Study Guide

Angle of Repose Part 8, Chapter 6

By Wallace Stegner

Part 8, Chapter 6

  • It's now September in the present day. Lyman feels uneasy, partially because he knows his time is running out and partially because he has received some "disturbing" new information from the Idaho Historical Society (8.6.2).
  • Shelly normally comes in every day, but she's taken off for the last two weekends. Lyman assumes that this was because she was getting ready for school, but Ada suspects that she's been meeting up with her ex again.
  • Shelly's here today, though. Oddly, the first thing she does is silently hand Lyman a long pamphlet about some super-hippie commune.
  • Shelly wants to know Lyman's opinion of the pamphlet. Lyman scoffs, saying that while the commune certainly has "historical precedents," such a high-minded project could never be successful as long as there are fickle human beings involved (8.6.36).
  • Naturally, this commune is Shelly's ex-bae's idea. She's basically seeing if Lyman thinks that it's a good idea for her to move there.
  • Lyman doesn't—obviously. He launches into one of his patented rants against the hippiefied masses and their soft-minded ideas.
  • Finally, Shelly admits that she's been seeing her boy for several weeks.
  • At some point, Shelly adjusts her bosom in a way that arouses our dear Lyman. He quickly covers up the, ahem, evidence of this arousal and hopes that Shelly didn't notice.
  • Despite everything, Shelly has really enjoyed working with Lyman. She even wonders if she'd still be able to work for him occasionally after moving away, but she knows that it'd be impossible.
  • Finally, Shelly kisses Lyman on the head and goes about her day.