Study Guide

The Price of Salt, or Carol Chapter 7

By Patricia Highsmith

Chapter 7

  • Therese pawns a necklace that Richard gave her to get some money.
  • She uses that money to buy a handbag for Carol. The handbag costs $71.18, which is $638 in 2015 money (source).
  • It's Therese's last night working at the department store, and she goes to a bar with Carol afterward.
  • Carol seems unsettled, but she won't tell Therese what's going on.
  • She doesn't want to talk about her failing marriage, so she asks Therese about Richard.
  • Carol thinks that Therese knows Richard better than she knows her own husband; she thinks marrying Harge was a mistake.
  • After a few drinks, they purchase a Christmas tree and take it to Carol's house to decorate it.
  • It's late, so Therese spends the night.
  • She sleeps in Harge's room.
  • In the morning, the women have a visitor in the form of Carol's friend Abby, who joins them for coffee.
  • Therese sips her coffee and listens to Carol and Abby talk. The coffee isn't bitter, but Therese is—she's bitter that Abby can make Carol laugh, but she can't.
  • For some unknown reason, Abby drives Therese home instead of Carol.
  • Abby asks Therese how they met, and Therese says, "In a store" (7.201).
  • When she gets home, Therese gives Abby the really expensive purse to give to Carol as a Christmas gift.