The Round House

Joe is a thirteen-year-old Chippewa boy living on a reservation in Minnesota. The novel's narrator and protagonist, he is the son of Bazil and Geraldine Coutts. Throughout the novel, the reader observes as Joe struggles to cope with the aftermath of his mother's violent rape, which leaves Geraldine traumatized while Bazil and Joe try fruitlessly to help her heal. As Geraldine's trauma and Bazil's preoccupation with her recovery leave Joe without much parental oversight, Joe focuses on trying to figure out who raped his mother. When Joe learns that a man named Linden Lark is the perpetrator, but he cannot be prosecuted because of a loophole in tribal law, Joe has a strenuous internal debate over what to do, as well as long discussions with his father and others about different kinds of justice. Ultimately, Joe kills Linden with the help of his friend Cappy in order to keep his family out of danger. Although this brings Brazil and Geraldine peace, Joe struggles with the emotional burden of his choice, which catapults him into adulthood. Along the way, Joe comes into his sexuality and experiments with drugs and alcohol alongside his friends Cappy, Angus, and Zack. The novel, then, simultaneously tells the story of Joe’s coming of age and the story of solving a mystery and avenging a crime.

Joe Coutts Quotes in The Round House

The The Round House quotes below are all either spoken by Joe Coutts or refer to Joe Coutts. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of The Round House published in 2013.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Small trees had attacked my parents' house at the foundation… As my father prodded away blindly at the places where he sensed roots might have penetrated, he was surely making convenient holes in the mortar for next year's seedlings… it seemed increasingly important to me that each one of these invaders be removed down to the very tip of the root, where all the vital growth was concentrated. And it seemed important as well that I do a meticulous job… It was almost impossible not to break off the plant before its roots could be drawn intact from their stubborn hiding place.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Bazil
Related Symbols: The Uprooted Trees
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

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I was parsing out the idea, established in other cases and reinforced in this one, that our treaties with the government were like treaties with foreign nations. That the grandeur and power my Mooshum talked about wasn’t entirely lost, as it was, at least to some degree I meant to know, still protected by the law.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Mooshum
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 2 Quotes

From the government's point of view, the only way you can tell an Indian is an Indian is to look at that person's history. There must be ancestors from way back who signed some document or were recorded as Indians by the U.S. government … after that you have to look at that person's blood quantum… In other words, being an Indian is in some ways a tangle of red tape. On the other hand, Indians know other Indians without the need for a federal pedigree, and this knowledge—like love, sex, or having or not having a baby—has nothing to do with government.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker)
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:

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I didn’t like being prayed for. As I turned away I felt the prayers creeping up my spine. But that was Randall, too, always ready to make you feel a little uncomfortable with the earnest superiority of all that he was learning from the elders, even your own elders, for your benefit.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Randall Lafournais
Page Number: 37-38
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We were not churchgoers. This was our ritual. Our breaking bread, our communion… But now they stood staring at each other helplessly over the broken dish… If we'd sat down together that night, I do believe things would have gone on… Anything would have been better than the frozen suspension of feeling in which she mounted the stairs… My father and I had followed her to the doorway, and I think as we watched her we both had the sense that she was ascending to a place of utter loneliness from which she might never be retrieved.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Geraldine, Bazil
Page Number: 43
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We read with a concentrated intensity. My father had become convinced that somewhere within his bench briefs, memos, summaries, and decisions lay the identity of the man whose act had nearly severed my mother’s spirit from her body.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Geraldine, Bazil
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 3 Quotes

I had imagined that my father decided great questions of the law, that he worked on treaty rights, land restoration, that he looked murderers in the eye, that he frowned while witnesses stuttered and silenced clever lawyers with a slice of irony. I said nothing, but as I read on I was flooded by a slow leak of dismay… Where was the greatness? The Drama? The respect?

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Bazil
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4 Quotes

During the old days when Indians could not practice their religion— well … pre-1978—the round house had been used for ceremonies. People pretended it was a social dance hall or brought their Bibles for gatherings… By the time the priest or the BIA superintendent arrived, the water drums and eagle feathers … and sacred pipes were in a couple of motorboats halfway across the lake… There was one old Catholic priest who used to sit down with the medicine people… The old priest had learned the songs. No priest knew those songs now.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Round House
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5 Quotes

Now you listen to me, Joe. You will not badger me or harass me. You will leave me to think the way I want to think, here. I have to heal any way I can. You will stop asking questions and you will not give me any worry. You will not go after him. You will not terrify me, Joe. I’ve had enough fear for my whole life. You will not add to my fear. You will not add to my sorrows. You will not be part of this… All of this… It is all a violation.

Related Characters: Geraldine (speaker), Joe Coutts, Linden Lark
Page Number: 89-90
Explanation and Analysis:

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I should have told you I am proud of you… But do you understand that if something should happen to you, Joe, that your mother and I would … we couldn't bear it. You give us life…
You gave me life, I said. That’s how it's supposed to work. So let me do what I want with it! I ran for my bike…He tried to catch at me with his arms but I swerved at the last moment and put on a burst of speed that put me out of his reach.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Bazil (speaker), Geraldine
Page Number: 93-94
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

We came to the tree that people call the hanging tree, a huge oak. The sun was in its branches. There were prayer flags, strips of cloth. Red, blue, green, white, the old time Anishinaabe colors of the directions, according to Randall. Some cloths were faded, some new. This was the tree where those ancestors were hanged. None of the killers ever went on trial. I could see the land of their descendants, already full of row crops.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Randall Lafournais, Sonja
Related Symbols: The Uprooted Trees
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:

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You don’t swear on the job, said Sonja. You’re representing something.
Okay.
We drove for a few miles. I asked what I was representing.
Reservation-based free market enterprise. People are watching us.
Who's watching us?
White people. I mean, resentful ones. You know? Like those Larks who owned Vinland. He's been here, but he’s nice to me. Like, he's not so bad.
Linden?
Yeah, that one.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Sonja (speaker), Linden Lark
Page Number: 141
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Now the crane Mom used to watch, or its offspring, flapped slowly past my window. That evening it cast the image not of itself but of an angel on my wall…Through some refraction of brilliance the wings arched up from the slender body. Then the feathers took fire so the creature was consumed by light.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Geraldine
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

I suppose I am one of those people who just hates Indians generally… my feeling is that Indian women are—what he called us, I don't want to say… He said we have no standing under the law for a good reason and yet have continued to diminish the white man and to take his honor… I won't get caught, he said… I know as much law as a judge. Know any judges? I have no fear… The strong should rule the weak. Instead of the weak the strong! It is the weak who pull down the strong.

Related Characters: Geraldine (speaker), Linden Lark (speaker), Joe Coutts, Bazil, Mayla Wolfskin
Page Number: 161
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I won’t touch her, see? Even though some prick she's stringing along bought her diamond earrings. I won’t touch her. But she is dirty. His eyes rolled toward her, red with weeping now. Dirty. Someone else, Joe.

Related Characters: Whitey (speaker), Joe Coutts, Sonja
Page Number: 175
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As he dragged himself along … Nanapush sang the buffalo song although it made him cry. It broke his heart. He remembered how when he was a small boy the buffalo had filled the world. Once, when he was little, the hunters came down to the river. Nanapush climbed a tree to look back where the buffalo came from. They covered the earth at that time. They were endless. He had seen that glory. Where had they gone? … people had seen white men shoot thousands off a train car, and leave them to rot.

Related Characters: Mooshum (speaker), Joe Coutts, Nanapush
Page Number: 184-185
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Chapter 9 Quotes

It was true, however, that Mooshum had still been a child when his family left behind their neat cabin, their lands, their barn and sweet water well, and fled Batoche after Louis Riel was caught and sentenced to be hanged. They came down over the border, where they were not exactly welcomed with open arms. Still, they were taken in by an unusually kind-hearted chief who told the U.S. government that maybe it threw away its half-breed children and gave them no land, but that the Indians would take these children into their hearts.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Mooshum
Page Number: 201
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I lay awake thinking of the place on the hill, the holy wind in the grass, and how the structure had cried out to me. I could see a part of something larger, an idea, a truth, but just a fragment. I could not see the whole, but just a shadow of that way of life.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Mooshum
Related Symbols: The Round House
Page Number: 215
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You’re crying, aren’t you? Cry all you want, Joe. Lots of men cry after they do something nasty to a woman… I thought of you like my son. But you just turned into another piece a shit guy. Another gimme-gimme asshole, Joe. That’s all you are.

Related Characters: Sonja (speaker), Joe Coutts
Page Number: 222-223
Explanation and Analysis:

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These are the decisions that I and many other tribal judges try to make. Everything we do, no matter how trivial, must be crafted keenly. We are trying to build a solid base here for our sovereignty. We try to press against the boundaries of what we are allowed… Our records will be scrutinized by Congress one day and decisions on whether to enlarge our jurisdiction will be made. Some day. We want the right to prosecute criminals of all races on all lands within our original boundaries… What I am doing now is for the future, though it may seem small, or trivial, or boring, to you.

Related Characters: Bazil (speaker), Joe Coutts
Page Number: 229-230
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10 Quotes

Every time there is an evil, much good comes of it— people in these circumstances choose to do an extra amount of good, show unusual love, become stronger in their devotion to Jesus… I have seen it in people who go their own ways, your traditionals, and never come to mass except for funerals… They come to the wakes. Even if they are so poor they have nothing, they give the last of their nothing to another human. We are never so poor that we cannot bless another human, are we? So it is that every evil, whether moral or material, results in good.

Related Characters: Father Travis (speaker), Joe Coutts
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 11 Quotes

I should have felt happy watching them across the table, but instead I was angered by their ignorance. Like I was the grown-up and the two of them holding hands were oblivious children. They had no idea what I had gone through for them.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Geraldine, Bazil
Page Number: 305
Explanation and Analysis:

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Behind them in the next room the shelves of old books stood… Meditations. Plato. The Iliad. Shakespeare… There was William Warren, Basil Johnston, The Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner, and everything by Vine Deloria Jr… I looked at the books as if they could help us. But we had moved way far past books now into the stories Mooshum told in his sleep. There were no quotations in my father’s repertoire for where we were, and it was beyond me at the time to think of Mooshum’s sleeptalking as a reading of traditional case law.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Mooshum, Geraldine, Bazil
Page Number: 307
Explanation and Analysis:

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In all those miles… there was nothing to be said. I cannot remember speaking and I cannot remember my mother or my father speaking. I knew that they knew everything. The sentence was to endure… I do remember, though, the familiar sight of the roadside café just before we would cross the reservation line. On every one of my childhood trips that place was always a stop for ice cream, coffee and a newspaper, pie… But we did not stop this time. We passed over in a sweep of sorrow that would persist into our small forever. We just kept going.

Related Characters: Joe Coutts (speaker), Cappy Lafournais, Geraldine, Bazil
Page Number: 317
Explanation and Analysis:

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Get the entire The Round House LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Joe Coutts Character Timeline in The Round House

The timeline below shows where the character Joe Coutts appears in The Round House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter One: 1988
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The Round House opens as the narrator, Joe, describes himself and his father Bazil weeding saplings that have grown into the foundation of... (full context)
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When Joe finally quits weeding the trees, he goes into Bazil’s study to peruse Bazil’s copy of... (full context)
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Bazil walks into the study and Joe hides the book under the table. Bazil then asks Joe where Geraldine is. Joe and... (full context)
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Bazil and Joe exit the house to borrow Joe’s uncle Edward’s car and find Geraldine. Joe explains to... (full context)
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Once they are halfway to the grocery store, it occurs to Joe that it is closed on Sundays. Bazil keeps driving, however, and suddenly Geraldine speeds past... (full context)
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When they get to the house, Joe and Bazil see that Geraldine is still in her car. Bazil runs toward her, realizing... (full context)
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Bazil tells Joe to tell Clemence that he is taking Geraldine to the emergency room. He lays Geraldine... (full context)
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Joe sits down in the waiting room across from a pregnant woman who is reading a... (full context)
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...Geraldine has had a miscarriage or has been raped. The woman then looks back at Joe to see his reaction. Joe walks over to the woman, takes the magazine from her... (full context)
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Later, the pregnant woman leaves the waiting room, so Joe goes back inside and calls Clemence, who, upon talking with Joe, leaves for the hospital... (full context)
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Bazil hopes the police will come quickly. When Joe asks “which police?” (meaning tribal or not) Bazil responds, “exactly.” Three officers arrive at the... (full context)
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When Bazil and Joe go back into Geraldine’s room, Geraldine’s doctor, Dr. Egge, is there. Dr. Egge suggests that... (full context)
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Joe interrupts his narrative to say that, years after Geraldine’s attack, after he had gone into... (full context)
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Joe asks Clemence if his mother was raped, and she says yes. Joe then asks if... (full context)
Chapter Two: Lonely Among Us
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Joe retrospectively states that when he was an adolescent, he had three friends, and one of... (full context)
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Cappy walks Joe home after Joe’s first day back to school. Though they normally spend time at one... (full context)
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Joe feels a “tremendous hush” in the house and runs up to his parent’s bedroom to... (full context)
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Joe rides his bike to his uncle Whitey’s gas station, where Sonja, Whitey’s wife, is working... (full context)
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After Sonja brings Pearl over, Joe complains to Bazil over dinner that Pearl is too old to play fetch. Geraldine is... (full context)
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Bazil tells Joe they aren’t sure whether the attacker is still after Geraldine, or whether the attacker is... (full context)
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One night, Bazil decides to cook dinner. Joe goes to get a pie from Clemence for dessert. At Clemence’s house, Whitey, Mooshum, and... (full context)
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The men return to discussing the rape, but quickly stop when they remember Joe’s presence. Mooshum asks Whitey to tell him about “Red Sonja,” referring to Sonja’s old stripping... (full context)
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As Joe is walking home with the pie, Doe Lafournais pulls up in his car and offers... (full context)
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After dinner, Joe goes to the Lafournais household to help Randall with his sweat lodge. Joe and Cappy... (full context)
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It is a hot night, and Joe feels envious of the guys going into the sweat lodge, since when they come out... (full context)
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Randall comes and sits next to Joe. He tells Joe that he saw a vision in the lodge as he was praying... (full context)
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...is concerned because Native rape cases often do not get prosecuted. On Friday, Bazil tells Joe he needs help cleaning his office, so Joe goes with him to sweep and tidy.... (full context)
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Bazil enters the house before Joe, and, as Joe walks in after him, he hears a crash and a cry. Joe... (full context)
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After Geraldine closes the bedroom door, Bazil and Joe clean up the broken casserole together. Afterward, Bazil tells Joe to help him bring the... (full context)
Chapter Three: Justice
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Joe, looking at the files with Bazil, reads a court decision about a casino employee who... (full context)
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...dismissed because Linda was not formally adopted, legally Native, or actually mentally impaired. Bazil tells Joe that after the Wishkob children found out what Grace Lark had tried to do, they... (full context)
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When Bazil leaves to get more coffee, Joe reads the last case file. It describes how, during a ceremony at the round house,... (full context)
Chapter Four: Loud as a Whisper
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Joe, Cappy, Zack, and Angus all love bike riding, as it gives them a sense of... (full context)
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Joe hears what he thinks is a sound coming from the round house itself. Joe goes... (full context)
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Joe focuses his thoughts on how exactly his mother escaped, mentally tracing her route. Joe then... (full context)
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When Cappy, Zack, and Angus arrive, they find Joe sitting outside of the round house and with the gas can at his feet. Joe,... (full context)
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Joe and the other boys eat the sandwiches that Joe packed. Once they finish, Joe begins... (full context)
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...the beers and then scan the area for evidence, laughing and joking as they look. Joe pokes the pile of clothes with a stick and then suggests that they leave the... (full context)
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...boys hear a loud whistle in the woods, startling them. They quickly decide to leave. Joe ties the gas can to his bike and then the boys ride off. Realizing that... (full context)
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...the retirement home where Grandma Thunder lives, and they stop in the lobby so that Joe can call Bazil and tell him where he is. On the phone, Joe asks Bazil... (full context)
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As the boys walk toward Grandma Thunder’s apartment, Joe tries to apologize to Cappy. Cappy cuts him off, though, and says that Joe bought... (full context)
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...share stories about their own sex lives. They linger a while before leaving the apartment. Joe and Cappy switch their shoes back, but Joe feels that Cappy, a loyal friend, would... (full context)
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As Joe arrives back home, Pearl meets him at the door. Joe feeds Pearl an extra sandwich... (full context)
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...the rape in the round house could have been a symbolic assertion of Catholic supremacy. Joe thinks that this sounds plausible. (full context)
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Joe falls asleep on the couch and later wakes up to the sounds of Edward and... (full context)
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As Joe ruminates on the attack, he wonders again about the file Geraldine went back to the... (full context)
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The next morning, Joe wakes up early and makes toast. Bazil comes into the kitchen to make coffee and... (full context)
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When Bazil returns, Joe asks what he meant when he said that ghosts are “out there.” Bazil explains that... (full context)
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Joe tells his father not to worry about the ghost, and Bazil agrees. Joe suggests they... (full context)
Chapter Five: The Naked Now
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...weeks go by, however, Geraldine does not improve and the garden grows wild. Bazil informs Joe that he is going to plant Geraldine’s garden for her. He buys flowers and directs... (full context)
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Bazil leaves to buy more plants. Joe makes himself a sandwich and then makes one for his mother, which he carries up... (full context)
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Geraldine pulls away from Joe. Joe tells Geraldine he needs to talk to her, and Geraldine says she is tired,... (full context)
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...done with their work, Bazil pulls out lawn chairs so they can sit and talk. Joe brings out the gas can he found in the lake and shows it to his... (full context)
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Joe, knowing that Bazil would call their relatives and Joe’s friends to try to find out... (full context)
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Joe begins to dose off when he hears footsteps and opens his eyes to see Father... (full context)
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When Father Travis is out of sight, Joe processes the interaction. Joe thinks he wants Father Travis dead if there is indeed definitely... (full context)
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...will be out of sight. They listen as Father Travis goes to the bathroom, then Joe crawls to the living room window, where Joe can see Father Travis drinking a Michelob... (full context)
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...Travis hears them, runs out the door, and grabs Angus by the throat. Cappy and Joe walk back to help him. (full context)
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Father Travis tells the boys that he believes they were spying on him because Joe thinks Father Travis assaulted his mother, since earlier that day Joe asked him for an... (full context)
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...so he came home and got ordained. The priest asks if they have questions, and Joe comments on Travis’s gopher shooting. Father Travis dismisses them with a wave of his hand,... (full context)
Chapter Six: Datalore
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When Joe returns home, he and Bazil act like their fight did not happen. Bazil tells Joe... (full context)
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When Bazil and Joe meet Linda at the post office where she works, Joe is surprised by how “magnetically... (full context)
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A few days later, Linda arrives at the house, hoping to talk to Geraldine. Joe tells her that Geraldine is sleeping, and Linda waits in the living room for her... (full context)
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...offset from the rest of the narrative by a title proclaiming “Linda’s Story.” Linda tells Joe and Bazil how she was born after Linden and she struggled to take their first... (full context)
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Linda goes silent, and Joe, struggling to think of what to say, tries to comfort Linda. Bazil asks why Linda... (full context)
Chapter Seven: Angel One
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One morning, Joe rides to Edward and Clemence’s house. When Joe arrives, he finds Mooshum outside, tangled in... (full context)
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When Clemence comes back from mass, Joe bikes to the lake to look for cranes. Joe spots a heron. Suddenly, the heron... (full context)
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When Joe gets to the gas station, he walks in with the doll hidden under his shirt.... (full context)
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Sonja and Joe drive around the area together, opening several savings accounts in Joe’s name at different banks.... (full context)
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As they drive back home, Joe says that he wants to use the money to buy shoes like Cappy’s and he... (full context)
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When Joe gets home from putting away the money with Sonja, Bazil and Soren Bjerke, the FBI... (full context)
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Joe gets a glass of milk and a slice of cake. Feeling guilty about the doll,... (full context)
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When Joe gets back from the bathroom, Bazil and Soren give Joe a citation for underage drinking,... (full context)
Chapter Eight: Hide and Q
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Joe discusses Geraldine’s job as the tribe enrollment specialist, describing how she determines who qualifies for... (full context)
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Joe, Bazil, and Soren then return upstairs. Bazil goes into the bedroom and says something inaudible... (full context)
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...Bazil that she was raped. Bazil encourages Geraldine to tell him what she remembers. With Joe still present, Geraldine tells Bazil that the call she received on the day of her... (full context)
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The narrative cuts to Joe eating cereal in his kitchen. He is going to work at the gas station when... (full context)
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Joe goes to work at the gas station. When he gets back that night, Bazil tells... (full context)
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After Joe works at the gas station the next day, Whitey and Sonja take Joe and Pearl... (full context)
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Sonja gives Joe a pillow from her bed to sleep with, and Joe is turned on by the... (full context)
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During one of the days that Joe is staying with Sonja and Whitey, Whitey notices at breakfast that Sonja is wearing earrings... (full context)
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Joe walks over to the car. The white man who is in the front seat tells... (full context)
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Angry, Joe wants to quit, but he must stay because Whitey is gone. Whitey returns at eleven,... (full context)
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Sonja interrupts by walking inside the store to ring Larose up for her purchases. Outside, Joe sees that Whitey has wandered off to the nearby bar, so Joe starts to fix... (full context)
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When the day is over, Sonja, Whitey, and Joe all get in the car and head back to the house. Everything seems normal that... (full context)
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Sonja instructs Joe to go to sleep in the bed. Joe tells Sonja he knows she used the... (full context)
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When Joe arrives at Clemence’s, he tells Clemence that he quit his job at the station. Clemence... (full context)
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Mooshum suddenly stops talking, and Joe is upset that he has not heard the story’s ending. Soon, however, Joe falls back... (full context)
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With the story finished, Mooshum goes back to sleep. Joe also falls asleep and forgets the story until the next day, when Bazil comes to... (full context)
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...swimming. After a half an hour, an older boy and a very beautiful girl around Joe’s age approach them. The boy asks them to leave because the beach is reserved for... (full context)
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...The boy (whose name turns out to be Neal) begins to come to and Cappy, Joe, and Zack pretend that he has converted them. They put their clothes back on, and... (full context)
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...that afternoon, the boys join the youth group in order to hang out with Zelia. Joe, Angus, and Zack watch Cappy and Zelia flirt, knowing that they have no chance with... (full context)
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When Joe gets home, Geraldine is more subdued than she had been before, and is resting upstairs.... (full context)
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Joe, Cappy and Angus discover a search-and-rescue unit a few days later while biking. At the... (full context)
Chapter Nine: The Big Good-bye
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Joe describes Mooshum’s childhood, beginning with his conception during a berry-picking camp and his birth during... (full context)
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This year, at his annual party, Mooshum sits outside with Grandma Ignatia and Joe. Mooshum and Grandma Ignatia banter raunchily about sex and their former lovers. Grandma Ignatia asks... (full context)
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More people join them outside. Clemence and Edward take pictures as Joe’s cousins Joseph and Evey carry the cake to Mooshum. Mooshum tries to blow out the... (full context)
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Joe sits with Mooshum, who is smiling widely at the excitement. Joe knows that the party... (full context)
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Joe sees his parents and his friends’ parents sitting outside, but does not see Zack, Angus,... (full context)
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The next morning, Joe is preoccupied with making sure that Geraldine’s attacker will be brought to justice so that... (full context)
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Bazil tells Joe that since Grace’s death Linden has been living in her house, which was searched after... (full context)
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Joe sleeps in the same room as Mooshum. He wakes up in the middle of the... (full context)
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After Joe has been at Clemence and Edward’s house for a few days, his aunt and uncle... (full context)
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Sonja gets angry, and Joe tells Sonja that if she doesn’t let him stay, he will tell Whitey about the... (full context)
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...she comes out of the bathroom, she drops the bag with her stripper outfit at Joe’s feet and tells him angrily to masturbate in it, then throws a tassel at his... (full context)
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Sonja asks angrily if she treated Joe well, and he says yes. Sonja says that she knew all along he was looking... (full context)
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Joe sees one of the tassels that Sonja wore on the floor, picks it up, and... (full context)
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Joe goes to Cappy’s house, where he finds Cappy slumped in a lawn chair. When Joe... (full context)
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Joe heads toward home, hoping to avoid Sonja, but then decides to take his bike to... (full context)
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Bazil comes back inside and leads Geraldine upstairs. When he comes back down, Joe implores Bazil not to leave her alone, but Bazil ignores him. Joe asks Bazil why... (full context)
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Joe realizes that each utensil represents a separate court decision that monumentally impacted Native rights. Bazil... (full context)
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The narrative cuts to Joe and Cappy biking over the hills behind the hospital, both trying to blow off steam.... (full context)
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...the graveyard, and back to the church playground. Cappy starts to run toward Angus and Joe, ready to jump on his bike, when Father Travis grabs Cappy and lifts him up.... (full context)
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Later, at Clemence’s house, Joe asks what Cappy was thinking when he told Father Travis about having sex in the... (full context)
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When Mooshum finishes his story, he changes the subject to Sonja. Clemence tells Joe that Sonja left Whitey yesterday while he was at the gas station, with a note... (full context)
Chapter Ten: Skin of Evil
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Linda arrives at the house and Bazil lets her in. Joe, who has sorted out his feelings toward Linda, decides he resents her because Linden is... (full context)
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Together, Bazil and Joe pick up the things on Geraldine’s grocery list. As they turn into the meat aisle,... (full context)
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...heart attack; he lies on the floor of the grocery aisle and struggles to breathe. Joe calls an ambulance and Joe rides with him to the hospital. Joe and Geraldine stay... (full context)
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...second-to-last day that they are in Fargo, Geraldine goes to get coffee and Bazil asks Joe about Linden’s whereabouts. Joe doesn’t know, but later that night, while Geraldine is out of... (full context)
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Geraldine is confused about why Linden would call Sonja “rich.” Joe, upset, puts a pillow over his head. They lie there a while, then go to... (full context)
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Joe wakes up early on the rainy day they leave Fargo. Geraldine, Bazil, and Joe drive... (full context)
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Joe describes how many people on the reservation have experience with Catholicism because of boarding school,... (full context)
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On Sunday Joe goes to mass with Angus. Joe is the only one who stays for catechism class... (full context)
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Later, Joe rides his bike to the Lafournais house, where he finds Cappy weight lifting. Cappy stops... (full context)
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Joe hints that he is not just planning on shooting gophers, and Cappy understands that Joe... (full context)
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Joe and Cappy ride back to Cappy’s house to practice shooting. The boys set up cans... (full context)
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Eventually, Joe, who has a strict curfew, has to go home. He plans to use some of... (full context)
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Joe thinks how his mother, even though she is doing reasonably better, has changed since her... (full context)
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Joe tries not to face the entire reality of what he is about to do because... (full context)
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Joe orchestrates running into Linda during her lunch. He goes to the sandwich bar that Linda... (full context)
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...for the second time, rather than celebrate her date of birth. The shrimp arrives and Joe forgets that he had decided to hate Linda because, in fact, he really likes her.... (full context)
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Joe then asks Linda if Linden plays golf, and Linda looks at Joe and blinks. Joe,... (full context)
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Joe looks out the window and sees Bugger Pourier stealing his bicycle. He excuses himself from... (full context)
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Cappy suggests that they look for rocks for Randall’s sweat lodge, so Cappy and Joe go out into the woods with a plastic sled and collect large stones. As they... (full context)
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For the rest of the week, Joe feels sick from the shrimp he ate with Linda. While he is resting in bed,... (full context)
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People start to fill the bleachers to watch the dances. Cappy and Joe set up a tent for Randall to prep himself in, and Cappy teases Randall as... (full context)
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When Joe arrives at the house, he waits until dark, then puts on gloves and walks to... (full context)
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The next morning, Joe and Cappy wake up at the campground and eat breakfast that Cappy’s relatives Suzette and... (full context)
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Randall approaches Joe and Cappy as they watch the dancers and informs them that the house was broken... (full context)
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The next week, Joe wakes up at sunrise and tells his parents he is going for a run. Joe... (full context)
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On Thursday Joe goes to the overlook again, even though it is raining. After an hour, Linden shows... (full context)
Chapter Eleven: The Child
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When Cappy and Joe reach the oak tree, they turn and look down at Linden’s body. Cappy drops to... (full context)
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...gun under Linda’s front porch and then get back in the car and drive to Joe’s house. Cappy pulls over to let Joe out on the road to his house when... (full context)
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When Joe comes back, he says that he has the summer flu. Whitey continues to talk about... (full context)
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As the boys head out back, Cappy asks Joe if Whitey knows they killed Linden. Joe says that he thinks so, since he threw... (full context)
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When Joe and Cappy wake up, Whitey tells them to eat another sandwich and to touch the... (full context)
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Bazil tells Joe to sit down and says that Linden is dead. Joe says he thinks that’s good.... (full context)
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During the next week, Joe actually does contract the flu. During the police investigation, Whitey attests to Joe and Cappy’s... (full context)
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Joe sees an empty pickle jar in the kitchen and he freezes, remembering that he had... (full context)
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First Joe rides to the post office. The other postal workers tell Joe that Linda has taken... (full context)
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Once they finish their sandwiches, Linda tells Joe that she realizes that he got his information about the golf course from her, leading... (full context)
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Joe surprises both Linda and himself by asking why Linden raped Geraldine. Linda replies that Linden... (full context)
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Joe suddenly is filled with dread, and he asks Linda if he (Joe) is “like” Linden.... (full context)
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Lastly, Linda tells Joe to tell “whoever did it” to “rest easy.” Linda then changes the subject and asks... (full context)
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The narrative jumps forward to Joe, Angus, Cappy, and Zack hanging out together at the edge of the construction site on... (full context)
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...about how Father Travis chased Cappy around after his confession about having sex with Zelia. Joe brings up the possibly of Zelia having gotten pregnant, and Cappy says that he wished... (full context)
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Joe suggests that they get food, but Zack, Cappy, and Angus have fallen asleep. After a... (full context)
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Geraldine tells Joe to put the spaghetti on a plate, then she asks if he was smoking cigarettes.... (full context)
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Bazil addresses Joe and brings up Linden’s death, saying that he was at first felt relieved to know... (full context)
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...as a judge, would say if he knew anything about the murderer’s identity. He tells Joe that he ultimately decided that he would not say anything, because there are “many kinds... (full context)
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There is a break in the narrative as Joe describes the two dreams he has after the murder: one in which he and Cappy... (full context)
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Several nights later, Joe wakes up again as he’s shouting Cappy’s name. Joe get up and looks around the... (full context)
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Joe decides to look for Bugger to ask what he saw. At the post office, Linda... (full context)
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Joe decides to find Cappy and get drunk. As he rides toward the Lafournais house, he... (full context)
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Joe and Cappy say goodbye to Zack and Angus and then each go home. Joe packs... (full context)
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Angus and Zack show up at Joe’s house and Joe tells them that Cappy is going to pick them up in Randall’s... (full context)
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Joe tells Cappy about finding Mayla’s file in Bazil’s desk and how Mayla’s baby’s father was... (full context)
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Joe is jolted awake as the car hurtles off the road, flips, and lands in a... (full context)
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After the accident, Joe sits in the police station while Zack and Angus are in the hospital. Cappy’s body... (full context)
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No one speaks on the drive back and Joe knows that his parents know everything that happened already. Geraldine and Bazil switch driving on... (full context)