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As I Lay Dying
by William Faulkner
Darl Bundren Timeline and Summary
Darl returns from fields with Jewel, a head shorter than his brother. He finds Cash working on Addie Bundren’s coffin; he thinks it will give her "confidence and comfort" (1.5). He goes to get a cool drink of gourd water. Darl tells his pa a half truth about Jewel’s whereabouts; he really knows about Jewel’s devotion to the wild horse. Darl leaves with Jewel to earn three dollars, wanting him along to help with the load. He predicts the timing of his mother’s death. Darl is the only family member who knows of Dewey Dell’s secret pregnancy. Darl narrates Addie’s death scene, from on the road. He tells Jewel that Addie has died while they’re stuck in a ditch during the storm. Darl philosophizes about existence before he sleeps. Darl returns to the barn with Jewel. He carries the coffin to the wagon with the family. On the wagon, he notices Dewey Dell looking at Peabody. Darl tells the family that Jewel will catch up with them. He leaves for Jefferson with the family. Darl laughs when Jewel catches up with them right where he predicted he would, at Tull’s. Darl stays overnight at Samson’s with the family. He gets to the flooded bridge. He expects Vernon to lend his mule to the family. Darl fords the river on the wagon with Cash. He jumps into the river when the team is lost. Darl gets out of the water safely, but doesn’t save the coffin. He stays overnight at Armstid’s with the family. He arrives in Mottson. Darl mixes cement to pour on Cash’s leg. Darl asks Jewel who his father is. Darl burns Gillespie’s barn down. Darl arrives in Jefferson with the family. He offers to bring Cash to Peabody’s. He is thought of as mentally insane and arrested. Darl is handcuffed and taken away, laughing hysterically. He sees his family eating bananas on the wagon. He speaks of himself in the third person.