Study Guide

Angle of Repose Part 8, Chapter 5

By Wallace Stegner

Part 8, Chapter 5

  • It's the Fourth of July. Susan isn't in a partying mood, however—she's so depressed that she stays home alone while the rest of the family goes to the city and watches fireworks.
  • So, Susan lies in the hammock on the veranda and watches the fireworks explode overhead. Suddenly, she hears footsteps approach and begins panicking.
  • It's Frank. Of course. He and Susan talk about business for a little before Frank admits that he "came down hoping they'd all be gone to town but [Susan]" (8.5.56).
  • And here's some more vague lovey-dovey talk. Frank finally puts his foot down, saying that he must leave because he can't stand being in this situation any longer.
  • Frank begs Susan to marry him and run away to Mexico. She's aghast at the idea, but we can tell that it excites her on some level.
  • Then, Frank grabs "her bare foot" (8.5.110). Hmm...that seems awfully familiar, for some reason. Susan can't resist any longer and finally gives in to his seduction.
  • (One of the best parts of this passage is how uncomfortable it makes Lyman. You've really got to read it for yourself. Also worth noting: Lyman is making up this scene from scratch, as he has no document detailing what exactly went down. Very interesting…)
  • Oliver returns later that night to find Susan already in bed. He asks her what Frank wanted.
  • Huh?
  • Not knowing if she should lie, Susan claims that Frank wanted to talk business with Oliver.
  • But, how did Oliver know? It's pretty simple: Frank left his glove on the porch.
  • We think we can speak for the entire Shmoop-iverse when we say yikes.