Skip over navigation

The Black Prince

Iris Murdoch

Part One of Bradley Pearson's Story, 3

Part One of Bradley Pearson's Story, 2

Part One of Bradley Pearson's Story, 3, page 2

page 1 of 2

From Priscilla's arrival at the hospital to kissing Rachel

Summary

Bradley speaks directly to the reader at the beginning of the chapter saying that as an artist, he is concerned with the truth, but still can describe things only as he remembers them. Furthermore, he says that often uses irony as a tool to approach the truth.

He notes his displeasure that Arnold and Christian went off together and might become friends. Priscilla returns from the hospital only hours after she was taken there. She remains in a state of hysterics about her ruined life and decaying body, which Bradley views with some disgust. Bradley loves his sister but feels some shame about her state. He tries to console her, but she cannot be calmed.

Arnold comes over and asks Bradley not to be mad at him for talking to Christian. He says he took her away because her arrival seemed badly timed, but at the same time Arnold did find her interesting, especially since Bradley had never really mentioned her. As Arnold talks, Bradley decides that he shall have to see Christian sometime so he might as well do it right then. He leaves Arnold with Priscilla and heads to her house.

Christian has expanded the Notting Hill apartment where she and Bradley lived when they were married. Bradley finds that Christian looks older but has aged well and is still very attractive. Christian tells Bradley that he wrote her the cruelest letter, which Arnold delivered, but she is happy to see him. She did many things in America. She was involved in business and studied Zen Buddhism. She is very happy. Bradley addresses her with rude coldness, bluntly explaining that he only came to tell her that he did not want to talk to her or be her friend. Once he delivers this message, he tries to go. When Bradley opens the door to leave, Francis Marloe is on the other side. Christian yells angrily at Francis, since he had broken into her house the day before and she found him sleeping in a guest bed. She starts hurling his belongings out the window. In the midst of their fight, Arnold arrives, having left Priscilla with Rachel. Arnold and Christian both start to hysterically laugh about Priscilla, as Bradley goes home.

Bradley visits Priscilla's house in Bristol to retrieve her jewels and mink stole. He cannot find them where they should be and as he is looking Priscilla's husband, Roger, comes home. He kindly tells Bradley that she cannot have the jewels or mink because they are joint property. He also says that Priscilla is crazy and he only married her because she lied and said that she was pregnant. Now he has a thirty-year old mistress, Marigold, who is pregnant. They want to have the child and do not want Priscilla to return. Bradley treats Roger contemptuously.

More Help

Previous Next

Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!

Follow Us