Study Guide

Cold Mountain Chapter 16

By Charles Frazier

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Chapter 16

Naught and Grief

  • This chapter starts with Stobrod. This is a major change. All the others start either with Inman or Ada, or sometimes Ada and Ruby.
  • Stobrod's with the Pangle boy and one other man. They're all feeling bad because they ate a dead doe yesterday.
  • It's early morning. We learn that the third man is just a boy of seventeen. He was conscripted by the southern army in 1863 along with a cousin, and eventually they decided to escape the army together. They got lost trying to get home to Georgia, and sadly the cousin died along the way. Now the boy is with Stobrod and Pangle, who have decided to found their own very small community, since they don't want to fight.
  • With Ada's encouragement, Ruby has eventually agreed to leave some food at a particular spot in the mountains for her father and co., but only when she wants to.
  • She and Ada don't have enough to sustain the men through the winter completely, but will share when they can. Today the men find cornmeal, dried apples, side meat shavings, and beans. Not a bad haul.
  • The men are trying to find their way around Cold Mountain. While Stobrod seems a bit lost, Pangle fortunately seems to know the way.
  • The men stop for dinner, and the boy from Georgia leaves the fire to relieve himself in the woods.
  • The next thing that happens is Bad with a capital B. Teague turns up with the Home Guard.
  • Teague asks them about the cave of outliers and says that it might work out in their favor if they tell him where it is.
  • Stobrod says he doesn't exactly know. He's heard of it, and would tell if he did know, but isn't sure. He suggests somewhere they could look, which is actually far from the place.
  • Pangle gives him a funny look, and Teague asks Pangle's view.
  • Pangle, not knowing any better, tells Teague where it is and suggests that Stobrod also knows.
  • Teague says they'll eat breakfast with Stobrod and Pangle, and then hear them play music and see if they're any good.
  • Stobrod and Pangle play an incredible set. It moves the men so much that one of them says they're holy men.
  • Then Teague has the Home Guard shoot them. He's that kind of guy.

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