Comment on the following lines, "So there it is," he added. "And I know it's kind of a bad time to be telling you, but there simply wasn't any other way. Of course I'll give you money and see...

Comment on the following lines,

"So there it is," he added. "And I know it's kind of a bad time to be telling you, but there simply wasn't any other way. Of course I'll give you money and see you're looked after. But there needn't really be any fuss. I hope not anyway. It wouldn't be very good for my job."

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Of course I'll give you money and see you're looked after. But there needn't really be any fuss. I hope not anyway. It wouldn't be very good for my job."

We don't know what Patrick tells Mary before he concludes with, "So there it is," and ends with the above-quoted words. The fact that he says "I'll give you money and see you're looked after" shows that he is definitely leaving her, either for a divorce or separation. The other three sentences in the above excerpt were created by the author to show the reader that Patrick has kept this matter completely to himself. This is very important. It establishes that nobody knows there is any problem with their marriage. Nobody knows Patrick is dissatisfied. Everybody assumes that Patrick and Mary are almost an ideal couple and must be especially happy now that she is expecting a baby.

Patrick is a selfish and hard man. He seems more concerned about his job than about his wife's feelings. It doesn't seem likely that he has been having an affair with another woman. That is something the investigating police could find out pretty easily, and it would cast some suspicion on Mary. Patrick seems to have been leading a very regular homelife up to this point. He always comes home at exactly the same time. It would be difficult for him to be conducting an affair under these circumstances. Besides, he is very much concerned about his reputation because he must be ambitious for promotion. It would be bad for his reputation if it became known that he was having an affair. And how could he keep it a secret when he was a member of a police force that was always watchful and always gathering information?

 

sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Those lines are spoken by Patrick Maloney almost right after he gets home from work.  All that the reader is told before those lines is that Patrick had something the he wanted to tell his wife, Mary.  Dahl never elaborates on what Patrick told Mary.  All the reader knows is that Mary didn't like what she was hearing.  

And he told her. It didn't take long, four or five minutes at most, and she sat still through it all, watching him with puzzled horror.

Based on his words about giving her money, it's likely that Patrick was telling Mary that he was leaving her, or that he wanted a divorce.  The news was a shock to Mary, because she assumed that Patrick loved her as much as she loved him.   Mary practically worships the ground that Patrick walks upon, so the news devastates Mary.  Bummer for Patrick that Mary made the end of their marriage sooner rather than later.  

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Lamb to the Slaughter

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