Chapters 17-18 Summary
Snookum is the narrator. As soon as Mapes is shot, the shooting from the house begins. Through the door and the window, and even into the ceiling, the old men fire at the Cajuns hiding behind the tractor. Snookum tells himself that he had better get out of the house. Grand Mon has Toddy and Snookum’s sister, Minnie, so all she can do is to shout for Snookum to stop when he takes off running. Running out through the kitchen, Snookum crawls under the house until he reaches the front steps. He sees Mapes sitting on the walk, rocking back and forth, unable to stand up because of his weight. Snookum is determined not to risk himself to help the sheriff. He hears Gram Mon calling him and Reverend Jameson calling on the Lord.
Snookum sees Lou crawling on the other side of the house. He stops when he sees Snookum. Lou tells Snookum to get back into the house because his Gram Mon is calling him. Snookum does not answer him, nor is he going back to the house for fear his grandmother will beat him for not answering her first call. Lou crawls out to Mapes and tells him Griffin has resigned. Mapes tells Lou that he is in charge now and begins to deputize him. Lou objects but Mapes tells him to leave him alone and figure out what to do by himself.
Horace Thompson (Sharp) narrates now. Out behind the tractor, Leroy, a teenage Cajun, is shot in the arm but carries on is if he were dying. The others tell him to shut up. Leroy calls out to Mapes for help, but Mapes tells him that it is just too bad. Luke Will calls to Mapes that they have a young boy who is hurt and needs to be removed from the scene. Mapes tells him to go ahead, but Luke Will is afraid of the old men shooting. Mapes simply tells him to shoot them as he shot Mapes. When Luke Will tells him that it was a “nigger” who shot him, Mapes tells him that he has witnesses. Luke Will tells Mapes that the Cajuns are almost out of shells. Charlie calls out to tell him he has plenty. If he will send a Cajun up, he will give them some. When Luke Will tells Mapes to call the old men off, Mapes tells him that Lou is in charge now. Lou calls to Charlie, who says that he is headed for the electric chair for one, so it might as well be for all of them. This frightens Luke Will, who tells Sharp to look after his wife and kids if he does not make it. When Sharp says that he does not think Mapes will allow the men to shoot the Cajuns, Luke Will says Charlie is the one in charge now.