East of Eden Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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What is the summary for Chapter 18 of East of Eden?

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Horace Quinn, the new deputy sheriff, is about to go to the Trask home to investigate Adam’s shooting.  Adam has claimed that the shooting was a self-inflicted accident but Quinn isn’t buying it.  Quinn wants to speak to Cathy and is stunned to learn she is not there.  His incredulity increases when Adam is unable to give him the most basic details about his wife, such as where she had come from and where she had gone.  Quinn wonders aloud to Julius (his recently deputized friend) if Adam might have killed Cathy, for all he can give the sheriff is a general physical description and a mention of the scar on her forehead.   Something isn’t adding up. 

It isn’t long until word comes to Quinn that a prostitute matching Cathy’s description has taken up employment at Faye’s one of the three local brothels. The sheriff decides that for the sake of the twins and of Adam, he will go to Cathy and warn her to keep her new identity secret or he will make her life miserable. 

Adam has gone into a deep depression.  He has no interest in the farm or in his newborn sons.  When Samuel arrives to check on him, Adam tells Samuel that he no longer wants him to dig the wells.  Samuel tries to convince Adam to just “go through the motions,” to “act out being alive.”  Adam refuses his advice.  Samuel leaves but promises to return.  Luckily for the twins, Lee will stay on. 

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