Chapter 9 Summary
Scripps goes more slowly to his job at the pump factory after his marriage. His wife (“Mrs. Scripps”) watches him as he goes up the street. She does not find time to read The Guardian anymore, nor does she read about English politics or cabinet crises in France. She thinks how strange the French people are—the historical figures, the authors, the politicians, the actors. She thinks of other writers and wonders what it is all about and where it is taking her. She has a husband now. She is not sure if she can keep him.
Mrs. Scripps has gone from being an elderly waitress to being the wife of Scripps O’Neil, who has a good job in the pump factory. Her new name is Diana Scripps. She had been named after her mother. She looks at herself in the mirror and wonders if she can hold on to Scripps. She is worried since he met Mandy. She hopes she can have the courage to break off going to eat at the beanery with her husband, but she knows that she cannot do that. She is sure that, if she does not go with him, he will merely go without her. The more she thinks about Mandy, the more she worries that Scripps will leave her.
As she continues to go with Scripps to the restaurant, she finds she can no longer call it a beanery. When she tries, her throat chokes up. Every night they go to the restaurant, and every night Scripps talks to Mandy. Diana believes that Mandy is trying to take Scripps away from her. She thinks Mandy is no better than a slut to try to take another woman’s husband away. Mandy continues to tell Scripps stories, and Scripps continues to be fascinated. Diana’s sole purpose in life is now to hold on to her husband of just a few days.
Diana starts subscribing to several newspapers. She visits the town library and reads the book reviews in The Literary Digest. She waits for the postman to bring her copies of other literary magazines. By becoming an expert on literature, Diana hopes she can hold on to Scripps. She thinks it is beginning to work at first. Scripps enjoys as she reads sections from the newspapers and magazines to him. But soon the light in his eyes dies. She sees Harper’s Magazine and thinks this might do the trick, but she is not sure.