Franz Kafka's Amerika (The Man Who Disappeared)
Chapter 7: A Refuge (Synopsis)
The taxi stops in front of Robinson and Delamarche's apartment, and Delamarche greets Karl with a wicked grin. A ruckus starts, with Karl wanting to leave, but then a policeman shows up and wants to see his ID, which he left at the hotel, and Karl starts running. A chase ensues, ending only when Delamarche finds Karl and hides him. They go back to the apartment, a messy, cluttered affair owned by Brunelda, a huge, querulous, lazy woman who claims to be a rich singer but now sits around her apartment complaining about everything. She thinks Karl will be a good cleaning boy. Then Karl and Robinson are banished to the balcony, where Robinson tells about life with Brunelda and tries to talk Karl into taking the job with them. Brunelda and Delamarche come onto the balcony, just in time to see a political rally for a judicial candidate, which soon collapses into anarchy. Karl tries to escape, only to be thrashed by Delamarche and Brunelda. Karl is sent back to the balcony. Karl looks around and sees a man studying next door, who tells him that although he has little regard for Delamarche & Co., Karl's best bet is to stay where he is. Karl decides to do just that, and goes to sleep on the floor of the apartment.