Study Guide

The Wings of the Dove Volume 2, Book 9, Chapter 4

By Henry James

Volume 2, Book 9, Chapter 4

  • Sir Luke Strett comes into town a few days after Susan's visit to Merton's rooms. The sun starts to shine when he arrives.
  • Merton goes to meet the great man at the train station. When Sir Luke asks how things are with Susan and Milly, Merton reveals that he doesn't visit them anymore. This is met by Sir Luke with disappointment and surprise.
  • Merton takes Sir Luke to Milly's palace, then goes home. He wonders if Sir Luke will visit him at all, though he's not sure why the man would do it other than to announce Milly's death.
  • Three days go by without any word from the palace. Merton just sits around worrying and not knowing what's going to happen.
  • Eventually, though, Sir Luke comes for him. The two hang out, which comforts Merton because he feels like there haven't been enough men in his life lately. Bro time!
  • When Sir Luke sees him, Merton thinks he can tell by the look on his face that Milly Theale is dead. But she's obviously not, since Sir Luke says he'll be back in a month to check on her. This must mean that she's out of the woods for the time being.
  • On top of that, Sir Luke informs Merton that he's been asked to go and see Milly. He asks if Milly is better, and Sir Luke confirms that yes, she's better for the time being.