Study Guide

'Salem's Lot Chapter 12: Mark

By Stephen King

Chapter 12: Mark

  • Mark is sneaking through the woods towards the Marsten House. He's got an ash stake for the vampire and a gun for Straker.
  • Mark sees Susan Norton with her own fence-post stake. Mark is unimpressed; that stake wouldn't kill anything.
  • After Straker's car goes off, Mark comes up behind her and tells her not to scream (this is the point where the story left Susan earlier.
  • Mark tells her about Danny Glick coming for him. She doesn't believe him at first… but then she does.
  • Mark and Susan team up and decide to break in, find the vampire, and stake him.
  • Mark and Susan both have crosses. Mark tells Susan not to look in the vampire's eyes (he knows all about vampires from monster magazines, he explains).
  • Mark and Susan break into the house through a window. Inside, they find a book in Latin; there's a picture of an eviscerated child in it. King sort of suggests that the cover is made of human skin.
  • Mark and Susan see the cellar. Both are terrified, and they are about to go down when Straker shows up and captures them, knocking Mark out.
  • When Mark wakes up, the gun is gone. Straker taunts him and tells him after dark the vampire is going to come for him and Susan both. He ties Mark up in the room where Hubie Marsten hanged himself.
  • Mark uses a trick of Harry Houdini, tightening all his muscles as he's tied up so he has a little slack and can slide himself free.
  • Straker leaves.
  • Mark takes his time and basically puts himself in a trance, moving slowly, and eventually he gets out of his ropes.
  • It's now just about nighttime. Mark has just enough time to loosen a leg of a cot to use as a weapon before Straker comes up the stairs.
  • Mark hides behind the door and bashes Straker in the head when he comes in, knocking him down.
  • Straker still manages to grab his ankle, and Mark smashes Straker's hand with the cot leg, breaking Straker's fingers.
  • Mark stops at the cellar and calls down to Susan, but it's too late. She calls to him and then screams.
  • Barlow tells Mark to come downstairs, and he almost does, but instead he runs back home, where his parents are really angry. He should have just let Barlow turn him into a vampire; that would have shown them.
  • In the night, Susan, now a vampire, comes to his window, but he drives her off with the cross.