Summary: Chapter XX
The English gather at their club. The ladies feel compassion for Adela’s suffering and suddenly regret that they were not nicer to her. As if to make amends, Mrs. Turton stands by the side of Mrs. Blakiston, a woman she previously snubbed. Mr. Turton calms the women, who fear for their safety.
Once the women leave, Turton speaks to the men. He tries to remain fair, though everyone else overreacts about the possibility that women and children are in danger. One of the men, a drunken soldier, recommends military presence, but Turton urges everyone to act normally. The soldier fondly mentions an honorable Indian with whom he played polo.
Major Callendar arrives to report that Adela is recovered. He sits with the soldier and tries to bait Fielding. Callendar gossips that Adela’s servant was bribed to remain outside the caves, that Godbole, too, was bribed, and that Aziz ordered villagers to suffocate Mrs. Moore. Callendar loudly alludes to Fielding’s alliance with Aziz, but Fielding refuses to be provoked. Callendar suggests that troops be called, but Turton is against using force.
Ronny arrives, and the men stand up and welcome him as a martyr. Fielding, however, remains seated. The drunken soldier calls attention to Fielding’s rudeness. Turton confronts Fielding, who announces that Aziz is innocent. Fielding adds that he will resign from service in India if Aziz is found guilty, and that he resigns from the club effective immediately. Turton becomes furious, but Ronny tells him to let Fielding go.
Summary: Chapter XXI
Riding into Chandrapore, Fielding passes some children preparing for the celebration of Mohurram (an annual Muslim festival honoring the grandsons of the prophet Mohammed). Fielding meets with Aziz’s friends, who have renewed Aziz’s bail request and hired a famous anti-British lawyer from Calcutta.
Late that night, Fielding has the urge to speak with Godbole, but the professor is asleep. Godbole slips away to a new job a day or two later.