Humbert Humbert picks up Lolita at Camp Q. He tells her that Charlotte is very sick, and pretends they are headed to a hospital where she will be having an operation. Meanwhile, he takes Lolita to The Enchanted Hunters. While they drive, Lolita adopts a teasing, childishly flirtatious attitude with Humbert; she says that they’ve become lovers, and threatens that her mother will be very upset. Further, she hints to Humbert that she’s done something sexual at camp. When they arrive at the hotel, Humbert gives Lolita the suitcase full of clothes he purchased for her. They kiss.
As with Charlotte, Humbert uses Lolita’s childish romantic fantasies to manipulate her. We should be suspicious of Humbert’s representation of Lolita’s behavior. As with the kiss at the top of the stairs (Chapter 15), we can’t be sure that Humbert isn’t embellishing Lolita’s flirtatiousness to justify his molestation of her.
Two conferences are taking place at The Enchanted Hunters: one involving clergy members, and other involving botanists. During dinner, Humbert gives Lolita the sleeping pill he earlier tested on Charlotte. He leaves her to fall asleep in the room, locking her inside, and takes a walk through the hotel to calm his nerves.
Lolita is filled with botanical and religious motifs. The combination of clergy members, botanists, and the sleeping innocence of Lolita evokes the Garden of Eden just before the fall of man: Humbert’s great sin, the rape of Lolita, is about to take place.