Study Guide

Going Bovine Chapter 13

By Libba Bray

Chapter 13

In Which I Check into the Hospital and Have an Encounter with an Angel and Other Strange, Annoying Things

  • By now Cam is pretty out of it. He can't tell if he's speaking out loud or just in his head, so the doc and his parents are talking in front of him like he's not there.
  • They're going to try an experimental treatment. In Cam's morphine haze, he thinks this is a great idea—anything is better than nothing.

Day Three

  • Cam finally regains consciousness in St. Jude's Hospital and meets his no-nonsense nurse, Glory Beauvais.

Day Four

  • There's an old person across the hall who won't/can't stop coughing. It's driving Cam nuts.

Day Five

  • Hospital oatmeal is terrible.
  • Cam's mom is there, working on the photo album of their trip to Disney (yes, the one where Cam almost drowned).

Day Nine

  • His stoner friends are there, but he's having a hard time following their conversation.
  • They've brought the director's cut version of Star Fighter for him to watch. That's nice.

Day Eleven

  • An old lady seeks refuge in Cam's room, and he realizes she's the incessant cougher from across the hall.
  • She's insistent that she's not supposed to die in the hospital, and she has a very specific image of her death in a house by the sea, with a garden outside and children playing in it.
  • She says she's seen the fire giants, too, and they're a symbol of chaos and destruction.
  • Glory ushers Mrs. Morae (the cougher) back to her room even though Cam kind of likes having her there.
  • Cam falls asleep and has freaky, depressing dreams about diseased cattle and the angel in tarnished armor banging on a window like she's trying to escape.
  • He wishes he could escape and make this reality all go away.

Day Thirteen

  • Glory's been off for two days, and Cam's glad to see she's back—at least he knows she's real, unlike that punker angel that he keeps seeing sitting in the corner reading comic books.
  • He asks Glory if he's going to die because he knows she's be a straight-shooter; she says no one ever knows the how or why of death, like why God made her five-year old daughter die of cancer. Man, that's sad.

Day Fifteen

  • Chet King comes to visit, offering religious platitudes that majorly irritate Cameron.
  • They argue God's will versus bad luck. Chet is convinced God has a bigger plan, while Cam thinks he's just a sadistic jerk.

Day Something

  • The coughing across the hall has stopped. That's ominous.

Sometime Later

  • Cameron is dreaming about the punk-rock angel. She's trying to get him to wake up, saying they have a lot to do.

Sometime After That

  • Now Cam can't sleep, he can't stop wondering about the old lady, and everything just hurts.
  • He watches a special on TV about the infamous band Copenhagen Interpretation. They came from an Inuit fishing village and became world-famous musicians and "messengers of world peace" with their two albums Small World and Words for Snow. Apparently the vibrations of their music gave people a sense of euphoria and well-being, which sounds nice.
  • Then one day, in the middle of a concert for world peace, they simply vanished.


  • Cam wakes up unable to breath and in a ton of pain.
  • There's broken imagery of people running around scared, a crash cart, Glory in full nurse-emergency mode.
  • He starts seizing, and they intubate him.
  • Before the sedatives take hold, he sees the picture of an angel at the foot of his bed with its wings fluttering.