Study Guide

The American Chapter 16

By Henry James

Chapter 16

  • Newman's on a roll. He hangs out with Claire every single day and manages to steer clear of the older de Bellegardes. No one wants to see them, anyway.
  • The young Marquise, Urbain's wife, has something she wants to tell Newman. For now, she stays mum.
  • Forget about it—Newman's in hog heaven with his betrothed. Claire practically tells Newman she loves him. Almost.
  • Newman can't help but brag to his old pals the Tristrams. They heartily congratulate him.
  • Remember that ball that was supposed to happen? That lavish, expensive ball that the de Bellegardes are hosting? Neither do we.
  • Madame de Bellegarde plays the part of doting mother-in-law-to-be as well as she can.
  • She introduces Newman to a group of well-dressed strangers as if he's practically family already.
  • Urbain snags Newman to introduce him to a great Duchess. Sounds like Newman's getting the royal treatment.
  • Mrs. Tristram is at the ball, because she couldn't miss such a momentous occasion. She points out to Newman that Urbain looks miserable.
  • Meanwhile, Valentin's acting weird. He tells Newman to enjoy his fun while it lasts. Uh-oh.
  • Madame de Bellegarde's just chilling on the couch talking to that pesky cousin, Lord Deepmere.
  • Newman is ready to peace out. He goes in search of Claire and finds her talking to Lord Deepmere. Is it just us, or is that guy everywhere?
  • Lord Deepmere leaves when Newman approaches. Claire's obviously freaking out.
  • Claire tells Newman that she'll fill him in on the details of the situation later.
  • Everything's cool, though. Lord Deepmere's a gentleman, she says.
  • Mrs. Bread approaches the happy couple with a shawl to keep her dear Claire warm.

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