Summary and Analysis Part 3: Chapter 9



Lena wakens early in the night and finds herself alone. Startled, she gets out of bed and looks for Heyst. The lantern still burns and Heyst is standing by the table. She asks him what he is looking for. He asks her if Wang went through this room this evening. Lena doesn't think he did, but Heyst knows that Wang's elusive habits make any stealthy move possible. He evades her question and asks so many of his own that Lena gets the idea that he is accusing her of taking something. Heyst is pained because she has taken the attitude of a servant — a servant under suspicion. He finally admits that what he has missed is of little value — not money. Then he explains where he keeps their money. She is so relieved to know that no money has been stolen that she does not question further. It is his revolver that Heyst misses.

Heyst recalls how he wakened just now with a feeling of being terribly exposed, but to what danger he cannot say. He is sure Wang has taken the revolver. He knows himself completely unarmed and at Wang's mercy. Then he decides that Wang must have taken the revolver this very evening. "The danger is all ahead."

Heyst is too nervous to go back to bed. He sits on the verandah and lights a cheroot. He can't understand why the world has broken in on him like this, and he broods over Schomberg's slander. He is sure that Lena half believes that calumny. He feels stabbed in the back and drained of moral strength. He flings his cigar into the night, and it is observed as a symptom of importance by a watcher "in a state of alertness tense enough to hear the grass grow."