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Lady Audley’s Secret Volume 2: Chapters 11-13 Summary & Analysis
Chapter 11 Summary: In the Lime-Walk
When Lady Audley and Alicia return to the Court, Robert and Alicia engage in more squabbling. He sees her as a nice, generous girl, but . . . at this point, Robert experiences “some hitch in his mind” (224) that is unconnected with George’s disappearance.
When Lady Audley asks Robert where he has been, he tells her that he has been to the town where George was married. She tells him that she is nervous, and he replies that this is because the house is “haunted by the ghost of George Talboys” (226). Lady Audley insists that George is a stranger to her. Nevertheless, Robert proceeds to tell her howGeorge returned from Australia only to learn thathis wife wasdead. He has since grown to believe that the announcement was a lie. He supposes that she had married a richer man while George was away and wanted to throw her first husband off the scent.
If George’s wife didn’t die, Lady Audley asks, who is lying in the churchyard at Ventnor?Robert replies that only three people can answer that—one of whom is a woman called Mrs. Plowson.He tells Lady Audley to heedhis warning and flees, assuring her that if she does so, he will not pursue his investigations. Lady Audley insists that Robert is being ridiculous, but Robert says that he has adequate circumstantial evidence.
Robert asks if Lady Audley has any witnesses who can disprove his conclusions, and she reiterates that Robert is mad and that such theories have led apparently sane people to end up in an asylum. Robert feels that this is a threat and shivers with horror as he thinks of the horrible crimes committedby women throughout history.
As they walk through the garden, Robert thinks about George’s meeting with Lady Audley on the day of his disappearance. Robert tells Lady Audley, “It is to be a duel to the death, then” (234), before expressinghis belief that George never left the garden. He says that he will have the garden excavated if necessary, but Lady Audley warns him, “I will kill you first” (235).