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Alicia arrives and greets Robert, who introduces his friend George. As Robert and Alicia kiss, George looks at a painting of Lady Audley and is startled to see the very image of his "dead" wife. He leaves. Alicia is annoyed that Robert has not asked her a particular question that she hoped he would. Lady Audley enters and is impressed by Robert’s good looks. Alicia becomes annoyed and leads Robert off. Lady Audley has reacted strangely to meeting Robert. Her heart pounds, her temples throb, and she can scarcely catch her breath. She reflects that Sir Michael, though good and kind, is old. She must secure her future in preparation for his death. She congratulates herself for convincing her first husband, George, of her premature demise. Suddenly, George appears and touches her shoulder. She turns with a shriek. "You are a traitress, Madam he says. He threatens to expose her. She complains that she thought herself deserted when he went off to India. She threatens to silence him using the power of her position. He is not impressed, as his friend, Robert Audley, will aid him. She pretends to feel faint and asks him to bring her water from the well. As he does, she strikes him with an iron rod and pushes him down the well. ACT TWO - The Conservatory in Audley Court — twelve months later. The butler and maid dance as they clean the room. Sir Michael enters with Alicia. He asks her to be patient with Robert as he has been distracted by the mysterious loss of his friend, George. He agrees to speak to Robert and hurry things along. Alicia confesses that she has been questioning Lady Audley’s sincerity. He tells her he will not tolerate having his wife spoken of in such a manner. Alicia pines after her sainted mother and Sir Michael pines after Abigail, his sainted horse. Lady Audley arrives, mistakenly jealous over their reverie. Alicia runs off and Sir Michael pursues her, trying to give her solace. Luke, drunk, enters and threatens to blackmail Lady Audley: he witnessed her pushing George down the well! She agrees to meet him tonight, bringing a hundred pounds. He kisses her roughly, promising her that there’ll be more than money to give him tonight. He goes off laughing. Robert enters bearing a letter of hers to George and accusing her of bigamy and, he suspects rightly, murder. She snatches the letter from his hand and reminds him that exposing her will tarnish the Audley family name forever. He demands that she leaves the country or he will expose her. He leaves and she decides to stick to her motto, “death or victory.” Alicia enters in tears, accompanied by Sir Michael. She’s upset because of Robert’s postponement of their marriage and the attraction she’s observed between him and Lady Audley. Lady Audley decides to use Alicia’s misplaced concern to her advantage. She tells them that it is true that Robert is in love with her. Lady Audley asks Sir Michael that Robert be sent away and he agrees. Robert enters announcing that he is going away for a few days. Robert asks that Lady Audley come with him to London. Sir Michael is aghast and demands that he leave immediately. They continue their argument until Sir Michael is overcome, grasps his heart and has to be carried off. Robert puts two and two together, concluding that his uncle’s intention must be the result of Lady Audley’s work. He leaves to set things right. On the road to Audley Court Luke is drunk again. Phoebe appears telling Luke that the landlord’s been around looking for the rent. He tells her that they’ll not have to worry about such things in the future. Inside the Castle Inn, Phoebe is alone when Robert arrives seeking a place to stay for the night. As Luke enters unseen, Phoebe starts to tell Robert of the Lady’s secret. Luke cuts her off. Robert decides to get Luke drunk and get him to reveal the great secret. He and Luke go off to get some ale. Lady Audley appears and, hearing that Robert is in the other room hides. The men return. Luke hits Phoebe when she refuses to get him more ale. Robert can’t contain himself and knocks Luke out cold. Robert and Phoebe leave as Lady Audley discovers Luke unconscious on the floor. Phoebe re-enters and Lady Audley sends her out, promising to catch up with her. Lady Audley determines to set the cottage ablaze