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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 29

Summary

Carol takes Hugh for a walk. They meet Erik. Hugh goes hunting engines. Carol and Erik sit down to talk. He tells her about all the books that he had read and asks her for advice. She advises him to consult a dictionary for pronunciation. He tells her about his childhood. His father is a farmer. When Erik wanted to study drawing, his father sent him to a tailor as an apprentice. His father's cousin was a tailor and he had made a lot of money and he had told his father that tailoring was like drawing. But Erik has no interest in the job. He wants to go to the East to become a dress designer. He is also afraid that if he could not become a successful dress designer he would have to become a salesman. Carol advises him to have his adventure because doing what one wants to do is more important than anything else is. He feels that when he had so much work to do in his father's farm to go to Europe to do something that they have been doing for so many years may not be a very good idea. Carol repeats that he should do what he wants to do. Suddenly Erik asks Carol the reason for her unhappiness. She is startled and tells him that he should be impersonal. She also has fears about meddling with other people's destinies. She suggests that they should return. Erik looks at her and wonders about how could anyone hurt her. He tells Carol that he would work for one year and save money to go to the East, and find out what he is really good at. On their way back he tells Carol that he is aware that the boys tease him for not being in the army.

They pass Aunt Bessie's house and find Mrs. Bogart and Aunt Bessie staring at them and return their wave with a stiff hand. Mrs. Westlake also keeps looking at them. Carol takes leave of Erik and goes in to meet Mrs. Westlake. Even though she had decided not to give any explanation, she tells her about Erik's interest in books. Mrs. Westlake wants to know if Erik is interested in Myrtle Cass and Carol replies that Myrtle is still a baby.


Carol keeps thinking about Erik and wants to help him. At the same time she does not wish to interfere. She feels responsible for him yet she does not like the initiative he takes to organize a tennis match. He writes the names of the people who agree to play and begs Carol to bring more people. She agrees. He wants Haydock to be the president. Haydock encourages him to make the arrangements for the match. Erik feels happy that he now belongs to Gopher Prairie. On the day of the match, Kennicott tells Carol that he does not want to go to the match but he does not mind Carol going. When Carol reaches the court, she finds Erik alone. Then come, the Woodfords followed by the Dillons. The match is scheduled to start at three but nobody turns up even at three thirty. They start practicing. Kennicott drives up and informs Carol that the match was to be held at the court near the lake and asks Carol to join him. Erik says that he was not informed of the change of the venue of the match. Carol realizes that Erik, the Woodfords and the Dillons were deliberately being left out. She defiantly tells Kennicott that she would play where the match was originally supposed to be held. She also asserts that she considered Haydock to be very rude. Kennicott leaves and they start playing. But they play slowly and painfully on the rough earth. When they walk back home Carol holds Erik's hand.

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