Transcript of The Third Level Summary
The Third Level by Jack Finney Summary WHen the story starts, you are introduced to Charley, an ordinary, thirty-one year old guy. Charley tells you that he likes to explore Grand Central station, and that he is always finding new tunnels and exits to explore. One day, while Charley is exploring, he encounters a Third Level of the station. He walks through a tunnel and finds himself once again in Grand Central station, but it looks entirely different. The rooms are smaller, there are open-flame gaslights and brass spittoons on the floor. people are wearing derby hats, and their dresses have leg-of-mutton sleeves. He is in 1894. Charley tries to buy two tickets to Galesburg, illinois, but the clerk, not reconizing the money that Charley had (he was from the future), accuses him of giving him conterfeit money. Charley gets away from the clerk. Later, he withdraws less than two-hundred dollars from the bank, in old style currency. Charley gets back to the future (or present techinically), and he tells his wife, Louisa, about the magical tunnel on the third level of Grand Central Station that transports you back in time. Louisa wants him to stop looking for the tunnel, but he countinues to, for a little while. Charley stops looking for the third level and he goes back to collecting stamps for his stamp collection. BUt a few weeks later, he starts looking for the third level again, his wife does to, because now he has proof that the third level exists. His friend, Sam Weiner disappeared. Charley thinks that Sam is in Galesburg in 1894! Sam thinks this because when stamps are first made, they get a first-day cover, which is where a stamp collecter will buy a stamp and and use them to mail enevelopes to themselves and the postmark on the envelope proves the date. The envelope would never be opened, it just has blank paper inside of it. One night, Charley finds a first-day cover that he didn't have before. It was addressed to his grandfather in Galesburg in 1894. But the paper inside of it isn't blank. There is a letter inside of the envelope. It says:Full transcript
941 Willard Street
July 18, 1894
I got to wishing that you were right. Then I got to believing you were right. And, Charley, it's true; I found the third level! I've been here two weeks, and right now, down the street at the Dalys', someone is playing a piano, and they're all out on the front Porch singing, “Seeing Nellie home.” And I'm invited over for lemonade. Come on back, Charley and Louisa. Keep looking till you find the third level! It's worth it, believe me!
The note was signed Sam. Charley goes to the stamp-and-coin store and finds out that Sam withdrew eight-hundred dollars in 1894 money. He figured that eight-hundred dollars should probably set him up in a nice hay, feed and grain business. Anyway, that's what he always said he wanted to do, and he can't resume his old job. His old job wasn't in Galesburg, Illinois in 1894. Sam was Charley's psychiatrist in the present!