Chapter 11 Summary
After Chief Inspector Heat leaves, Mr. Verloc walks around the house wondering what to do next. Although he is upset that Heat told Winnie about Stevie’s death, he is also partially relieved because now he won’t have to tell her himself.
Mr. Verloc thinks about how he never planned for Stevie to die, that his death was an accident. He realizes that Stevie has become a much bigger nuisance in death than he was when he was alive. When he sent Stevie off with the bomb, Mr. Verloc planned to see him back within fifteen minutes, and the worst he could have imagined was Stevie being arrested and sent to jail. But now things have turned out much, much worse than he expected.
As Winnie comes into the room, Mr. Verloc tells her that he had no intention of hurting Stevie. He then complains about Heat, for telling her about Stevie so brusquely.
Winnie stays silent while Mr. Verloc sits down to eat supper. Winnie is frozen in sorrow, and Mr. Verloc impatiently tries to console her, saying that he wants her to have her wits when he is arrested the next day. Thinking out loud, Mr. Verloc then begins to rail against Vladimir, who disrespected his years of service for the cause and threw him into pursuing the bomb plot. Mr. Verloc says that if he hadn’t thought of Winnie, he would have gone straight to Vladimir and wrung his neck.
Staying silent, Winnie is lost in a rush of thoughts and barely hears what Mr. Verloc says. She keeps thinking about Stevie and what has happened. Eventually she comes to Mr. Verloc and realizes that it is all his fault, that he took Stevie away that morning and murdered him. She comes to the conclusion that now that Stevie is dead, the “bargain” she made with Mr. Verloc is invalidated. Since she doesn’t have Stevie to protect, she has no need for a husband.
Winnie goes upstairs while Mr. Verloc finishes his dinner. He hears her moving slowly around the bedroom and opening...
(The entire section is 549 words.)