Study Guide

The Red and the Black Part 2, Chapter 13

By Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

Part 2, Chapter 13

A Conspiracy

  • Julien drops in on a conversation between Mathilde and Norbert, who are speaking about him. They fall silent, and he wonders for a moment if they're conspiring to make fun of him.
  • While doing some business for the Marquis de La Mole, Julien realizes that some of the man's private books are going missing.
  • The books are especially racy, and Julien knows it's not Norbert who's taking them. It must be Mathilde.
  • Julien learns that he'll have to make a trip to a place called Languedoc. He smiles to think that while he's gone, he'll know that he is first in Mathilde's heart.
  • One night while walking, Mathilde grips him by the arm and tells him to expect a letter from her that night.
  • An hour later, Julien receives a letter that plainly declares Mathilde's love for him. He decides to put off his trip to Languedoc.
  • He revels in the fact that he, such a poor young man, has bested all the richest noblemen in Paris.
  • Julien worries that he might be walking into a trap if he tries to visit Mathilde.
  • After all, he has been shot at before for visiting a woman's bedroom. So he decides to send his letter from Mathilde to his buddy Fouqé for safekeeping, just in case something happens to him.