Chapters 11-12 Summary
As the sun begins to set, Lou Dimes (the current narrator) tries to talk Candy into going home, but she refuses. Griffin stands in the ditch holding his pistol. Mapes thinks that, as soon as this is all over, he will get rid of Griffin. Miss Merle arrives with sandwiches for all the people who still remain in Mathu’s yard. They gratefully accept them because it has been a long day. As she passes out sandwiches, Miss Merle fusses at each person. Some take seconds, but most refuse when they see that there are not enough for two for everyone. Miss Merle ridicules Lou for being less than a man because he cannot control Candy. She looks to Mathu; the two of them have raised Candy after her parents died and it was clear that Major Jack and Miss Bea were incapable of doing the job. Mathu also refuses to send Candy home, stating that she has the right to make her own choices. When Mapes offers to walk her out to her car, Miss Merle snaps at him, but he simply wants to thank her for the sandwiches. Miss Merle says she needs to leave or else she will go mad. Lou asks Mapes what is going to happen, but he does not know. In the meantime, he is waiting to hear from his other deputy, Russell, who is at Boutans’ keeping Fix from coming to Marshall.
Sully narrates as he and Gil arrive at the Boutan home. They greet Russell, who warns them that everyone is waiting for Gil inside. The house is crowded, but Gil finds his father seated with the rest of the family. Gil explains that he was at Marshall but did not get to see Beau. He tells his father that Mapes does not want Fix or his gang to come over. Luke Will, a friend of Beau’s, urges Fix to head over immediately to Marshall and take his revenge. Fix tells Luke Will that he is not family and so has no right to speak. Gil pleads with his father to give up the vigilante mentality; the time for that has passed. He wants to play for Louisiana State University and be All-American, but he cannot if his family keeps on with this private war. Fix ridicules his son for being All-American and wanting to play alongside Blacks. Jean, Gil’s brother, also says he will not go with his father to Marshall. His butcher shop is nearby, and he must do business with all of the people there. Conflict breaks out with Luke Will and those who want to join Fix in seeking revenge against Gil and Jean. Finally, Fix kicks Gil and Jean out of the house. Russell urges Gil to forget Beau and play for Beau’s young son, Tee Beau, who signifies the future. Sully offers to drive Gil someplace, but Gil just wants to be alone to think.