A Test of Wills - Chapters 17-18 Summary & Analysis

Caroline and Charles Todd
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Chapters 17-18 Summary

In Chapter 17, Rutledge departs Mallows in a driving rain, obsessed with the idea that he is drawn to Lettice Wood for some reason. Distracted by a mental argument with Hamish, he narrowly avoids running into Catherine Tarrant who is in the middle of the road trying to fix her bicycle. She tells him to take her home and they load the bicycle in his car. On the way, she brings up Mavers's scene. He'd had a particularly cutting remark for her about her affair with Linden. Rutledge asks to see the portrait she did of the German.

The portrait is a powerful statement about emptiness and devastation beyond grief and loss. He is familiar with that devastation from his personal experience with Jean, and while Hamish weeps in the back of Rutledge's mind, he thinks about Lettice Wood. She knows that feeling too.

A maid...

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This section contains 1,087 words
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