Study Guide

Angle of Repose Part 6, Chapter 2

By Wallace Stegner

Part 6, Chapter 2

  • Susan is standing in the kitchen when she sees Oliver walking up to the house. The couple shares a Notebook-worthy embrace and head back into the house.
  • Oliver tells Susan that she should be in bed right now. That informs us that (a) he knows that she was pregnant and (b) she's already given birth to the kid.
  • The kid's name is Zardoz.
  • Just kidding.
  • The kid's name is Elizabeth, aka Betsy.
  • Although Oliver is psyched, he's still bummed that Susan didn't even send him a "letter" before she gave birth (6.2.27). Before long, their conversation escalates into a full-blown argument.
  • It turns out that Oliver has done a bit of selective truth-telling, too. Although Susan thinks he's been traveling, looking for a good town to settle in, he's actually been working on a harebrained scheme to bring water to the desert in Idaho. He even has the support of Clarence King.
  • The plan, roughly, is to build a canal through the Idaho desert, selling water rights to local farmers. As the canal grows, the number of farmers flocking to the area should grow, too.
  • Susan does not seem into the idea, but Oliver is persistent, and he refuses be long distance any longer.
  • We think you can probably guess what Susan ends up doing.