Chapter 10 Summary
The narrative now returns to when the story began, when the chinook is blowing and the men are leaving the factory. Scripps’s bird is singing in its cage and Diana is looking out the window, watching for Scripps. She is still wondering whether she can hold him. She also wonders, if he leaves her, will he also leave his bird? In the nights, when she touches Scripps, he rolls away from her. She views this as a sign that she cannot hold him. She spends the days reading and waiting for Scripps to come home. She reads The Century, which has a new editor. In this she tries to garner some hope that Scripps will stay with her. She waits at the window, trying to see him without having to put on her spectacles. She wants his first sight of her to be her at her best. She begins to lose her hope.
Scripps enters his home, and Diana greets him with the news of what she has been reading. He greets her and notices that she is looking worn and old. He decides he can afford to at least be polite. He asks her what the story was about. She tells him it is about a girl in Iowa and the people on the land. It reminds her of her own home in England in the Lake Country. She asks if he wants her to read it to him. He suggests that they go to eat at the beanery. She agrees, but then her voice breaks and she cries out that she wishes he had never seen that place. She wipes away her tears, but Scripps never saw them. She announces that she will bring the bird with them because it has not been out all day. They walk down the street to the beanery, but they no longer walk hand in hand. Men pass them and greet Scripps; he is well liked. The rhythm of their walking sounds to Diana like “I can’t hold him. I can’t hold him.” As Scripps takes her arm, she realizes that it is true. A group of Indians passes them and laughs. Diana does not know if they are laughing at her or if it is just some tribal joke.
The author notes that he does not think Diana will be able to hold on to Scripps but that the reader will have to see for himself. In the meantime, the story will focus on Yogi Johnson. The author does not know what will happen to Scripps and his wife, and he wishes the reader could help him.