Reservation Blues Chapter 3 Summary
by Sherman Alexie

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Chapter 3 Summary

While Coyote Springs is playing at the Flathead Reservation, two sisters, Chess and Checkers Warm Water, show up at the Tipi Pole Tavern. The sisters work their way up to the front of the crowd and stand next to the stage. Checkers, the younger and more beautiful of the two sisters, comments that the band does not sound very good. Although Chess agrees with her sister, she thinks the lead singer (Thomas) is cute.

The band is not playing well because Victor and Junior are drunk. Through the night, members of the audience have offered them free beers, and Thomas notes that neither Victor nor Junior turn the offers down. By the time the band takes a break, Victor and Junior can barely walk. While on their break, Thomas decides he wants to sing a special song and dedicate it to the pretty woman who has been standing at the edge of the stage all night. When the break is over and the musicians return to the stage, Thomas sings so many verses of the song that the crowd begins to sing along with him. When Thomas notices that the woman to whom he dedicated the song is also singing, he invites her up on the stage to sing with him. Their harmonies seem to come naturally.

After the show, Chess and Checkers help Thomas load the equipment into his van. Victor and Junior have passed out on the van’s back seats. Chess suggests that Thomas spend the night at her house because it is too late to drive all the way back to Washington. Thomas is reluctant but only because he is afraid that Victor and Junior will be angry if they wake up and are not yet home. But after drinking some coffee at Chess’s place and talking with her through much of what remains of the night, Thomas falls asleep on her couch.

The next morning, Thomas comes up with what he thinks is a brilliant idea. He asks Chess and Checkers to join the band. The women are cautious. What they heard the night before did not convince them that Coyote Springs could play...

(The entire section is 536 words.)