There's only one more week in our Monkalong event! This week ended in a real cliffhanger so I can't wait to finish the book. But meanwhile, on with our story....
Raymond and Lorenzo are so busy trying to find Agnes that they totally neglect to pay any attention to Antonia and Elvira. This is a bit unfortunate, because Ambrosio is doing some plotting. He's got this magic myrtle branch that the Devil gave him to get into Antonia's room. There is a very suspenseful section where he magically enters the apartment and gets into Antonia's locked room, and he's looking at her and he's about to make his move. But! Elvira has been on the watch. She is the only competent adult around here. Her only flaw is that she keeps failing to tell Antonia the facts about Ambrosio, or any facts in general. Antonia needs to know these things, and her ignorance is not helping her!
So Elvira interrupts Ambrosio, and she announces her plan to expose his hypocrisy to the world. We figure Ambrosio is actually her son, but he doesn't know this and he murders Elvira. Horrified, he leaves her corpse on the floor and flees away. The next morning, when Antonia wakes, she finds her dead mother on the floor. But everyone assumes that Elvira has died of her illness, and so no one suspects a murder. Antonia collapses anyway, and succumbs to a bout of brain fever, or whatever the 18th century equivalent of brain fever was. (According to the Monk, illness is largely a result of emotional distress.) She is now completely friendless and penniless, while Lorenzo and Raymond are both out of town. Not only that, Ambrosio is still plotting away, only temporarily daunted by his crime.
After some recovery time, Antonia visits her mother's empty chamber, reads some ghost poetry and gets scared. Just then her dead mother visits her in a highly spooky manner and announces that in only three days, they will be together again! Ominous.
Ambrosio, a man of but one thought, uses this as an excuse to spend the night at the house, where he gives Antonia some poison that will make her look dead. Antonia is interred - surprise! - in the crypt under the monastery, and Ambrosio impatiently awaits her awakening.
Meanwhile, in other news, a nun has passed a message to Lorenzo that she has terrible information for him. In the middle of a fancy Catholic procession, Lorenzo and Raymond grab the prioress and the nun tells her story to an enthralled public - which is of the deliberate murder of poor Agnes! The crowd riots, pounding the evil prioress to a jelly and then getting completely out of control.
Lorenzo runs off to the nunnery to save the innocent nuns from getting murdered in the riot. He gets caught in a fire and winds up down in the crypt--the same one Ambrosio is in, but they don't seem to run into each other. It's the world's biggest and most labyrinthine crypt. He hears the same forlorn voice that Ambrosio heard so many weeks ago, but Lorenzo is no superstitious coward like everybody else in this story, and so he finds his way down to a dungeon, where he discovers Agnes and her newly dead baby. So Agnes is not dead after all! But she is starving and sick. In all the tumult Lorenzo particularly notices another lovely young woman, Virginia, and it's emphasized that if Antonia had not already captured his heart, he would have fallen in love with Virginia. I think we know where that's going.
So this installment of the month has included secret messages, improbably elaborate Catholic processions, a terrifying ghost, some terrible poetry, and a scary secret dungeon, complete with fancy secret entrance. And demonic magic. Can't wait to finish this next week!