Study Guide

The Golem and the Jinni Chapter 23

By Helene Wecker

Chapter 23

  • When Maryam tells Saleh that Matthew's mother died, and that Matthew went to Ahmad for help, Saleh warns her, "Don't let the boy spend time in the shop. With the Bedouin" (23.39).
  • Speaking of the Bedouin, he's gone to Anna's apartment to answer her blackmail letter.
  • He leaves the money where she requested, beneath a flowerpot. She retrieves the envelope and takes it to her apartment… where the Jinni is waiting for her.
  • He tells her to consider it a loan that will be repaid someday—and if she makes any other threats, "they will be answered" (23.89). Is he going to mold a silver horse's head to put in her bed?
  • Michael goes to a tavern to drink and think about how his wife might be more at home in a late-night monster movie; he has no idea what to do about it.
  • Meanwhile, Matthew demands that the Jinni bring his mother back.
  • To shake that terrible idea out of the boy's head, the Jinni tells him that if he tried, his mother's lost soul would haunt him every night: "Is that what you want for your own mother?" (23.120).
  • The boy runs away in terror.
  • Later, Maryam bursts into the forge, demanding to know why the Jinni scared Matthew so.
  • The Jinni gets defensive and tells Maryam that he "never asked for […] compassion or understanding" (23.138), from her or Arbeely.
  • That's enough for Arbeely: He tells him that their partnership is dissolved, and the Jinni leaves.
  • At her home, Chava finds a note form Michael saying that he won't be home, so she spends her night like she used to, sewing and alone. (Sew alone.)
  • The Jinni wonders where he's going to go. While he's wandering, he bumps into Saleh.
  • He ends up giving the man the key to his apartment, saying, "It's paid through the end of the month" (23.167).
  • Schaalman's dowsing spell leads him to Anna's apartment, where he tells Anna he's looking for a friend, Chava Levy.
  • Anna asks if Ahmad sent him, and Schaalman, trying to con her, says yes.
  • She yells at him, telling him that he won't get his money any faster if he sends people to harass her.
  • The name Ahmad suddenly conjures up an image of scorching hot fire in his head, so he runs from Anna, wondering who this Ahmad might be.
  • At the Spotted Dog tavern, Michael is hunting through his uncle's notes for more information about Chava.
  • He wonders if Joseph Schall knows anything, so he goes to find the man at the Sheltering House.
  • Joseph's room is empty and Michael decides to riffle through his things.
  • He learns that Schall once made a golem from a man named Rotfeld.