McTeague: A Story of San Francisco

By Frank Norris; Jerome Loving | Go to book overview

XVIII

THAT same night McTeague was awakened by a shrill scream, and woke to find Trina's arms around his neck. She was trembling so that the bed-springs creaked.

'Huh?' cried the dentist, sitting up in bed, raising his clinched fists. 'Huh? What? What? What is it? What is it?'

'Oh, Mac,' gasped his wife, 'I had such an awful dream. I dreamed about Maria. I thought she was chasing me, and I couldn't run, and her throat was--Oh, she was all covered with blood. Oh-h, I am so frightened!'

Trina had borne up very well for the first day or so after the affair, and had given her testimony to the coroner with far greater calmness than Heise. It was only a week later that the horror of the thing came upon her again. She was so nervous that she hardly dared to be alone in the daytime, and almost every night woke with a cry of terror, trembling with the recollection of some dreadful nightmare. The dentist was irritated beyond all expression by her nervousness, and especially was he exasperated when her cries woke him suddenly in the middle of the night. He would sit up in bed, rolling his eyes wildly, throwing out his huge fists--at what, he did not know--exclaiming, 'What--what--' bewildered and hopelessly confused. Then when he realized that it was only Trina, his anger kindled abruptly.

'Oh, you and your dreams! You go to sleep, or I'll give you a dressing down.' Sometimes he would hit her a great thwack with his open palm, or catch her hand and bite the tips of her fingers. Trina would lie awake for hours afterward, crying softly to herself. Then, by and by, 'Mac,' she would say timidly.

'Huh?'

'Mac, do you love me?'

'Huh? What? Go to sleep.'

'Don't you love me any more, Mac?'

'Oh, go to sleep. Don't bother me.'

-252-

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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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