East of Eden Chapter 10
by John Steinbeck

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Chapter 10

The narrative returns to Adam and Charles, who continue to live alone and increasingly, are getting on one another’s nerves. Adam does not have the drive to work hard on the farm, especially now that they are rich from their inheritance. Charles has a strong work ethic and it bothers him greatly that his brother is lazy. Adam decides to leave once again. Eight months pass before Adam returns. They settle into their old routine, but soon Adam is pushing Charles to move again and start a different life. As the brothers talk, Adam opens up about his life in the Army and the Indian “squaw” with whom he had had a relationship. Charles tells Adam about the few women he has been involved with. Despite the new openness, the brothers are soon fighting again. Adam leaves for another three months, this time for South America. When he comes home this time, Charles confronts Adam about never repaying him the $100 he had telegraphed to him. Adam tells Charles about escaping from the road gang; that he had been on the lam and needed the money to get back home. Charles asks why Adam fled when he had only three days left to serve. The reason, Adam explains, is that he feared he would be picked up yet again on any trumped up charge. He reasoned that no one would expect him to escape so close to his release date. Charles is impressed with his brother’s bravery.