Summary: Chapter XXVI
Fielding reluctantly converses with Adela. She wants to discuss her behavior, but he is unwilling until she mentions that she has been ill. She says she has been ill with an echo since the day of the trip to the Marabar Caves, or perhaps the day she heard Godbole’s song. Fielding admits that he always suspected she was ill, or perhaps hallucinatory. Adela cannot quite describe the vision she had in court. Nonetheless, Fielding appreciates Adela’s meticulous honesty, and he apologizes for his rudeness to Ronny.
Adela asks Fielding what Aziz thinks of her. Fielding uncomfortably thinks about Aziz’s contempt for Adela’s ugliness. They discuss the possibility that the guide, or someone else, attacked Adela. Hamidullah arrives and is unhappy to see Fielding and Adela together. Hamidullah expresses severe disapproval of Adela because of the destruction she has carelessly brought upon Aziz. Hamidullah invites Fielding to the Nawab Bahadur’s house for the victory celebration. Adela prepares to depart, but Fielding invites her to remain at the college while he stays with Aziz’s friends. Hamidullah, however, is eager to be rid of Adela, for her emotionless demeanor repels him.
While the two men discuss what to do with Adela, Hamidullah is relieved to notice Ronny pull up. Fielding meets Ronny outside and learns that Mrs. Moore has died on the voyage back to England and has been buried at sea. Fielding returns and sends Adela out. He and Hamidullah agree not to tell Aziz about Mrs. Moore until the next day. Adela returns, distraught at Mrs. Moore’s death, and asks to remain at the college. At Fielding’s request, Adela brings Ronny inside.
Hamidullah is unfriendly to Ronny. Fielding and Ronny settle the details of Adela’s stay at the College, and then Fielding and Hamidullah leave for the Nawab Bahadur’s celebration. On the way, Fielding overhears Hamidullah saying that Adela should be fined twenty thousand rupees. Fielding is distressed that Adela should lose her money and probably her fiancé as well.
Summary: Chapter XXVII
“Is emotion a sack of potatoes, so much the pound, to be measured out? Am I a machine?”See Important Quotations Explained
Late that night, the celebrants at the victory party are bedded down on the Nawab Bahadur’s roof. Fielding and Aziz have a long talk. Aziz anticipates that Fielding will urge him not to make Adela pay any reparations. But Aziz no longer wants the English to admire him for his chivalry. Fielding explains that he himself changed his mind and now believes that Adela acted bravely and will suffer enough as it is. Aziz dismisses Adela because of her lack of beauty. Fielding becomes angry with Aziz’s sexual snobbery.
Finally, Aziz says he will consult Mrs. Moore and do what she suggests. Fielding points out that Aziz’s emotions are disproportionate: it was Adela who saved him, while Mrs. Moore went away—yet Aziz still loves Mrs. Moore and not Adela. Aziz rejects what he sees as Fielding’s materialism, which measures love pound-by-pound. Fielding explains to Aziz that Mrs. Moore has died, but Hamidullah, overhearing their conversation, tells Aziz that Fielding is joking. Aziz takes it as a joke.