Summary: Chapter XV
Aziz, Adela, and the guide climb up toward other caves higher in the hills. Aziz’s mind is preoccupied with breakfast preparations. Adela is also distracted, as she suddenly realizes that she and Ronny are not in love. Adela asks Aziz if he is married and if he has more than one wife. The second question shocks Aziz, and he ducks into a cave to recover. Adela follows shortly and enters another cave.
Summary: Chapter XVI
Aziz exits the cave to find the guide alone. The two men hear the sound of a motorcar. Aziz looks for Adela, and the guide explains that she went into one of the caves. Aziz scolds the guide for not keeping Adela in sight, and together they shout for her. In frustration, Aziz slaps the guide, who runs away. Then, with relief, Aziz notices Adela already down the hills, speaking to a woman near the motorcar. Aziz notices Adela’s field-glasses lying broken on the ground. He picks them up and proceeds back to camp, where he is elated to find that Fielding has arrived in Miss Derek’s car. Aziz sends a retinue down to escort Miss Derek up to the camp, but Miss Derek and Adela have already started to drive back to Chandrapore. Aziz cheerfully accepts this new development, but Fielding senses that something is wrong with Adela.
Aziz, wanting to avoid the unpleasant memory of Adela’s question about polygamy, has already refined the facts of their excursion up the hill. Fielding presses Aziz for details because he feels the two women have been rude to the Indian. Aziz, barely realizing he is lying, reassures Fielding that the guide escorted Adela down to the car.
On the elephant ride back to the train, Fielding figures that the expedition must have cost Aziz hundreds of rupees. The group boards the train and rides back to Chandrapore. When they arrive at the city, Mr. Haq, the inspector of police, boards the train and arrests Aziz. Aziz panics and attempts to run out another door, but Fielding stops him. Fielding calms Aziz, reassuring him that there must be some mistake and that they will straighten it out together. The two men walk out onto the platform, where Mr. Turton orders Fielding to remain behind while Aziz goes to prison.
Summary: Chapter XVII
Mr. Turton, looking fanatical and brave, informs Fielding that Adela has been “insulted”—presumably, sexually assaulted—in one of the Marabar Caves. Adela herself has lodged the complaint. Fielding protests that Aziz must be innocent. Turton informs Fielding that there is to be an informal meeting at the club that night to discuss the accusations. Turton explains that Adela is quite ill, and he is furious that Fielding is not as enraged as all the other English are. As Turton rides back to his bungalow, he looks with self-satisfied outrage at each Indian he passes.
Summary: Chapter XVIII
Mr. McBryde, superintendent of police, receives Aziz politely at the jail. McBryde has a theory that Indians have criminal tendencies because of the climate—thus, the Indians’ behavior is not their fault. Fielding arrives at McBryde’s to get the details of the case. McBryde explains that Adela has claimed that Aziz followed her into a cave and made advances on her. She hit at him with her field-glasses and he broke the strap. McBryde shows Fielding the broken glasses, which the police have found on Aziz’s person.