Chapter 14 Summary

When Harry returns to his house, his wife (Marie) and his daughters are having lunch. The oldest girl greets him and says that she heard someone stole his boat. He says “they” found it, telling his wife “they” refers to Customs. His younger daughter asks if it is not better that the boat was found, but Harry simply tells her not to talk while she is eating. He demands his dinner be brought to him and tells his daughters to eat up and leave because he needs to talk to their mother in private. They ask for money to go to the movie, but he suggests that they go swimming because that is free. The girls object that it is too cold to go swimming and want to go to the movie instead. He relents. When they leave, he asks his wife to cut up his steak for him. She cuts it for him as if for a small boy; with his amputated arm, he cannot do it for himself. He apologizes for being such a nuisance. He thinks his daughters are “not much” and expresses a continuing surprise that they had no boys.

Harry says that he is not much of a man but he is going on a “hell of a trip.” He tells Marie how his boat was spotted from a truck. He swears, and Marie tells him not to talk that way in the house. He points out that she talks worse than that in bed sometimes, but she says that is different. Marie can tell that Harry feels bad, but he claims that he is just thinking. She expresses confidence in him, and he says that confidence is the only thing he has. She asks if he wants to talk about it, but he does not. He asks her to bring him his Thompson gun and shells. She begs him not to take the gun, but he insists that it is necessary. He says that he is going on a “bad” trip. Marie despairs that it is necessary for Harry to do things like this to earn a living.

As Marie fetches the gun, Harry looks at the furnishings around the house. He thinks that he has no chance to enjoy his home. He is back to worse than when he started due to the Depression. He again regrets that he does not have any sons. Marie brings him the gun and he bids her good-bye. She begs him to take care of himself. She watches him as he leaves the house. Every time she sees his face she wants to cry.