On the Road
How we cite our quotes:
Horrible nauseas possessed us in the morning. First thing Dean did was go out across the cornfield to see if the car would carry us East. I told him no, but he went anyway. He came back pale. "Man, that’s a detective’s car and every precinct in town knows my fingerprints from the year that I stole five hundred cars. You see what I do with them, I just wanta ride, man! I gotta go! Listen, we’re going to wind up in jail if we don’t get out of here this very instant." (III.8.1)
Dean consistently puts Sal in undeserved danger.
I asked him the circumstances of his being in LA in 1944. "I was arrested in Arizona, the joint absolutely the worst joint I’ve ever been in. I had to escape and pulled the greatest escape in my life, speaking of escapes, you see, in a general way." (III.9.7)
Dean raises an interesting point here about escapes – if one is speaking about escapes in the general way, then what might Dean and Sal actually be escaping from? Notions of the Shrouded Traveler come to mind.
The cop came out. "Were you in an accident coming in"
"Accident? We broke a guy’s waterbag at the junction."
"He says he was hit and run by a bunch in a stolen car." This was one of the few instances Dean and I knew of a Negro’s acting like a suspicious old fool. It so surprised us we laughed. We had to follow the patrolman to the station and there spent an hour waiting in the grass while they telephoned Chicago to get the owner of the Cadillac and verify our position as hired drivers. Mr. Baron said, according to the cop, "Yes, that is my car but I can’t vouch for anything else those boys might have done."
"They were in a minor accident here in Des Moines."
"Yes, you’ve already told me that - what I meant was, I can’t vouch for anything they might have done in the past." (III.9.18-III.9.22)
Dean’s criminality is immediately evident to those around him.