McTeague: A Story of San Francisco

By Frank Norris; Jerome Loving | Go to book overview

IV

The days passed. McTeague had finished the operation on Trina's teeth. She did not come any more to the 'Parlors.' Matters had readjusted themselves a little between the two during the last sittings. Trina yet stood upon her reserve, and McTeague still felt himself shambling and ungainly in her presence; but that constraint and embarrrassment that had followed upon McTeague's blundering declaration broke up little by little. In spite of themselves they were gradually resuming the same relative positions they had occupied when they had first met.

But McTeague suffered miserably for all that. He never would have Trina, he saw that clearly. She was too good for him; too delicate, too refined, too prettily made for him, who was so coarse, so enormous, so stupid. She was for someone else--Marcus, no doubt--or at least for some finer-grained man. She should have gone to some other dentist; the young fellow on the corner, for instance, the poser, the rider of bicycles, the courser of greyhounds. McTeague began to loathe and to envy this fellow. He spied upon him going in and out of his office, and noted his salmon-pink neckties and his astonishing waiscoats.

One Sunday, a few days after Trina's last sitting, McTeague met Marcus Schouler at his table in the car conductors' coffee-joint, next to the harness shop.

'What you got to do this afternoon, Mac?' inquired the other, as they ate their suet pudding.

'Nothing, nothing,' replied McTeague, shaking his head. His mouth was full of pudding. It made him warm to eat, and little beads of perspiration stood across the bridge of his nose. He looked forward to an afternoon passed in his operating chair as usual. On leaving his 'Parlors' he had put ten cents into his pitcher and had left it at Frenna's to be filled.

'What do you say we take a walk, huh?' said Marcus. 'Ah, that's the thing--a walk, a long walk, by damn! It'll be outa

-42-

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McTeague: A Story of San Francisco
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Note on the Text xxix
  • Select Bibliography xxx
  • A Chronology of Frank Norris xxxii
  • I 5
  • II 15
  • III 30
  • IV 42
  • V 52
  • VI 71
  • VII 87
  • VIII 103
  • IX 119
  • X 142
  • XI 164
  • XII 185
  • XIII 198
  • XIV 208
  • XV 218
  • XVI 232
  • XVII 246
  • XVIII 252
  • XIX 268
  • XX 289
  • XXI 298
  • XXII 327
  • Explanatory Notes 337
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