Water for Elephants Chapter 10 Summary
by Sara Gruen

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Chapter 10 Summary

August rushes off to argue with Uncle Al about the elephant. Rosie grabs hay from Jacob’s fingers, and Marlena laughs. Rosie smiles. When Jacob turns back, he suddenly ends up waltzing with Marlena. She pulls away, and Jacob wants to kiss her—he does not know what to do. August returns and is angry that Uncle Al has paid so much money for the elephant and her trailer car. He also reveals that Uncle Al has taken on more performers without any room to accommodate them in the performers’ cars on the train.

Jacob returns to the ring stock car and sees that everyone is drinking the night away. Inside, Kinko has a party going, and he is full of drunken hospitality. He offers Jacob a drink and introduces him to the others as a friend. Jacob tries to settle into the straw previously occupied by the horse Silver Star, and Kinko’s dog Queenie scuttles further under the straw to hide from the festivities. Before long, Jacob is feeling intoxicated.

He remembers little of what happened that night. He does remember that at one point his eyes open to the sight of Barbara’s cleavage. She is there with another woman, Nell, and the two claim that Jacob is just so cute. They figure out that Jacob is still a virgin and decide to seduce him. Barbara takes Jacob’s hand and guides it over her body; she then engages in sexual acts with him. But Jacob cannot handle the excitement, and he vomits all over Nell. The next thing he knows, Kinko is releasing him from a trunk in Clown Alley. To pay Jacob back for catching him masturbating, Kinko has dressed Jacob like a clown and has shaved his pubic area. Jacob is embarrassed, and Kinko reminds him to buy flowers for Barbara since she is a friend.

Later, August tries to use the bull hook to move Rosie from the menagerie. August tells Jacob to try, but he cannot bring himself to poke and prod the animal. Rosie returns his kindness with gentle swooshes of her trunk. August returns and tells Jacob to find Marlena and make sure she does not go behind the menagerie, where he has ordered Pete to slaughter horses to feed to the big cats. When he finds Marlena, she is upset at the way August treats Rosie. August manages to prod Rosie across the grounds, and when she sees her trailer car, she runs to it for comfort.