Chapters 24-25 Summary
After work, Hurstwood does not go home at all but takes a room at the Palmer House. He paces the floor, wondering what he should do now. If his wife takes the action she threatened, it would most likely lose him his job as well as his friends. He realizes that she has property in her name, which leaves him with very little. The only pleasing thing about this mess is his approaching escape with Carrie.
In the morning, Hurstwood goes to his office and looks through his mail, fearful of finding some letter from his wife or a lawyer. He finds nothing but does not feel great relief. He goes to the park to meet Carrie as they had arranged, but she does not appear. He wonders if his wife has contacted her, but he doubts that his wife knows Carrie’s name or address. The thought that Drouet may have been involved does not cross his mind. He returns to his office, but there is no message from Carrie. Soon a messenger boy arrives with a letter from Mrs. Hurstwood. She demands that he give her the money so she can carry out her plan. He may stay away if he wants, but he is to return a message with the boy. Hurstwood tells the messenger boy that there is no reply. Later, he receives another message, telling him that if he does not give his wife the money, she will go to his place of employment and tell the owners about this matter, and “other steps” will be taken. Cursing, Hurstwood takes a cab to his home to find it locked, and no one answers the door. He realizes that his wife will accept only the money but will not see him. Defeated, Hurstwood calls up the company messenger boy and gives him the money to take to Mrs. Hurstwood, with instructions to return it if she is not there. When he returns, he tells Hurstwood that the only reply from his wife is that it was high time.
Hurstwood wonders what has happened with Carrie. The next day is Saturday, when the two of them were going to go off together, but he hears nothing from her. On Sunday also he hears nothing from either his mistress or his wife. On Monday, he receives a letter from an attorney’s office. It states that Mrs. Hurstwood has engaged their services to determine what money and property are hers. Hurstwood is requested to arrange to meet with them as soon as possible. On Tuesday, Hurstwood decides to go to Carrie’s home but is nervous when he sees a man watching him. He goes back to his office and receives a letter from the attorneys stating that if he does not contact them by the next day, they will proceed on the behalf of Mrs. Hurstwood and file for divorce and alimony. Overwhelmed, Hurstwood puts on his hat and goes for a walk.