East of Eden Chapter 11
by John Steinbeck

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Chapter 11

It is a quiet day in the Trask home. Charles hears a noise and assumes it’s a cat. The noise persists. Charles flings open the door to chase the pest away. He is stunned by the discovery of the brutally beaten Cathy. Adam does not hesitate. He insists they take her inside. Charles, however, fears that it will look like he and Adam have abused this stranger. But Adam is intractable. He carries Cathy to his bedroom. A doctor is summoned and of course he has many questions. The brothers do not know anything. The doctor tells them he has to inform the sheriff. The sheriff interrogates Cathy who claims to not be able to speak. The sheriff asks her to write down the answers to his questions but she scrawls out that she cannot remember. To her satisfaction, she wins him over, just as she had already won Adam. The same is not true for Charles. Something intuitively tells him that she is not to be trusted. Adam, however, almost gleefully assumes the role of nursemaid. But when Adam goes to town to fetch more medicine, Charles confronts her. He hints that he recognizes her. Cathy panics somewhat. She sets about winning Adam permanently by claiming she has a secret she cannot tell and that she needs protection. Adam falls for it and marries her. Cathy’s evil nature surfaces again. She drugs Adam and sleeps with Charles, seemingly for no other reason than the satisfaction of breaking him, even in just this small way.