Study Guide

Angle of Repose Part 5, Chapter 5

By Wallace Stegner

Part 5, Chapter 5

  • Susan is lying in bed, "looking through her journal, rewriting incidents and observations into coherent paragraphs" (5.5.1).
  • Apparently, Thomas and Augusta have just arrived in Mexico for a visit. Why didn't anyone tell us? The only problem is that a bunch of other people have arrived, too, like Clarence King and Bessie, which means that Susan and Oliver don't have anywherenear enough room.
  • Suddenly, Susan's eyes open. Wait, what? Oh, okay, we understand it now—that was a dream.
  • Oliver has just arrived. Susan tells him about her dream, but she can tell that something is wrong.
  • Turns out, the mine is no good, after all. Or, it might be good, but it'll be way too expensive for Oliver to recommend that someone invest money into it.
  • This causes Susan to utter an unthinkably dirty cussword: "damn" (5.5.19). That's practically the F-word for a classy Quaker like our gal Susan.
  • So, where else can Oliver and Susan go? Leadville is no good. Staying in Mexico is out of the question. To put it simply, they're stuck between a rock and a hard place.