Study Guide

The Price of Salt, or Carol Chapter 6

By Patricia Highsmith

Chapter 6

  • Therese hops into Carol's car and Carol drives them to her home in New Jersey.
  • Carol goes to get Therese a coke, and Therese looks around a bit.
  • She spots a picture of Carol and a small girl. Carol has a daughter.
  • They talk a bit about Therese's department store job, then Carol asks Therese to play piano for her.
  • Therese plays piano, and she gets overwhelmed that she's tickling Carol's ivories. Her fingers are touching the same keys Carol has touched. Swoon.
  • No, really—she almost faints and Carol leads her upstairs to take a nap.
  • Therese asks for some hot milk, which Carol brings her.
  • Therese thinks it's delicious. "The milk seemed to taste of bone and blood, of warm flesh, or hair, saltless as chalk yet alive as a growing embryo" (6.82). If there's ever been a reason to go vegan, this description of milk is it.
  • Carol asks Therese about her family, and Therese tells us that her father died, and when her mother remarried, Therese went to go live in a Home, with a capital H, because she didn't like her mother's new husband.
  • The telephone rings, and Carol answers. It's Harge, her husband.
  • He and Carol seem to be going through a divorce, and he's swinging by to pick up some things.
  • Therese offers to leave, but Carol tells her to stay.
  • Therese meets Harge when he arrives, then he and Carol talk a bit about Rindy, their daughter.
  • After he leaves, Carol takes Therese to the train station instead of driving her home.
  • Therese asks if she will see Carol again, and Carol smiles. We think that's a yes.