Study Guide

The American Chapter 13

By Henry James

Chapter 13

  • Newman plans to take full advantage of being on the Bellegarde family's good list. He shows up at Claire's doorstep on the daily.
  • If he wasn't totally, head-over-heels in love with Claire before, he is now.
  • For her part, Claire puts up with lovesick Newman and even seems to enjoy his company.
  • Lots of other guests filter through the Bellegarde residence over the weeks to come, but Newman stays Guest #1. He's basically a permanent fixture in the house.
  • Urbain and Newman still aren't best buds, though. They keep their distance from one another.
  • You might even say that Newman starts to take on the same hoity-toity airs as the rest of the Bellegarde clan. It's contagious.
  • Newman has one solid ally besides Valentin, though. He meets Mrs. Bread, Claire's old nurse, lurking around the Bellegarde's house.
  • Mrs. Bread (yes, that's her name) solidly vouches for Claire. She's good people. Good ol' Bread just wants to see her former charge happy.
  • Claire, for her part, starts confiding in Newman. She's worried that Valentin has something weird going on.
  • While confiding, Claire can't help but ask Newman: what does he think about her family?
  • Newman knows a trick question when he sees one. He evades the question, but eventually admits that he doesn't love 'em.
  • Urbain knows just when to make an entrance. He shows up with his mom and a balding stranger.
  • The bald dude is Lord Deepmere, a distant cousin of the Bellegarde family with a lot of extra dough to throw around.
  • Newman quickly tires of all of the money talk. He bails on the group.
  • Urbain trails him out of the room, so Newman tries to play nice. He tells Urbain how happy he is that Urbain has helped him court Claire.
  • Urbain gives him side eye, but Newman doesn't notice.

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