The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

by David Wroblewski

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Part 5, Chapters 1-2 Summary

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Edgar and Essay sit at the edge of the field and watch the house. They see no movement, so Edgar walks up to the barn where the dogs explode in excitement. After feeding Essay, Edgar goes into the house, which is empty. He wonders where Almondine is, since she did not come out to greet him. He wanders through the house, then returns to the kitchen and eats. He leaves a note stating that he was there and will return in the morning. He leaves the note, as well as the photo of Claude and Forte, on the kitchen table, and goes back to the barn. Grabbing some burlap bags, he heads to the woods with Essay, fixing a spot for the night where he can watch the house.

Wandering over to the family cemetery, Edgar sees the graves of the stillborn and his father. There is a fresh one next to them, and Edgar realizes that the grave is Almondine’s. He is numb with shock, thinking of how protective she was of him when he was a boy. He returns to his camping spot and watches the house. The truck returns, and he sees Claude and his mother get groceries out of the back and enter the house. He waits, but there is no movement. He decides he will wait until morning to go to the house. He realizes that it was Claude who found the note. If it had been his mother, she would have come rushing out, looking for him. He sees Claude come out of the house and walk along the driveway. After a few minutes, Claude goes back inside.

Trudy lies in bed, unable to sleep for thinking about the curiously excited way the dogs behaved when she and Claude drove up. Claude gets up, claiming that he is going to check on the puppies. She says that she will go with him, but he tells her to stay in bed. The real reason she wanted to go is so that she could stand by the silo, as she has every night, and signal to Edgar that it is safe to come home. She thinks about her life since Gar’s death, how she reluctantly began her relationship with Claude just so that she could know that her life is going on. She worries how Edgar, should he ever come home, will react to Almondine’s death. She plans to ask Glen if he has heard any news about Edgar, but she is anxious about not connecting Edgar too closely to Doctor Papineau’s death.

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Part 5, Chapters 3-4 Summary