Chapter 12 Summary

Winnie pauses in the shop, unsure of what to do next. The facts of her husband’s death and her role as his murderer slowly dawn on her. Winnie starts to think of the consequences, and she envisions the gallows where she likely will be hanged once the authorities discover her. Unable to stand the thought of her execution, Winnie decides to go at once and commit suicide by throwing herself in to the River Thames.

After leaving the shop Winnie finds it hard to walk, as she is overcome with emotion. She thinks of her mother but knows she cannot tell the woman what has happened, either to her or Stevie.

Suddenly she runs into Comrade Ossipon, the medical student who frequents the revolutionary conversations in Mr. Verloc’s parlour. Winnie nearly faints, and Ossipon holds her up. Coincidentally Ossipon has been hanging around the neighborhood this night hoping to see Winnie. Because Ossipon believes Mr. Verloc died in the bombing at Greenwich Park, he has come to comfort Winnie, with whom he has been infatuated for some time.

In the course of their conversation, Ossipon and Winnie confuse one another: Winnie thinks that Ossipon has guessed that she killed Mr. Verloc, while Ossipon still thinks that Mr. Verloc died in the Greenwich Park blast. Ossipon and Winnie decide to escape together with the money Winnie has her in dress.

Before they can go to the train station, Winnie says they must go back to the shop and turn off the light. Going in to the parlour, Ossipon supposes she is crazy like her brother and will kill him sometime in the future. When a constable comes by, the two hide in the dark. Winnie becomes more and more agitated as Ossipon becomes more fearful of the dangerous situation in which he has involved himself. 

Winnie and Ossipon make their way to the train station, where they will start off for Paris. Ossipon concocts a plan: They will separate before entering the train station to avoid detection. Ossipon will buy the tickets while Winnie waits in the ladies room, then he will slip her the ticket and they will board the train separately.

The plan goes accordingly, and they meet on the train and wait for the departure. Just as the train departs, however, Ossipon leaps from the train. He brushes himself off, tells a made-up story to the onlookers to explain his dramatic action, and makes his way home with all of Winnie’s money.