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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 25

Summary

Kennicott wonders about how long Carol would take to get over her highbrow attitude. He broods over the fact that Carol wants him to become a poet. He knows that some women still find him attractive and wonders why he never felt tempted to go to the girls who would accept him as he is. He feels sorry that Carol who thinks she can understand everything does not even know that he can have a good time if he wanted to. But he knows that Carol is the most beautiful girl in Gopher Prairie and even in the whole of Minneapolis.

Maud Dyer comes to his office complaining of a backache. Kennicott is conscious of her delicious milky white skin. He tells her that her troubles are imaginary. Maud tells him to be scientific and he points out that if he gave advice like a specialist they would laugh at him. If he told her to travel and be away from Dave for some time, he would want to skin him alive. Maud complains that Dave is very stingy and that she has to nag him to get money. Kennicott tells her that she has to manage it because Dave would never like his interference. He pats her back sympathetically and she presses his hands to her cheeks. She says that Dave is mean and noisy. She begs Kennicott to come to her house in the evening and make her be good and sensible. Kennicott points out that if he went to her house, he would have to play cards with Dave. Maud tells him that Dave would be at the shop till midnight. She makes Kennicott promise that he will call on her.


Kennicott feels upset about the promise. He feels that Maud tricked him but decides to drop in just for a minute. He leaves for home. He finds refuge in his duties at home. As he sprinkles water on the road before his house, he sees Dave Dyer going to the shop. Dave invites him to the shop to have a cigar. Kennicott goes up to the baby's room and finds Carol singing. He plays with Hugh. After supper he sits on the front steps and Nat Hicks, the tailor comes to talk to him. He tells Kennicott that Harry and himself were taking the new dressmaker, Mrs. Swiftwaite and the girl who works at the Bon Ton store, to Harry's farmhouse. Nat wants to know if Kennicott would like to join them because Mrs. Swiftwaite had a good-looking friend. Kennicott refuses. Nat points out that he used to be a good sport before he got married. Kennicott does not change his mind. Nat leaves. Carol comes down but she sits on the porch. When Kennicott invites her to go to the movies she refuses. She does not care to go for a walk or for a swim in the lake because she wants to go to sleep. He asks her to sleep downstairs to keep him company. But Carol prefers to sleep in her room. He informs her that he would go to call on the Perrys and goes to Dave Dyer's house.

Aunt Besse and Mrs. Bogart call on Carol. Mrs. Bogart elaborates on the shady things going on in Mrs. Swiftwaite's house. She warns Carol to be careful because the scheming woman may tempt Kennicott. Carol tells them that she hoped that Kennicott would be spirited enough to tempt the woman. Aunt Bessie says that it was wicked of Carol to say that. Carol asks Mrs. Bogart if she knew what Kennicott was thinking about when he was silent at the breakfast table. Mrs. Bogart trembles with anticipation and Carol tells her that he was probably pondering if the grass needed cutting.

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