The Plague of Doves

by Louise Erdrich

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The Way Things Are Summary

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Last Updated on February 4, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 222

At this point, Judge Antone Bazil Coutts takes over as narrator. Antone is instantly attracted to Geraldine Milk, a tribal enrollment specialist in the tribal offices. It takes some time before Geraldine will speak to him, not because she dislikes him but because she is reserved.

Antone begins going to Geraldine’s uncle’s house to take him to breakfast and listen to his music. One day he asks her to go fishing with him.

On the lake, they discuss the story of the hanging, and Antone says Henri and Lafayette Peace, Cuthbert’s brothers, once saved his grandfather’s life. Hoopdance, Argus, and Pluto are the reservation towns, but Pluto, the farthest from anything else, is beginning to die. Geraldine and Antone agree it’s best not to resist this.

Antone’s father was the lone lawyer in Pluto who stood up for the reservation against a termination of its treaty with the government. Antone tells Geraldine that the vigilantes who hanged the Indian men, except Mooshum, were probably mistaken, which she had not known.

The pair catch a huge snapper turtle, and it has “GR” carved in its shell, the initials of Geraldine and her first boyfriend, Roman, who died. Geraldine becomes sad, and they put the turtle back in the water. Antone reminds himself to persist in his courtship.

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