The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

by David Wroblewski

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Part 5, Chapters 11-12 Summary

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Edgar frantically releases the dogs from the pens. Most rush out into the yard past the silo, but Essay stays beside him. When he runs his hand over her back, he can feel patches of singed fur. He signals her to go to the others and then returns to the barn. He meets his mother, who asks him if the pups are out. They are not, so he runs back into the barn, putting out small fires as he goes. He releases the pups and follows them out. He asks his mother if she called the fire department, but the phone lines (which were wired through the barn) have burned.

Suddenly Edgar remembers his father lying on the ground, which triggers the memory of the files that are the sole record of the Sawtelle breed. Trudy asks why Glen would want to burn the barn. Edgar explains that Glen had ether, which he used to knock Edgar out. Trudy then understands that the ether that started the fire, and she notices for the first time that Glen is not in uniform. She wonders how he knew Edgar was back; he was evidently suspicious of Edgar’s part in Doctor Papineau’s death. She confronts Glen, who sits rocking back and forth with his eyes burning. Edgar goes back into the barn and rescues all the files. Essay tries to follow him but he signals her away. He goes back into the barn and enters the milk house.

Claude sits on the porch, determined to let the barn burn. At the worst, it will cause an inconvenience, but it will be rebuilt by winter. He wonders why Glen used enough Prestone to start a fire. The only disaster that Claude sees is Edgar running back and forth into the milk house to rescue the files. Glen continues to pin Trudy on the ground. Claude thinks that eventually he will have to get Glen off of her. More than anything, he worries that Edgar will find the bottle of poison. He had worried that Edgar would find it in the haymow, so he took it out. However, he could not think of a safe hiding place. Claude eventually hid it behind the files in the bottom drawer of the file cabinet. Now that Edgar is digging through the cabinet, Claude knows he will eventually find it. Claude decides he does not need to worry about Glen. If Glen ever were to talk about their plan, Claude could point out how much Glen had been drinking lately. Claude goes into the barn and finds Edgar at the file cabinet, frantically piling files in the wheelbarrow. He goes to the last cabinet and begins throwing files into the wheelbarrow.

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Part 5, Chapters 9-10 Summary


Part 5, Chapters 13-14 Summary