Study Guide

The American Chapter 23

By Henry James

Chapter 23

  • The wheels are a'turning in Newman's head. He wants to use Mrs. Bread's information to his advantage.
  • Meanwhile, Mrs. Bread has decided to officially bail on the Bellegardes.
  • She shows up with all her stuff, excited to be Newman's new housekeeper.
  • Of course, Mrs. Bread has news on Claire. Claire's holding steady at the convent, without any indication that she plans to budge.
  • But. Claire hasn't yet taken her vows. Might there be a Robin Hood-style quest to seize the day?
  • Newman's going to try it. His last chance to convince Claire is at a Sunday mass at the convent.
  • How, we wonder, did Madame Bellegarde take the news that Mrs. Bread was leaving?
  • Not well, it seems. The good Madame tried to prevent Mrs. Bread from leaving, but all was in vain.
  • Newman turns towards his oldest friend whom we haven't heard from in a while, Mrs. Tristram, in order to get him into Mass.
  • Done, says Mrs. Tristram. She's an obliging friend.

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