Chris and Cathy go another 10 days without seeing their "mother." During these 10 days, they speculate for hours about why she went to Europe. They think of it as a punishment, so when she finally does show up again, they don't demand to be let out. They are "quiet, timid, and accepting." They believe they can not escape using the sheets, because the twins go hysterical on the roof.
Because they are so "respectful," "momma" laughs and spins around, telling them how HAPPY she is. She begs them to guess what happened.
Christopher suggests that perhaps the Grandfather has died. This annoys mommy dearest who says
No. I don't really hate him now, so I wouldn't come to you and say I was rejoicing over his death.
Cathy reacts in a predictable manner with a dull "why don't you just tell us. We'll never be able to guess, we don't know much about your life anymore." If this were me, I would have added in a "because you haven't visited in 10 days, and prior to that it was months, including a 10 day period where we resorted to eating/drinking Christopher's blood, plus Grandmother dumped tar in my hair, the twins aren't growing, I'm being deprived of my constitutional right to an education, under Virginia's constitution, article 8, section 3, and also it's very boring! I miss my friends, I miss my bike, I miss being able to run and the twins deserve to play and they also deserve school. Can't you just drop us off at a fire station or something? We promise we'll pretend that we don't speak English or have amnesia, we don't care."
Anyway, so shocker, "Momma" has married. Chris and Cathy are unsurprised.
And deep down in our foolish hearts, we had convinced ourselves that she was going to be ever faithful, ever-devoted to our dead father -- our blond and blue-eyed Grecian god father whom she had to love beyond reason to have done what she did - marry a man so closely related.
I closed my eyes to try and shut out her hateful voice, telling us of another man who was taking our father's place. Now she was another man's wife, a totally different kind of man, and he'd been in her bed and sleeping with her now, and we'd see even less of her than we had. Oh dear God, how long, how long?
This news, coupled with Momma's voice, causes Cathy to feel as though a "little gray bird of panic" has fluttered in her rib cage. It's a forced, terrible metaphor that makes less sense the more I think about it. (Why am I still thinking about it?) It's a gross mental picture.
MOTY Corrine wants her estranged children to be happy for her. Maybe they would be, if you had not LOCKED THEM IN A ROOM FOR YEARS ON END. They would have been introduced to their stepfather in an appropriate manner. How are you even going to tell him, Corrine? When? How do you start that conversation? So, "Bart, dharling, I've got a secret and it's simply horrible."
Bart: "oh, corrine, you know i love you and your money until the ends of the earth"
Corrine: "you'll hate me I know. (heavy sigh), I suppose, it just can not wait anymore."
Bart: "love, what IS it?" (embrace)
Corrine: (break embrace) "You'll never understand, but I must share this with you as it weighs heavily upon my heart. My love. Remember when I was away from Foxworth Hall?"
Bart: (Cautious) "yes, my pet" (holds hand dramatically)
Corrine: "I was married"
Bart: "It's a new world out there! I love you no matter who was in your bed before me! I might have expected it, a woman of your beauty and height. Oh Corrine, I am so sorry you felt you had to hide that from me, I would have expected it. Does your mother know?"
Corrine: "She knows. There is more, my love. I have four children whom you've never met. They live with their grandmother. I miss them terribly, but they also remind me of him, and they are quite comfortable where they are. Do you think less of me?"
Bart: (jokingly) "as long as you didn't lock them in a closet to starve. We all make hard choices in life, and this is your path. I love you unconditionally. Someday we'll go get those kids back, and I will love them as my own because they are yours"
Corrine looks off into the distance.
I suppose I was premature with that soap opera moment, as Corrine tells Cathy (while smiling) that Bart has been in love with her (Corrine, not Cathy) for a long time, though he was
an incel loving that bachelor life (totally not code for gay in 1950). Corrine had to beg her father to be "allowed" to remarry. While she is emoting her woes all over her teenage daughter, Corrine is "nervously working" a string of "genuine pearls." Good news, everyone, she was allowed to remarry AND inherit. Gots to keep that MONAY.
Cathy is aware through body language that Momma is lying to her about the amount of love she has for Bart in comparison to
money herself Christopher the Elder, and changes the subject.
They talk about the gifts, and Momma segues into Bart's family and background. More talk about the "genuine pearls" which are on a string, being twisted around and I'm sure there is some sort of metaphor here I'm missing but It's dumb, just like the phrase "genuine pearls."
Momma asks Cory if he likes the boats and tries to talk to Carrie about dolls, but the twins talk to her like she is a stranger.
Cathy asks a probing question: Does Corrine's new husband know about the children. I bet you can guess the answer. And of course Corrine doesn't like being asked that question. I question what kind of mother she REALLY was before they went into the attic.
We also find out that Bart is also Malcolm's attorney. Which seems like a conflict of interest when there are ridiculous clauses in the inheritance, like "my daughter shall not inherit if her marriage to my brother/son produces children" even though in that case the estate would pass to the spouse, who is still living. Corrine would get nothing when he dies, only what her mother would let her have.
Cathy wants to say that a man should know when his wife has four children from a previous marriage, but Chris is an incredibly useless human being who glares "meanly" at Cathy, so she shuts up. Cathy prays for a hot minute and we get an act break.