Study Guide

A Gathering of Old Men Chapter 19

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Chapter 19

Antoine Christophe—a.k.a. "Dirty Red"

  • Once again, we're back with our good friends in the quarters.
  • Red lets us know that he's positioned behind Charlie and that Yank, Tucker, and Chimley are on the right.
  • Red sidles on up to Charlie. Charlie asks him for a cigarette. Red obliges.
  • We hear Lou calling for Charlie again.
  • He tries to convince Charlie to let Luke and his moronic friends to turn themselves in.
  • Charlie refuses.
  • Lou tries to tell him that with Beau it was self-defense—and that Candy will swear to that in court—but that going after Luke and his gang means murder charges.
  • Charlie doesn't respond to this.
  • Lou tries again, telling Charlie that his godfather, Mathu, wants to talk to him.
  • Charlie only says he doesn't want Mathu out there, that he's going to finish this himself.
  • He asks Red if he's scared. Red says he's not scared next to him.
  • Charlie tells him never to be scared again, because that's the best way to live life.
  • Red wants to know what Charlie saw or heard out there in the swamps.
  • Charlie just smiles and says that all the others have already seen it.
  • Red is confused, so he asks again. All Charlie does is smile and tell him that he and everybody else has already got it.
  • Charlie asks for another cigarette. Red obliges.
  • Lou calls out again and tells Charlie that he's coming out.
  • Charlie tells him that there's no way he's giving up his gun.
  • Lou doesn't respond. He tells Luke he's coming out.
  • Luke also says there's no way that he's giving up his gun.
  • Charlie takes some hard puffs on his cigarette. Then he charges the tractor.
  • There's a shot. Charlie's hit, but he keeps right on moving, firing off shots as he goes.
  • Red says it sounds like everybody's shooting, like the entire world is full of guns going off.
  • Lou is standing over a body by the tractor.
  • Red and the others gather around Charlie where he finally went down.
  • He's still alive, but everybody knows he won't be for long.
  • Charlie tries to say something, but he can't get the words out. He dies with a smile on his face.
  • Respectfully, Red reaches down and touches Charlie, hoping that some of whatever it was that gave him that wild courage will rub off on him.
  • One by one, the other folks there all gently touch Charlie too, like they're saying a final goodbye.

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