The Stranger Part I Chapters 3 and 4 Summary

     As chapter three opens Meursault's boss asks him about his mother, and Meursault doesn't know exactly how old she is, answering "about sixty." He left for lunch with his friend Emmanuel, and they went to Celeste's restaurant. After lunch he took a nap before going back to work. When he arrived home that night, he met Salamano, his neighbor, on the landing. Salamano has a dog, covered in scabs, that he hates and swears at. Then his other neighbor, Raymond, who is a pimp, came by. Raymond had recently come from a fight he'd been in with some guy on a streetcar who had insulted him. Both of his neighbors seem to be somewhat unsavory characters, yet Meursault makes no judgments about them and is fine with them considering him a friend. Raymond goes on to tell him how one of his women was cheating on him, getting gifts from men on the side, so he beat her up. He wanted to punish her some more, so he asked Meursault to help write a letter to her asking forgiveness and that she return, just so Raymond could spit in her face and throw her out for good. Meursault agreed to write the letter.

     In chapter four Meursault learns that Raymond mailed the letter and goes about his week seeing movies with Emmanuel and having Marie come over on Saturday. They went to the beach together and had a good time before returning to Meursault's place. The next morning they heard Salamano swearing at his dog and fighting coming from Raymond's room. When they arrived, they found Raymond hitting the woman, so Marie wanted to call the police, but Meursault didn't like policemen. Someone must have called the police though because one showed up and questioned Raymond about the incident. Before she left, Marie wanted to know if Meursault loved her, and he said he didn't think so.

     Later Raymond came to Meursault's room to tell him he had told the woman off the way he wanted, but when she slapped him, he had hit her back. Raymond asked if Meursault would be willing to act as a witness for him that the girl had cheated and Meursault agreed. They went out for drinks and a game of pool, which Meursault enjoyed. Meursault saw Salamano looking confused, so Raymond asked him what was wrong, and Salamano told them his dog had run off. Raymond pointed out that the police would probably find him, and he could retrieve him at the pound for a fee. As usual, Salamano began cursing the dog, saying he didn't want to pay to get him back. When he stopped by Meursault's room a short time later; however, he was trembling and concerned that he might never find his dog again. He said good night, but Meursault could hear him crying beyond the door, which made him think of his Maman.

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