He asks for work which Elisa says she hasn’t. He asks for seeds for a lady on his route. Elisa gives him seedlings with instructions, and then she finds work for him which he does professionally. To celebrate the sale Henry drives her to Salinas for dinner at the Cominos Hotel and a movie; they drive past the tinker on the road and she privately weeps. 2.
The White Quail Mary has her garden designed before its lot is bought, before she’s married. She picks Harry because she thinks the garden will like him. After the house is built and the garden established Harry finds her perfect though untouchable. She doesn’t care for his occupation (making loans for cars); it’s unfair.
She routinely locks him from her tiny bedroom on the garden. He tries the lock and leaves quietly. She refuses to let him have a setter pup since it might damage her garden. After a white quail visits the cement pond she fears a cat will come and asks Harry to put out poison fish.
He refuses but will try to hit such a cat with his new air rifle. Next morning he shoots the white quail then tells Mary it was the cat he buried. 3. Flight Mama Torres makes Emilo and Rosy fish when they can. Pep, who is beautiful but lazy, is sent to Monterey for medicine and salt.
At Mrs. Rodriguez’s he kills a man with his father’s black switchblade knife. He returns before dawn, then rides into the high hills as his family bids him, now a man, adios. After a day’s riding he sleeps and is awakened by a horse down the trail. He rides another day before his horse is shot out from under him. He exchanges shots and receives a granite splinter wound in his right hand.
He runs on for several days and is finally shot dead. 4. The Snake Young marine biologist Dr. Phillips brings a sack of starfish from the tide pool to his laboratory on the cannery street in Monterey. The lab: rattlesnakes, rats, cats; killing a cat. Arrival of a tall, lean woman just as he begins timed work making a starfish embryo series.
While she waits he begins embalming the cat. She wants to buy the male rattlesnake which she wants to keep in the lab. Her snakish behavior during the feeding annoys Phillips. The starfish series is ruined. She never comes back. 5.
Breakfast A cold pre-dawn, by a country road, I see a tent with a lit campstove. A girl nurses a baby while preparing coffee, bread and bacon. A younger and an older man came from the tent. I’m asked to breakfast.
They’re cotton pickers, working twelve days already. They go to work. I leave. 6.
The Raid Root and Dick head out of a packing plant town on a dark night, stopping finally at an abandoned store where they put up posters. After an hour a man warns them to leave, but they have orders to hold it. Dick reminds Root: It isn’t them hitting you, it’s the System; it isn’t you being busted but the Principle. And: when it comes, it won’t hurt. Root greets the raiders as comrades and is hit with a club.
He stands again and passes out. He wakes in a hospital cell. Dick says they’ll probably get six months. “Forgive them” vs. “opium of the people. ” 7.
The Harness Randall’s ranch east of Salinas and across the river is an ideal blend of bottomland and upland. After Peter’s annual business trips Emma becomes sick for several weeks and the neighbors bring cakes and pies. When she dies Peter becomes hysterical. Alone with Ed, he removes his shoulder brace and girdle, gets whiskey from the barn, tells of his one week a year at San Francisco fancy houses, of his dream of filling the bottom land with sweet peas and the house with fat women. DeWitt says he’s crazy to plant sweet peas, but they are so beautiful schoolbusses drive out to see them. At the Ramona Hotel in San Francisco, to meet his wife’s cousin from Ohio, Ed sees Peter come in drunk from a fancy house on Van Ness Avenue.
He says Emma kept him worried all year about those peas: she didn’t die dead. 8. The Vigilante Mike watches the crowd depart after a lynching. The bartender opened up thinking the boys would be thristy but only Mike comes in.
Mike tells of the raid on the jail, the beating, the lynching. The bartender buys a swatch of the dead man’s pants from Mike to hang up at the bar. They walk to their homes. Mike’s wife accuses him of being with a woman. In the bathroom Mike realizes that’s exactly how he feels.
9. Johnny Bear I’m in Loma to drain the swamp north of town. I’m at the Buffalo Bar with Alex when Johnny Bear comes in. For whiskey he imitates a dialogue between me and Mae. Next he imitates the Hawkins sisters, neighbors of Alex.
After Sunday chicken dinner at Alex’s Johnny imitates the doctor asking Emalin why Amy tried to hang herself. After two weeks of trouble with the dredging, we learn that Amy has killed herself. Johnny’s imitation includes Amy’s pregnancy. Alex punches Johnny and explains later. 10. The Murder Jim Moore visits the Three Star in Monterey on Saturdays.
He marries Jelka Sepic who is obedient but quiet. George tells Jim, on his way to the Three Stars (he’s “hunting”) he’s seen a calf of his dead. Jim investigates, then returns home to find a horse in his barn. He finds Jelka in bed with her grown cousin. He shoots him, then brings out the coroner and deputy sheriff, then takes a bull whip to Jelka in the barn, then ate the breakfast she made him, then went to town for lumber to build a new house down the hill.
11. Saint Katy the Virgin In P- in the year 13- Brother Clement drowned and Roark laughed. Katy prevented Brigid and Rory from sucking; later she ate them. Then she ate chickens and possibly children.
Roark grew fonder of Katy. The boar which mated with her became sterile, and she ate all her babies. As he’s about to kill her, two monks ask Roark for a tithe so he gives them the pig. Katy bites Colin; he and Paul climb a tree. Paul waves a crucifix at her and screams APAGE SATANAS! As he dangles the cross in front of Katy she falls to the ground making the sign of the cross.
Roark becomes a good man. Paul recites the Sermon on the Mount in Latin to the sobbing Katy. Fr. Benedict is angry because Katy, being a Christian, can’t be slaughtered.
Kety becomes a saint and, in the advice of a barber, a “virgin by intent” (in spite of her litter). Her relics cure female troubles and ringworm.