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The Return of Chorb

The Return of Chorb


by Vladimir Nabokov

The Prostitute Timeline and Summary

  • The prostitute greets Chorb in the street and tells him it will be twenty-five for the night. She is attractive, with bobbed hair.
  • When she arrives at the hotel with Chorb, the lackey recognizes her (she must do a lot of business there) and winks.
  • Once in the hotel room, she asks Chorb for the money, which he gives. She undresses and gets into bed, and is convinced that Chorb must be into something "kinky" since he doesn’t jump her like a normal prostitute-hiring man.
  • Chorb goes to sleep immediately, which leaves the prostitute effectively alone to survey the room. She looks through a suitcase full of women’s garments, which smell nice and make her sad.
  • The prostitute then looks out the window at the opera house across the street. She sees a stone statue of Orpheus at the corner and then watches the crowds leaving the performance. When the people are all gone, she turns off the light and gets into bed beside Chorb to sleep.
  • About an hour after she falls asleep, the prostitute is woken by the sounds of Chorb screaming. She leaps out of bed.
  • When Chorb realizes that, actually, the woman next to him is a prostitute, not the ghost of his dead wife, he chills out a bit. He also smiles, which freaks out the prostitute considerably. She gets dressed as quickly as possible and is about to leave when the sounds of knocking come at the door.
  • The prostitute opens the door to the Kellers and the lackey. The latter motions for her to come out into the hallway, which she does.
  • Once the Kellers are inside with Chorb, she and the lackey lean against the door to listen, but they hear no conversation.