Madame Bovary Part Three Chapters 5-7 Summary

     Emma makes her trips to the city on Thursdays. She wakes up very early and waits for the Hirondelle to take her, along with other townsfolk. She meets Leon at a hotel and they walk silently up to their room. While they are there, they act like newlyweds. Since they go to the same room every Thursday, they refer to it as theirs.

     Emma has to lie a lot to keep these Thursdays. When Charles runs into a woman with the same name as her music teacher and she does not know who Emma is, Emma forges receipts for lessons. When Charles tries to send her coat to her and she cannot be found, Emma gets nervous. When the merchant runs into her, arm-in-arm with Leon, he demands money.

     Emma owes about two thousand francs for various household and personal items. At first, she is terrified. But the clever merchant knows a lot of about Emma and Charles and their holdings. He suggests that Emma sell property that belongs to Charles, specifically a small house in another town. The merchant finds a buyer and sells the property for four thousand francs.

     When he brings the payment to Emma and she asks for the other half, the merchant has a clever scheme that cheats Emma out of more money. Emma pays the first few bills discretely but the fourth bill arrives on a Thursday while Emma is with Leon. She tries to explain it to Charles in a way that does not put her at fault. She sits on his lap and coos to him. Charles calls his mother for help. Charles' mother lectures about the extravagance.

     Charles' mother tells Emma that Charles promised to revoke Emma's power of attorney. Emma brings Madame the paperwork and Madame throws it in the fire. Charles rushes to take Emma's side, and his mother leaves the next day, upset. Charles apologizes and has more papers drawn up to make Emma his power of attorney.

     Emma becomes a little reckless. One Thursday, she does not come home and Charles goes out looking for her. When she is not at the hotel where she tells him she stays, he looks up her music teacher and is told that the family has not lived there for several months. Eventually he runs into Emma, who complains that she does not feel well and that Charles is being needy.

     One Thursday, the pharmacist is set upon seeing Leon. He rides to town and Emma is forced to stay in her room alone. She is very angry at Leon, but Leon cannot escape Homais. When he is finally able to abandon the pharmacists and rush to Emma's room, she is gone. She is sorely disappointed in Leon. From then on, their meetings no longer feel the same.

     One day, a messenger shows up with an official notice for Emma. She owes seven hundred francs. When she goes to the merchant, he tells her that there is nothing more that he can do and that there will likely be a court judgment and seizure. He knows, of course, that she is desperate and strikes another bargain.

     Emma borrows money from everyone that she can. She begins to sell her things and sends bills to patients. When she asks Leon to pawn a set of silver spoons, he wonders if he is ruining his reputation by being with Emma. He has received some lectures from his mother and employer to that effect but is only just coming to the conclusion that he is bored by Emma.

     One Thursday during mid-Lent festivities, Emma does not return to Yonville. Instead, she goes to a masked ball. She dances all night and then finds herself with a small group of Leon's friends. She faints and wishes to return home. When she arrives, Berthe shows her an official notice that she is to pay eight thousand francs or have all of her possessions seized.

     Emma feels wise to the merchant's tricks and is sure that this must be some sort of ploy. When she goes to see him, he is extremely unkind to her. She asks if she can bring him any amount to make this notice go away. She puts his hand on his knee. He refuses any amount short of what is owed and accuses her of trying to seduce him.

     Guards come to appraise her belongings. Emma had the maid watch for Charles. Emma asks Leon for help. When he cannot sign any promissory notes for her, she suggests that he find someone who can. He agrees, and wonders if she can tell that he's lying.

     Public notices are put up and Emma goes to see the tax-collector for help. He, however, tries to take advantage of her, laying his hand on her arm and moving close to her, and she leaves abruptly, infuriated and embarrassed. She sends the wet-nurse, Madame Rollet, to her house to wait for Leon, who she is sure will show up with money to save her. After waiting a very long time, Madame Rollet informs her that Leon is not there but that Charles is crying and calling for her.

     She thinks of Rudolphe. Certain that he loved her so much, she decides to go to him for help. She does not realize at that moment that offering herself to Rudolphe is offering herself for prostitution.

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