Hey look! I have managed to actually read the assigned chapters AND get a post out in time. Good for me. Thank you Alice for hosting and I will do a better job with my posting.
So when the first section left off, we just learned that George's wife, that he didn't bother to talk to for three years after he ran "ran out for a pack of smokes" and disappeared to Australia, is dead. But what about the new Lady Audley and her seeekrit. Could these story lines be connected??
George faints after reading the very coincidental obituary and his buddy Robert takes care of him. I know last week there was some worry that Robert was this book's Dickchard, but I think we're safe there. Unfortunately, I think George might be our Dickchard.
After finding out the news that his wife that, again, he hadn't bothered to talk to in the last few years after just walking out, is dead he goes to find his father-in-law and his son. And then he is UPSET and CONFUSED that his young son whom he hasn't seen in years doesn't instantly love him. Upset enough that he decides to give the kid to his friend Robert (what?) and go back to Australia. I don't know why dumping the kid on his friend is the answer. I don't know why he can't just leave the kid with his grandfather, whom the kid seems to love. Or, you know, why he has to plan Abandonment: The Sequel so quickly after coming back. Probably because he's an ass.
The rest of the section was pretty much a bunch of near misses where George alllllllllllllmost meets Lucy except he doesn't because she doesn't want to suddenly or it's getting late or she's very tired. Meanwhile Robert has seen her for like two seconds and is IN LOVE WITH HIS AUNT and his cousin Alicia (who super wants Rob but we're ignoring that because cousins, even if Braddon is all into it) tells him to not be French or something like that. So that was pretty great.
During one of these near misses Lucy leaves the house and makes sure to lock all of the doors to her room and WHYYY is she keeping things locked there? Alicia takes Rob and George through the house but is all sad they can't go into her chambers because that's where the good pictures are, including a picture of Lucy. BUT DON'T WORRY there's a secret passage way into her rooms. Rob and George go in, they look at the painting aaaannnndd....nothing. Or at least we don't get a moment where George announces that Lucy = Helen. He does however stare at the painting for awhile and then drop a glove. Alicia tells Rob and George that the painter is able to see something in Lucy's character that she's hiding and Rob tells Alicia to stop being so German and I'm not really sure what he means, but it does mean I get to use this gif
Lucy comes back and finds out people were in her room that she specifically locked and she's...really fine with it. That was anticlimactic. Huh. Alright.
There's a big storm and George runs away and is all upset so SOMETHING is going on. Lucy gets angry at Alicia's dog and demonstrates this by shaking "her yellow curls at the angry animal, and defied him maliciously" so. I bet that showed the dog.
Why was George so taken by Lucy's photo?
Why is Lucy locking her bedroom and yet she doesn't care when people wander in?
Is Robert going to get with his aunt or cousin? Why are these the options?
What's going to happen with George's son?
Is Phoebe going to blackmail Lucy yet?
Is Alicia going to stab Lucy in her sleep?
What is Lucy's deal?
Title quote from page 32, location 622
Braddon, Mary Elizabeth. Lady Audley's Secret. Amazon Digital Services. Originally published 1862.