Chapter 11 Summary
Yogi Johnson leaves the pump factory and thinks that it was wise of the foreman to let them go because of the chinook wind. If there had been any accident, it would be blamed on the foreman and fall under the Employer’s Liability Act. As Yogi walks down the street, he worries that he does not seem to want any woman. The night before he had gone to the library; he felt nothing when he talked with the librarian. As he encounters women, he feels no desire for them. Yogi rationalizes that at least he has retained his love for horses. He passes a couple of horses hitched at the front of the feed store, and he marvels at them but worries that there might be something wrong with these particular horses.
Yogi walks up the hill and to the outskirts of Petoskey. He looks out at the bay where the boundary between Canada and the United States lies. He sits down to look at the lake. He is glad that the war is over and he is still alive. He thinks about a book he has read recently in which the character’s war experiences did not agree with his own. He recalls killing a man who had surrendered to him. This death bothers him as not quite honorable.
A couple of Indians approach him and ask for tobacco and liquor. Yogi hands some over. The Indians sit down and Yogi tells him about the war. He tells them that the war had been more like football. He recalls the men he killed in the war. It was easier to kill men than to take them prisoner.
Yogi notices that one of the Indians is asleep, leaning on the shoulder of the other Indian. Yogi asks the Indian who is still awake what he thought of the story. The Indian thinks he has sound ideas and is very educated. Yogi feels appreciated. The Indian asks about Yogi’s experiences in the war. Yogi tells him that he landed in France in May 1917. The Indian tells him that he and his companion earned medals in the war, having fought in the Canadian army. Yogi feels humiliated by this revelation. The Indian tells Yogi that he and his friend are going to Petoskey to join the Salvation Army. They invite Yogi to join too, but he simply agrees to walk with them. He decides that these Indians do not mean anything to him. As the sun goes down, the ground begins freezing again; this is evidence that spring has not yet arrived. Yogi decides to walk into town, find a beautiful woman, and try to desire her.