Day One Hundred Forty: The Prisoner, pp. 117-136

From "In any case, I was pleased that Andrée was going..." to "...without thereby giving any more reality to my love."
You know when the narrator is happy that Albertine is doing something that it's bound to end badly. So he's all chirpy about Andrée and Albertine going to the Trocadéro instead of to the Verdurins'. It seems to have something to do with the chauffeur's not keeping an eye on her when he drove her to Versailles recently, letting her go off in an carriage on her own. Has he become so obsessed with Albertine's possible homosexuality that he doesn't feel jealousy of the "handsome young" chauffeur of carrying on with her? The narrator reveals that he didn't know then that the chauffeur "was a friend of Morel's" because "he was so superior to the violinist in intelligence and taste." But not to have suspected that she and the chauffeur could have gotten together to make up a story that explained what she had been doing during the seven hours they were supposedly apart in Versailles? He has recently discovered, from talking to Gilberte's maid, that she had been seeing someone else during the time that he was obsessed with her, so he decides that he "would only let her go out escorted by Andrée, whereas before I had thought the chauffeur was protection enough."

Meanwhile, he has developed one of his little fascinations with a girl who works in the dairy: "extravagantly blond in colouring, very tall though still childish-looking, and who, among the other errand girls, seemed to be far away, with a proud, dreamy look." He has Françoise send this girl to his room to run an errand for him:
If one wanted to reduce to a formula the laws of amorous curiosity, one would have to seek it in the maximum divergence between a woman seen and a woman caressed.... [W]e cannot rest until we have tried to see whether the haughty seaside girl, the shop-girl with her worries about what people will think, the preoccupied fruit-seller cannot be persuaded, by crafty manoeuvres on our part, to soften their unbending attitude, to wind round our neck the arms that carried the fruit, to turn upon our mouth, with a smile of consent, those hitherto chilly or faraway eyes.
But this little experiment in Don Juanism ends badly for the narrator when, asking her to hand him a copy of the Figaro so he can find the address to which he wants her to deliver a message, he sees an article in it revealing that Mlle. Léa is to appear in the program Albertine is attending at the Trocadéro. "Léa was the actress who as friendly with the two young girls whom Albertine had looked at in the glass that afternoon at the casino, without seeming to see them." He dismisses the dairy girl and resolves "to stop Albertine going to the Trocadéro and meeting those friends of Léa's" -- even though he doesn't know whether the friends will be there. And so the obsession returns.

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