What is the outcome of Mrs. Barrows' accusations against Mr. Martin?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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All Mrs. Barrows' accusations against Mr. Martin are true, and she is telling Mr. Fitweiler exactly what Mr. Martin wanted her to tell him.

"Is the little rat denying it?" she screamed...."You drank and smoked at my apartment," she bawled at Mr. Martin, "and you know it! You called Mr. Fitweiler an old windbag and said you were going to blow him up when you got coked to the gills on your heroin!" 

Her accusations against Mr. Martin are so outlandish and so out of character for such a mousy little man that Mr. Fitweiler believes she must be delusional. She actually does seem to become dangerously deranged when she begins to realize how she has been tricked. Mr. Martin is standing there looking as mild and colorless as ever. She turns on their boss and asks:

"Can't you see how he has tricked us, you old fool? Can't you see his little game?"

Mr. Fitweiler can't see his little game because he has never seen Mr. Martin looking and behaving any differently than he is doing right now--and he has known him for twenty-two years! Fitweiler begins summoning help by pressing all the buttons under the top of his desk. One of the many employees who arrive in haste is a man named Stockton, who had played football in high school. He prevents Mrs. Barrows from attacking Mr. Martin and, together with another man, drags the enraged woman out of Fitweiler's office, "still screaming imprecations at Mr. Martin, tangled and contradictory imprecations."

As examples of her "tangled and contradictory imprecations," she is accusing Martin of being a heroin addict and planning to blow his boss up with a bomb, while at the same time she is calling Martin a little rat and accusing him of being a cunning schemer pretending to be a mild-mannered, ultra-conservative, harmless little man. Martin could hardly be both. That is what makes Ulgine Barrows seem insane and what causes her to lose her job with F & S.

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