“He sails to-night from Liverpool…It isn’t like George Talboys” (Braddon 95).
In this passage, Captain Maldon tries to convince Robert Audley that George had just left for Australia. I think Braddon included it with the intention of the reader to become suspicious of George’s father-in-law and to come to the conclusion that he was lying about George’s disappearance. After all, Robert said that it “isn’t like George Talboys” to embark on a long journey “without even a change of clothes” or “word to…his most intimate friend” (Braddon 95). Captain Maldon seemed “anxious” to soothe “any indignation” Robert might have felt against his claims, suggesting that perhaps George would “write to [him] from Liverpool” (95). Using phrases such as “sick of the world,” “never to return” and “grave” Maldon implied that George might even have been contemplating suicide, perhaps trying to convince Robert to leave the matter alone (Braddon 95). He consistently offered excuses to support his lie, citing his daughter’s death as the reason for George’s strange behavior. Robert asserted that though George was miserable, he was in his right mind. This exchange harkens back to page 48 when Robert noticed Captain Maldon was “in a great hurry to get rid of [his] son-in-law” (Braddon). It seems to me that both Captain Maldon and Lady Audley have something against George, and had reason to want him dead or gone. It was confirmed on page 171 that Captain Maldon was in fact lying. Captain Maldon, a very poor and greedy man, would do anything to keep the tax collectors at bay. I think that Lucy bribed him with little Georgey’s watch to cover up for whatever she did to George.