As Paul's desire to escape becomes more crucial for him, at which point does a major crisis force his real escape from Pittsburgh?
Paul had lied to everyone. His life was a series of lies and delusions of grandeur. He wanted so much to be part of the "romantic" life of the theater that he completely turned everyone against him. He was put out of school for his lies and disrespect for the teachers and the rules of the intuition. As we read in Cather's story,
"The upshot of the matter was that the Principal went to Paul's father, and Paul was taken out of school and put to work. The manager at Carnegie Hall was told to get another usher and in his stead; the door-keeper at the theater was warned not to admit him to the house; and Charley Edwards remorsefully promised the boy's father not to see him again."
This was the last straw for Paul. He stole money from the company where he was sent to work and ran away to New York. He had a wonderful 8 days before the story hit the Pittsburgh newspapers and his father was on his way to take Paul back to Cordelia Street. Paul couldn't face the thoughts of returning to that life. Paul had to take more drastic measures.