by Albert Camus
Old Salamano Timeline and Summary
- We first see Salamano with his disease-ridden old dog on the stairway to the apartment complex he shares with Meursault.
- Meursault observes that dog and master have been inseparable for eight years, and after living together for so long, the two have started to look like each other. What is more, the pair has a love-hate relationship, much like an old married couple.
- Meursault chats briefly with Salamano until Raymond Sintes enters the scene.
- Salamano then loses his dog. He stands one night at the entrance of the apartment complex looking flustered; Meursault and Raymond try to console him.
- Salamano reveals that his dog disappeared when they were at the Parade Ground. He suspects his pet took off.
- Raymond points out that the dog might have gotten lost and will probably find his way back. Salamano is having none of it. He worries that, even if the dog is found, it will be shot down because of his disgusting scabs. No person would want a creature like that.
- Everyone parts ways on the landing. A minute later, Salamano knocks on Meursault’s door, asking what Meursault thinks will happen to his pet. Meursault tells him about the pound, and suggests that he look there. Disappointed and still quite distraught, old Salamano goes back to his apartment.
- As Meursault prepares for bed, he overhears Salamano crying. He remarks that Salamano has lost his sole companion: the dog that served as a replacement for his wife, children, and friends.
- A few days later, Meursault arrives home to find old Salamano waiting outside his door. Salamano reports that the people at the pound think his dog has been run over. Meursault suggests that he get another dog, but Salamano declines because he "was used to this one."
- Salamano confides in Meursault his love for the dog, stating that he had gotten it after his wife died. Though he hasn’t been happy with either the wife or the dog, he had gotten used to each. He now believes that old age is a total curse, a curse without a cure.
- Meursault yawns and Salamano gets up to leave. He thanks Meursault for his time, and tells him that Maman (Meursault's mother) was fond of his dog. He also tells Meursault that he knows he loved his mother very much, despite the common opinion that he was a bad guy for sending his mother to a home.
- At trial, Salamano testifies as to Meursault’s good character after Marie and Masson. However, the testimony falls on deaf ears, as the trial was colored from the very beginning by a shrewd prosecutor and perhaps a biased judge.
- After the verdict and sentencing are announced, Salamano never sees Meursault again.