Chapters 4-6 Summary

Agnis talks Quoyle into moving to Newfoundland because he has nothing to hold him in Mockingburgh, New York, where he currently lives. Quoyle thinks about this for a few days and then agrees. He calls Partridge, who has moved to California, and asks if he has any newspaper contacts in Newfoundland. Surprisingly, he does. Partridge gives him the name Tertius Card, who is editor of the small newspaper, Shipping News, in Killick-Claw, Newfoundland. Card is looking for someone with a shipping background. Quoyle tells Partridge that his grandfather was a sealer; the prospects look good.

Agnis tells Quoyle about the family home that might still be standing near Quoyle Bay on the island. It has been more than forty years since any family member has seen it, and Newfoundland is known for its winter windstorms, but the house may give them some place to stay for free. Then Quoyle finds out that an insurance company owes him $30,000 plus another $20,000 owed to his daughters. They pack up and drive from New York to Nova Scotia and then to Prince Edward Island, where they catch a ferry.

Quoyle gets seasick on the boat as they move over rough seas, but they make it. Then they have more driving to do. The distance is not far but the trip takes a long time because the roads are so bad. The last twenty-eight miles must be traversed without roads once they get out into the country. Quoyle insists that they stop and camp out in the car after the sun goes down.

The next day, they are surprised when they come upon a good gravel road out in the middle of nowhere. The road leads them to a large, cement building that has been abandoned. They have no idea what might have once been inside, and there are no signs telling them what the building might have been used for. As they stand in front of it, the fog lifts, and they see the old family house. It is still standing, and it is not far away on the edge of the bay.


(The entire section is 588 words.)