CHAPTER XXII

JURGIS took the news in a peculiar way. He turned deadly pale, but he caught himself, and for half a minute stood in the middle of the room, clenching his hands tightly and setting his teeth. Then he pushed Aniele aside and strode into the next room and climbed the ladder.

In the corner was a blanket, with a form half showing beneath it; and beside it lay Elzbieta, whether crying or in a faint, Jurgis could not tell. Marija was pacing the room, screaming and wringing her hands. He clenched his hands tighter yet, and his voice was hard as he spoke.

"How did it happen?" he asked.

Marija scarcely heard him in her agony. He repeated the question, louder and yet more harshly. "He fell off the sidewalk!" she wailed. The sidewalk in front of the house was a platform made of half-rotten boards, about five feet above the level of the sunken street.

"How did he come to be there?" he demanded.

"He went -- he went out to play," Marija sobbed, her voice choking her. "We couldn't make him stay in. He must have got caught in the mud!"

"Are you sure that he is dead?" he demanded.

"Ai! ai!" she wailed. "Yes; we had the doctor."

Then Jurgis stood a few seconds, wavering. He did not shed a tear. He took one glance more at the blanket with the little form beneath it, and then turned suddenly to the ladder and climbed down again. A silence fell once more in the room as he entered. He went straight to the door, passed out, and started down the street.

When his wife had died, Jurgis made for the nearest saloon, but he did not do that now, though he had his

-252-

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The Jungle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 23
  • Chapter III 35
  • Chapter IV 49
  • Chapter V 63
  • Chapter VI 75
  • Chapter VII 86
  • Chapter VIII 99
  • Chapter IX 108
  • Chapter X 118
  • Chapter XI 130
  • Chapter XII 141
  • Chapter XIII 150
  • Chapter XIV 160
  • Chapter XV 168
  • Chapter XVI 183
  • Chapter XVII 193
  • Chapter XVIII 205
  • Chapter XIX 218
  • Chapter XX 229
  • Chapter XXI 241
  • Chapter XXII 252
  • Chapter XXIII 265
  • Chapter XXIV 277
  • Chapter XXV 292
  • Chapter XXVI 315
  • Chapter XXVII 335
  • Chapter XXVIII 351
  • Chapter XXIX 368
  • Chapter XXX 379
  • Chapter XXXI 394
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