Winter’s Bone


Daniel Woodrell

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Winter’s Bone: Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

In the middle of the night, Teardrop comes for Ree and wraps her in her grandmother’s coat. “Fuck this waitin’ shit,” he says. “Let’s go out’n poke ‘em where they live.” Teardrop helps Ree into his truck and together they drive off. Teardrop is high on crank and agitated; he’s tired, he says, of waiting around for something to happen. Ree takes a few drinks of whiskey and falls asleep, and when she opens her eyes again, she and Teardrop have arrived at a house that’s unfamiliar to Ree. While Teardrop talks on the porch with some men, a couple of Dolly women approach Ree. One of them tells her that the Thump women “ganged” her in the same “yellow-bellied way” years before.
Teardrop, shielding Ree symbolically in her grandmother’s coat, whisks her off into the night to take care of unfinished business. While seeking a way to get to the Thump clan, Ree realizes that word of her assault at their hands has spread, and that she is not the Thump women’s only victim—nor is she the only one still angry.
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Teardrop drives Ree around back roads, lamenting that he is too high to sleep, and that Victoria has given away all of his downers to Ree. Eventually, a siren sounds behind them, and Baskin pulls Teardrop over. The two of them nearly get into an altercation—Teardrop demands to know “who [Baskin] told about Jessup.” Baskin pulls a gun on Teardrop, who shows Baskin his own rifle, then calmly drives away.
Teardrop’s drug use frightens and disturbs Ree—it makes him reckless and fierce, and this behavior comes to a head in a run-in with Baskin, a reviled law enforcement figure whose involvement in Jessup’s disappearance may or may not have been significant. Clearly the criminal underworld is just as powerful as the law enforcement in this community.
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