Another section down and George is missing. Probably because he's down that well.
Poor Rob wakes up from his nap, which apparently lasts like 3 hours cos he naps like a gentleman. We know George went to the Audley's. We know Lady Audley wandered back from the garden from roughly the direction of the well. And we know George is missing. And Rob is super worried. Because Rob and George were in love. Rob just wouldn't admit it until George went missing.
"Yet here he was, flurried and anxious, bewildering his brain by all manner of conjectures about his missing friend; and false to every attribute of his nature, walking fast."WALKING FAST, PEOPLE. You know it's serious. I mean, he hasn't walked fast since he was at Eton. I love Rob.
He figures George decided to take the train back to Southampton and goes to visit/hit on his aunt. But poor Rob can't really focus on his weird incest needs because he's worried George is going to do something rash.
Lady Audley is really focused on her stupid ringlets. The ringlets she used to try to scare Caeser away. I don't know what magical powers she thinks her hair has but the only power it has is to annoy me. She also thinks it's rude of Mrs. Talboys to die and make George sad. You're not throwing me off your scent. And Rob is starting to get suspicious of her. Maybe not super consciously, but he notices her ring, a ruby heart encircled by an emerald serpent and that sounds like some ominous symbolism there. Also sounds like a very pretty ring and I would like one please and thank you. THEN he notices a very suspicious bruise on her wrist that looks suspiciously like a handprint. You know, like if you struggled with someone while trying to shove them down a well.
Rob heads out to Southampton, and while the landlady hasn't seen him George's father-in-law has seen him and told Rob that he's heading back to Australia. On the one hand, Rob says it's odd that he'd just up and leave without telling him. On the other hand, George already did this once. You know, the whole abandoning the wife and child. So not entirely out of the character for the guy, even if I don't actually believe that's what happened. We do have little Georgey talking about some "pretty lady" that used to come visit and he insists it isn't his mom and HMMMMMMMM who could this be?
Rob goes exploring and finds a bit of a telegraph (or, excuse me, telegraphic dispatch) that seems to confirm what Grandpa said about George heading to Liverpool and then onto Sydney. EXCEPT PROBABLY NOT BECAUSE MYSTERIES.
Rob heads to Liverpool but can't find George, or any mention of George there either and decides he's somewhere in Englad, though whether dead or alive he hasn't decided. He figures the best way to find George will be to write down all of the things he does know and he comes up with a title that...well he's pretty proud of it.
We leave Rob's journey to see Phoebe and her cousin/husband blackmailing Lucy. Sort of. They don't really blackmail Lucy even though the whole idea of them blackmailing her with the baby shoe. Instead Phoebe says that if she doesn't marry Luke he's going to kill her. Lady Audley makes the good point that if he'll kill her if she doesn't marry him, he'll probably murder her anyway. But given the follow up to Phoebe's confession is "He probably won't kill me if you give us a bunch of money so he can open a bar" I assume the whole murder-thing prob won't happen. Maybe. Except Luke follows this up by saying creepy "maybe I will murder you" comments, so who knows.
Rob tells Lady Audley his theory that something bad has happened to George and dammit Rob, quit telling the (probable) villain your thoughts, unless they are expressly to throw her off.
Who was that knocking at Rob's door early in the morning?
Is Lady Audley actually Medusa and Rob's dreams are prophetic?
Does Lady Audley have a secret lover?
How many more people are going to die?
Until next week!
Title quote from page 58, location 1126
Braddon, Mary Elizabeth. Lady Audley's Secret. Amazon Digital Services. Originally published 1862.