, indeed.
- Beatrice says Maxim looks much better than when she last saw him six months ago. She thought he was on the verge of a "breakdown" (9.42).
- Maxim and his sister spar about his looks and about whether it's better to have a fat dog like Jasper, or a skinny dog like hers. (Shmoop's vote: fat dog.) Mrs. de Winter can tell it's getting on Maxim's nerves.
- She asks Beatrice where she lives and learns that she's about fifty miles away. Actually, Beatrice wants them to visit for hunting.
- Mrs. de Winter doesn't hunt, but she loves being outside and will love walking around Manderley. She also loves swimming and asks if "it's safe to swim in the bay" (9.61).
- She doesn't get any answers and realizes that she's put her foot in her mouth. Big time. (Yep, Rebecca drowned in the bay. Oops!) She pets Jasper to hide her embarrassment, and Beatrice changes the subject.
- Soon it's 1:00PM, time for lunch. Lunch goes fine, but Maxim looks tired by the end of it.
- Once again, Mrs. de Winter knocks over a glass, and this time Maxim seems irritated. He tells Beatrice to show her the garden.
- In the garden, Beatrice tells Mrs. de Winter that she was expecting her to be a young social butterfly with lots of make-up.
- She tells Mrs. de Winter that she (Beatrice) and Maxim are opposites. Beatrice loses her temper often and gets over it quickly. Maxim only loses his temper a couple of times a year, but when it happens, it's a terrible explosion. She's sure he'll never lose it with Mrs. de Winter, though. Um, that's not very reassuring.
- Beatrice remarks on the fact that they are using the east wing instead of the west wing.
- Mrs. de Winter's learns that Mrs. Danvers was really devoted to Rebecca and that her love for Rebecca is making her "insanely jealous" (9.118). It's probably causing some of her bad attitude toward Mrs. de Winter.
- The ladies eventually find the men and everybody relaxes for a while.
- Frank heads out, but before Beatrice and Giles leave, Mrs. de Winter shows Beatrice the newly remodeled east wing.
- Beatrice asks if Mrs. de Winter sails, and when she says she doesn't, Beatrice says that's a good thing. Hmm?
- Before leaving, she tells Mrs. de Winter that she was surprised to see her because "she's so very different from Rebecca" (9.169).
- When they go outside, it has started to rain.
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