The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

by David Wroblewski

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Part 5, Chapters 7-8 Summary

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Edgar cools off in the creek and then finds the old dying oak tree where he once saw Forte. He hopes the dog will return there, and he is fairly sure that Claude does not know anything about the tree, never having walked the fence as Gar and Edgar had done. The image of Doctor Papineau dying keeps coming into his mind. He knows it is fruitless to wish it had never happened, but he wishes he could talk to Glen. He believes he will not be able to stay until he does so, though he is not quite sure what sentiment he should express to the son of the man he killed. He thinks how closely he came to going back to the house with his mother; he wanted to tell her about his time on the run, about Henry Lamb and the dogs, about the old man in Henry’s shed. Edgar is also overwhelmed with loneliness, brought on even stronger with the knowledge of Almondine’s death. His relationship with Almondine makes him understand the letters between his grandfather and the dog trainer Brooks even better. He fades off to sleep but awakens when Essay comes rushing up to him. The dog is wearing a collar around which is wound gray duct tape. Edgar peels off the tape and discovers the photograph of Claude and Forte that he had left on the table with his note, three hundred and thirty dollars, and the key to the Impala.

Claude calls Glen at his office to find out what happened the night before. Glen explains that he drove around and waited but saw nothing. Claude says that he has a hunch that Edgar is planning on taking the Impala and leaving because he discovered the spare key is missing. To Glen, this makes the situation easier if he can just stop the car without knocking Edgar out with the ether. Glen promises to try again that night. Claude tells him that he will put the porch light on if Edgar is already in the house.

Glen takes the bottle of either and a bottle of whiskey to his police cruiser, then he drives out to the Sawtelle house. He sees both the truck and the Impala parked, so he stops and waits. He thinks that, if must sedate Edgar, he can probably carry him quite a way to the cruiser. By the time Edgar wakes up, they will be far down the road and Glen will question him about Doctor Papineau’s death. Glen sees a figure crossing the road. There is a dog accompanying the figure, and Glen knows it is Edgar. He plans to wait five minutes for the porch light to come on before heading after Edgar.

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Part 5, Chapters 5-6 Summary


Part 5, Chapters 9-10 Summary