McTeague: A Story of San Francisco

By Frank Norris; Jerome Loving | Go to book overview

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THAT summer passed, then the winter. The wet season began in the last days of September and continued all through October, November, and December. At long intervals would come a week of perfect days, the sky without a cloud, the air motionless, but touched with a certain nimbleness, a faint effervescence that was exhilarating. Then, without warning, during a night when a south wind blew, a gray scroll of cloud would unroll and hang high over the city, and the rain would come pattering down again, at first in scattered showers, then in an uninterrupted drizzle.

All day long Trina sat in the bay window of the sitting- room that commanded a view of a small section of Polk Street. As often as she raised her head she could see the big market, a confectionery store, a bell-hanger's shop, and, farther on, above the roofs, the glass skylights and water tanks of the big public baths. In the nearer foreground ran the street itself; the cable cars trundled up and down, thumping heavily over the joints of the rails; market carts by the score came and went, driven at a great rate by preoccupied young men in their shirt sleeves, with pencils behind their ears, or by reckless boys in blood-stained butcher's aprons. Upon the sidewalks the little world of Polk Street swarmed and jostled through its daily round of life. On fine days the great ladies from the avenue, one block above, invaded the street, appearing before the butcher stalls, intent upon their day's marketing. On rainy days their servants--the Chinese cooks or the second girls--took their places. These servants gave themselves great airs, carrying their big cotton umbrellas as they had seen their mistresses carry their parasols, and haggling in supercilious fashion with the market men, their chins in the air.

The rain persisted. Everything in the range of Trina's vision, from the tarpaulins on the market-cart horses to the

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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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