wakwy wakwy wakwy... we love saying her name in our head. Also Sparklers, we highly recommend reading this post. —Sparkitors
Hester is freaking out. She’s so agitated about seeing that shrivel-y guy (I'm calling him Bob) that the prison ward puts her on constant watch. Honestly, I don’t see what her problem is. Nate H. hasn’t given us any clue whatsoever as to who this guy is or what he did to Hester. I kind of thought at first that he might be Pearl’s father, but somehow I doubt it. After all, Hester’s hot like America Ferrara, and Bob’s just…not. She could have done better, especially since she’s taking all this crap from the Puritans about it.
Since Hester’s so agitated, the prison guards send for a doctor. But it’s not really for her; Pearl’s having a conniption fit too, because she’s been drinking in Mommy’s distress from the milk. I doubt that’s it. It’s because she’s a BABY. In PRISON. Babies always cry (I should know—I baby sit triplets), but if you’re going to throw them into a dark, dirty prison cell, then you’re just asking for the screams of the innocent to invade your ears.
And guess who the doctor turns out to be? Go on, guess.
It’s Bob, whose name is really Roger Chillingworth (He’ll be Reggie from now on). Reggie was just conveniently hanging around the prison, and he also happens to be a doctor.
When he walks in, instead of freaking out all over again and screaming like she almost did earlier, Hester just sits there and gives him the evil eye. Reggie ignores her and mixes something up for the baby to drink, because she’s crying and it’s annoying him. Then he gives it to Hester and tells her to give it to Pearl, since she’s Mommy.
DON’T TRUST HIM! I don’t know why she shouldn’t, but I have a feeling in the second knuckle of the second finger of my right hand.
Hester crushes Pearl to her chest and asks in horror, “Why do you want to hurt her?”
See? Told you. I bet it’s prison-water. Do you know how bad prison-water is for infant digestion? It’s like day-old beef burritos made at a sleazy-looking gas station in the backwoods of North Dakota.
Hester’s not giving the “potion” to Pearl, so Reggie takes it and gives it to the crying child himself. Immediately, she calms down and falls asleep. FYI: when the kid falls asleep in books, something either really x-rated or gossip-worthy is about to go down.
Reggie mixes another potion and gives it to Hester to drink. She gets all bee-yotchy about it, though.
Reggie: Here, drink this.
Hester: I bet this is poison. You know, I was going to commit suicide, anyway.
Hester: What, you want me to kill myself? Fine. Look, here I am! Killing myself! Watch me drink it!
Reggie: *sigh* just drink the damn medicine.
Hester: Here goes! I guess you don’t care—
Reggie: DRINK IT, WOMAN!
Now, I don’t particularly like Reggie, but that’s exactly what he should have done. Good job, Reggie. He goes on to point out that he’d rather live and see her have the scarlet letter on her dress than to let her die and get out of punishment. This is where the book finally tells us what’s up with Reggie: He’s Hester’s husband.
Hester drinks the medicine and then sits down to hear the lecture she knows is coming. Reggie talks for a while about how he’s ugly and she’s pretty, he’s old and she’s young, blah blah blah. I didn’t read it all, to be honest. Nate’s vocabulary was…unnecessary. One thing I did catch was that he said “I had no business messing around with someone your age anyway.” AGREED.
See? If he hadn’t married someone so young, she wouldn’t have been tempted away from him. She’s pretty enough that someone else—someone her age—would have gladly taken her. So it’s all the man’s fault. (Kidding, kidding.)
Hester points out that she never loved him, anyway, and she never pretended to.
Reggie talks about his heart and how it was cold and lonely, so he desperately tried to warm it with Hester’s beauty. Lame. Also, it doesn’t make sense; didn’t they have senior dating sites he could have visited instead?
Hester and Reggie agree that they both messed up. (I still think it’s mostly Reggie’s fault). But, of course, Reggie wants to know who Pearl’s father is. I think that’s fair. She doesn’t have to tell everyone, just Reggie. But then again Reggie seems like the kind of guy that would tell ya bidnez if he doesn’t like you.
She doesn’t tell him. So then Reggie goes off on another monologue about how he will find the perpetrator and blah blah blah. Does anyone really talk like that? Reggie’s a show-off.
Next, he makes Hester swear that she will not tell anyone that he was her husband, because he doesn’t want to have to deal with the shame. He’s going to lurk all around, looking for the man who “stole” Hester from him, and he says that somehow he’ll know who did it, the same way your mom just knows you spent all your time on SparkNotes reading this post instead of actually doing work.
Kids, this is why you should avoid pedophiles. It’s inappropriate, and they’re creepers, anyway.
Reggie gets a really really creepy smile on his face. Hester asks him what the deal is, and if she will lose her soul because of her promise. What kind of question is that?! A promise to keep a secret probably will not cost you your soul. The chapter ends with this delightful message from Reggie: “Not thy soul, oh no, not thine!”
Thoughts: I probably would have cheated on Reggie, too. He seems like the ultimate creep. But I would have at least made Mr. Unknown use protection, and I'm not talking about a pistol.
Predictions: Reggie will use way too many complicated words.
Grocer: How are you today?
Roger: I myself am exceedingly well. According to what cipher cometh mine billing statement to?
Grocer: …Have a nice day, sir.
Hahahaha. Okay, for real, are you on Team Hester?
Related Posts: Blogging The Scarlet Letter