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Aziz suddenly notices an Englishwoman in the mosque and yells at her angrily, for she is trespassing in a holy place for Muslims. The woman is humble, however, and explains that she removed her shoes upon entering and that she realizes that God is present in the mosque. Aziz is impressed. The woman introduces herself as Mrs. Moore. She is visiting her son, Ronny Heaslop, the city magistrate.

Aziz and Mrs. Moore discover that they each have two sons and a daughter. Aziz senses Mrs. Moore’s friendly sympathy toward him—a sense confirmed when Mrs. Moore speaks candidly of her distaste for Mrs. Callendar, the major’s wife. Because Mrs. Moore is intuitively able to sense whom she likes and does not like, Aziz pronounces her an Oriental. Aziz escorts her to the door of the whites-only club.

Summary: Chapter III

Inside the club, Mrs. Moore joins her traveling companion, a young Englishwoman named Adela Quested. They sit in the billiard room in order to avoid the performance of the play Cousin Kate that is taking place in the next room. Mrs. Moore has escorted Adela from England at Ronny’s request; Adela and Ronny are presumably to become engaged. Mr. Turton, the collector of Chandrapore, enters and speaks highly of Ronny as the type of young man he likes.

The play lets out, and the billiard room begins to fill. Adela expresses her desire to see the “real India”—she wants something more than the stereotypical elephant ride most visitors get. Cyril Fielding, the principal of the local government college, passes through the room and suggests that Adela go see some Indians if she wants to see the “real India.” The club ladies, however, are aghast at such a suggestion, and they inform Adela that Indians are creepy and untrustworthy. Nonetheless, Mr. Turton, eager to please Adela, promises to round up some Indians for a “Bridge Party” so Adela can meet some of them.

On the way home, Mrs. Moore points out the mosque to Ronny and Adela and speaks of the nice young man she met there. Ronny assumes from Mrs. Moore’s tone that she is referring to an Englishman, and he becomes angry when he realizes she is speaking of an Indian. Back at the bungalow, after Adela goes to bed, Ronny quizzes his mother about her encounter. Using phrases he has picked up from his superiors, Ronny interprets each detail of Mrs. Moore’s encounter as scheming on Aziz’s part.

Ronny declares his intention to report Aziz to Major Callendar, but Mrs. Moore dissuades him. In turn, Ronny convinces his mother not to tell Adela about Dr. Aziz. Ronny worries that Adela will become too preoccupied with whether or not the English treat the Indians fairly. They finish talking, and Mrs. Moore goes to her bedroom. She notices a small wasp asleep on her coat hook, and croons to it kindly.