Study Guide

Rebecca Chapter 15

By Daphne du Maurier

Chapter 15

In the morning, Maxim calls and leaves the message that he'll be back from London around 7:00PM.
Shortly after, Maxim's sister, Beatrice, calls Mrs. de Winter and invites her to go meet her and Maxim's grandmother at 3:30PM.
Mrs. de Winter is glad for something to do besides wait breathlessly for Maxim's return, so she says yes. Beatrice's husband Giles is in London for the same function as Maxim, so he won't be joining them. Ladies' day out.
The narrator is trying to keep busy and forget about yesterday's encounter with Mrs. Danvers. She feels like maybe the old housekeeper is watching her.
Because Manderley has lots of windows and unused rooms, Mrs. Danvers could creep into one of those rooms and spy on Mrs. de Winter from behind the curtains. We're not sure if she's being paranoid or not; Mrs. D creeps us out a little, too.
Beatrice shows up at exactly 3:30PM. She says that Mrs. de Winter looks skinny and pale. Man, these people really don't know how to give a compliment.
Could she be pregnant? Beatrice wants to know. Mrs. de Winter doesn't think so, but Beatrice says it would be fantastic if Mrs. de Winter could give Maxim a son to inherit his fortune.
Mrs. de Winter decides to confide in Beatrice about Jack Favell. Beatrice has some gossip: she says Favell is "an awful bounder" (15.54). (Bounder is another word you can use to impress your family and friends. It's basically like saying, "he's a dirty dog.")
Beatrice says it's probably normal that Favell was at Manderley yesterday visiting Mrs. Danvers. He's Rebecca's cousin, after all. Beatrice doesn't seem to like the guys any more than Mrs. de Winter, and she definitely wants to end the conversation.
Beatrice and Mrs. de Winter get to the grandmother's place, and Beatrice reminds our narrator that her grandmother is blind. A maid named Norah answers the door, and Beatrice introduces Mrs. de Winter as "Mrs. Maxim" (15.71). Cute.
Maxim's grandma, who is eighty-six years old, is on the porch, wrapped in blankets and propped up on pillows in a chair. A friendly nurse is knitting nearby.
Mrs. de Winter thinks the grandmother looks a lot like Maxim. Come to think of it, this is how Maxim will look if he gets old and goes blind.
Beatrice introduces the two women. Grams welcomes Mrs. de Winter warmly and asks about Maxim and Beatrice's son, Roger, who is away at school.
Quickly, the topic changes to Mrs. de Winter. Beatrice tells her grandmother that there's "an artist in the family" (15.112), referring to Mrs. de Winter's hobby of sketching.
Our narrator tells grandma that Beatrice gave her some art books as a wedding present. Grams kind of insults the present, and Beatrice looks a little offended (we would be, too).
Eventually, the grandmother starts yelling for her tea. Norah brings in the tea and the watercress sandwiches and the grandmother seems to be appeased (calmed and satisfied).
Back to the topic of the new bride. Beatrice tells her grandmother that the weather in Italy was fabulous when Maxim and Mrs. de Winter were there on their honeymoon.
Grandma wants to know if Maxim is in Italy now, and Beatrice repeats that he's actually in London. She explains that Mrs. de Winter and Maxim were honeymooning in Italy, but now they live at Manderley.
Mrs. de Winter moves closer to Grams and tells her that it's beautiful at Manderley now; she wishes she'd brought roses from the rose garden.
The grandmother, whose old age is clearly getting to her, says she doesn't know who Mrs. de Winter is. She starts asking for Rebecca, saying how much she likes her. She asks, "what have you done with Rebecca?" (15.150). Eek.
The nurse says she thinks it's time for them to leave.
After they've driven off, Beatrice apologizes profusely. Mrs. de Winter says it's no big deal. The grandmother is almost ninety; she forgets things. All Mrs. de Winter cares about is keeping the episode a secret from Maxim.
When they get to Manderley, Beatrice asks if she can let Mrs. de Winter off at the gate. She's late to pick up Giles from the train station.
As she walks, Mrs. de Winter imagines the grandmother in her younger days, here at Manderley walking with the beautiful Rebecca.
Yay! Maxim's car is in the driveway. She goes to the library, but the door is shut.
From outside the door, she hears Maxim telling someone to make sure Jack Favell never comes here again. Uh oh.
Soon, she sees Mrs. Danvers exit the library. She hides, but not before she catches a glimpse of her hideously angry face.
Our narrator goes into the library. Maxim is at the window and she can see how angry he is. He hugs her and asks how she's been.
Mrs. de Winter tells him she visited his grandmother with Beatrice, and that the visit went fine.
She says she missed him, and Maxim asks her if she really did. (A little needy, don't you think?) Mrs. de Winter holds Maxim's hand and asks him about the weather in London. He says that driving to London and back was horrible, and he's super tired.
Our narrator wonders who told Maxim about Favell, but she knows he's not going to confide in her about it. If you haven't notice, sharing secrets isn't their forte.
She tells him she's a bit tired, too, and that her day was rather strange. That's putting it lightly.