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On her way back home Carol thinks about various things, about Guy Pollock, about how devoted she is to her husband, and about what should be cooked for breakfast for the next morning. When she reaches home she finds Kennicott waiting for her. He reminds her that it is past eleven and points out that she forgot to close the lower draft in the furnace. He grumbles that the fire may burn out sooner leaving them cold. She informs him that she had gone to visit the Perrys and spent her time at Guy Pollock’s office because the Perrys were not at home.
She casually questions Kennicott about Dr. Westlake. Kennicott is of the opinion that he has an abscess in his teeth but thinks he has rheumatism. He also tells her that a doctor has to go to bed early because he may be called up any time to attend to the patients. He winds the clock, checks the front door and the furnace and prepares to go to bed. Carol changes into her nightclothes behind the closet door. She inquires about Dr. Westlake’s professional abilities. Kennicott calls him a wise old coot. Carol is sure that her husband harbors no professional jealousy. But Kennicott goes on to tell her that he knows many languages and lets people think that he must have studied at Oxford or Harvard University whereas he had studied at a college in Pennsylvania. Regarding his honesty, he asserts that he calls on the patients for longer than necessary and over charges them. He does not grudge Dr. Westlake or his son-in-law Dr. McGanum any money they can get away from him. But he calls them sly because they had performed an appendectomy on Dawson’s grand child when he was away at Lac-qui-Merut and charged a hundred and fifty dollars. He asserts that Dr. Westlake has some intuition, whereas his son-in law has none. He also adds that both Mrs. Westlake and Mrs. Mc Ganum tried to get as much business for their husbands as they could by advertising their husbands’ skills.
Carol counters, that she is the one who tries to be what the town wants her to be. Though she admires Lake Minniemashie, people laughed at her when she wanted to see Taormina. Kennicott says that his income is too small to match her taste. He accuses her of spending too much money on grocery. Carol points out that it was because she did not get a fixed amount for household expenditure so that she could prepare a budget for her expenditure. Kennicott claims that he gave money regularly and generously. Carol remarks that he gives her money as if she were his mistress. A mistress had the privilege to spend the money on herself but in Carol’s case the condition was that she should spend it for him.