Study Guide

Angle of Repose Part 4, Chapter 8

By Wallace Stegner

Part 4, Chapter 8

  • Susan and Ollie are in a train heading west. Susan tells the little boy stories to keep him occupied until their train arrives in Buena Vista, Colorado.
  • As Susan is helping Ollie off the train, she notices Oliver in the corner of her eye and embraces him with a kiss. Wait a second...that's not Oliver—it's Frank. And he seems really into that kiss.
  • The real Oliver pops up a moment later, and he and Susan share a tender embrace. When they're done lovin' each other up, Oliver bends down and scoops up little Ollie into a warm hug.
  • Given that it's really cold here in the winter, the family hustles to Leadville. Immediately, Susan can tell that the town is "not so much on the boom as last year" (4.8.27).
  • As they ride, Oliver tells Susan about some recent heroics of Frank's. Some dudes were trying to take their land once again, but Frank stood them off with a rifle. Ol' Susie is quite impressed.
  • Finally, the family arrives. Pricey was supposed to have a fire going, but the chimney is conspicuously smokeless. They unload their stuff into the house, but Oliver and Frank quickly grab guns and go out searching for Pricey.
  • Susan and Ollie talk about how he's adjusting to his new home. He seems to like it all right, he supposes.
  • Suddenly, the conversation is interrupted by a knock at the door. It's Frank and Oliver, holding "a man's body between them" (4.8.11). Susan begins to scream.