Study Guide

The Woman in White Part 3, Section 1, Chapter 10

By Wilkie Collins

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Part 3, Section 1, Chapter 10

  • On his way to Knowlesbury, Walter is followed by some of Percival's goons.
  • The men provoke Walter into a fight and then stage a citizen's arrest and haul him to the magistrate.
  • Walter asks that they write Mr. Dawson as a character reference.
  • Dawson writes back and Walter is able to make bail.
  • Once freed, Walter heads to the church and meets with a Mr. Wansborough.
  • He goes through the copy registry and discovers that the marriage entry for Sir Percival's parents isn't there.
  • Sir Percival totally forged the entry in Welmingham to disguise the fact that he's illegitimate, which means that Blackwater Park isn't even his. Scandal!
  • In case we were unsure about the fact that this is a scandal, Walter spends the next few pages saying, "No really, this is a major scandal!"
  • We now enter the action-adventure phase of the novel.
  • Our intrepid hero encounters more goons (possibly the same stupid ones) on his way back to Welmingham and gets into a fight (again).
  • Walter wisely runs like mad from further fighting, because he is outnumbered (and a bit rusty with his street-fighting skills).
  • Our favorite drawing teacher/amateur detective/boxer (for two seconds)/Olympic running star hightails it to Welmingham.
  • He rushes to find the clerk, who is flipping out over the fact that his keys are gone.
  • Walter heads to the church and encounters a man who mistakes him for Sir Percival.
  • Turns out it's Sir Percival's servant, which probably means that Sir Percival is in the house.
  • Or church, as the case may be.
  • Suddenly the church catches on fire. No, really. And Sir Percival is trapped inside.
  • Some very tense scenes follow as Walter leads a rescue effort for the man who monumentally screwed over his one true love and his BFF Marian.
  • But the fire is too strong, and Sir Percival dies.
  • Talk about cosmic justice.

The Woman in White Part 3, Section 1, Chapter 10 Study Group

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