Study Guide

'Salem's Lot Chapter 14: The Lot (IV)

By Stephen King

Chapter 14: The Lot (IV)

  • This chapter opens with info from the Farmer's Almanac about the weather and when the sun sets, and there's also a note that there is no news from the police on this day, even though vampires are out and about.
  • Then we're off to find out what's happening to the townspeople.
  • Ruthie Crockett is a vampire and has hooked up with Dud Rodgers (who presumably turned her). Ruthie's mom is also vampired. Larry is on his way to vampiredom.
  • Loretta Starcher, the town librarian, is a vampire. She's sleeping in the upper floor of the library. Virgil Rathbone, the drunk, is a vampire, too; Franklin Bodine is not quite one, but he will be soon.
  • Weasel Craig has also disappeared. Eva Miller figures she'll find him eventually, but she's upset.
  • Mark appears at the door of the boarding house looking for Ben.
  • There's a flashback to the previous night, when Sheriff McCaslin had gone from the mortuary to the Norton house, where they were worried about Susan.
  • Sherrill McCaslin cruised around, found Susan's car… and then Susan and Barlow got him.
  • Susan then went to her mom. She didn't take much blood, since she was sated, but she was invited in, so she can finish her mom off later.
  • The Griffen boys are also now vampires.
  • And that's all the vampires for now. Back to Mark and Ben.
  • Mark tells Ben that Susan is a vampire. Mark thinks he killed Straker, though.
  • Ben has a flashback to the death of his wife, Miranda.
  • Ben and Mark go to the car, and Ben throws up; then they go on.
  • Eva tries to call Loretta Starcher, but Loretta's a vampire, so there's no response. Eva calls Mabel Werts, who is happy with all the gossip but will be less happy soon.
  • Mark and Ben find Susan's car and McCaslin's car. Ben vows revenge, even if he has to face vampire Susan.
  • Mark and Ben go to Matt's hospital room with Jimmy, and they all recap various plot points. Because the chapter wouldn't be quite, quite long enough without the constant recapping of plot points.
  • They all decide to go meet Callahan, have him take their confessions, fit them out with holy water, etc., and then go stake Barlow.
  • Cut to Eva going down into her basement, where she keeps her canning. There's a horrible smell, and she senses Weasel down there, though she knows he can't be down there. (Of course he's there—he's a vampire now. Barlow's down there too, though that's not revealed till late in this ridiculously long chapter.)
  • The vampire hunters go see Father Callahan, who says Straker's store is closed and then tells them he's going to hear their confessions.
  • That done, they all go to buy garlic and roses, since that's supposed to stop vampires. They get the garlic but find that Straker already bought all the roses in town.
  • They guys decide they'd better hurry up to the Marsten House before night comes down.
  • Callahan banishes evil from the house in the name of God; there's a flash of light, and the Yale lock smashes with the power of the cross.
  • They all think that's fairly cool and go upstairs, where Straker is hanging upside down and drained of blood. Gross.
  • There's no eternal life for Straker, because he messed up, apparently. Seems kind of harsh.
  • The guys find a letter for Straker in which he threatens Mark's parents and taunts Callahan and tells them Susan is downstairs waiting for staking.
  • Cut to Parkins Gillespie, who is even more laconic than usual.
  • Parkins tells Nolly he's scared to death, though he doesn't know of what.
  • It's back to the Marsten House to stake Susan downstairs in her coffin.
  • There's blood and much ickiness. Ben is upset and runs away upstairs and outside. Night's coming in.
  • Eva is nervous and angry because Weasel's gone.
  • The Petries receive an odd call from Callahan telling them he's got their boy and is coming to see them.
  • The story peeks in on various other non-vampired folks: Dell, Roy McDougall, Reggie and Bonnie Sawyer (Reggie's been raping her repeatedly since he drove Corey Bryant out).
  • A guy named Joe Crane has a heart attack and dies, which means he's safe from vampires, at least. Other folks aren't so lucky.
  • The vampire hunters get back to Matt, tell him what happened, and show him the note. Ben is despairing. You'd be too if you'd just staked your sweetie.
  • Matt sees some bright spots, though. He says Barlow didn't want to kill Straker and didn't want one of his vampires killed. Also, the guys sterilized the house with holy water. Barlow's running and hiding now, so they have a chance.
  • Matt says it was a bad idea to send Callahan and Mark to get the Petries. He's right.
  • Jimmy calls the Petrie house and gets no answer. Uh oh.
  • Over at the Petrie house, Henry Petrie is being a very rational dude. There is no convincing him that vampires exist.
  • Petrie and Callahan argue. Petrie tries to call Matt, but the phone is out. Then the lights go out.
  • At the hospital, Jimmy goes back to Matt's and says they should go out to the Petries. Matt says that's what Barlow expects; he's trying to separate them and leave Matt undefended.
  • They agree to wait out the night at the hospital.
  • Barlow has killed the Petries by banging their heads together. Mark ran at him, and Barlow captured him. Now Callahan is holding Barlow at bay with the cross.
  • You may be wondering: how did Barlow get into the house without an invitation? Shmoop will tell you how. He snuck in through a plot hole.
  • Barlow says he'll let Mark go if Callahan agrees to throw down his cross and face him alone.
  • Callahan says okay, you first. So Barlow lets Mark go, and Mark spits on him and says he's going to kill him. Barlow is upset.
  • Callahan isn't sure whether to throw down the Cross. But he doesn't, and it sputters out. Darned lack of faith.
  • Barlow makes Callahan drink his blood.
  • Out in the hospital parking lot, Ann Norton, who is half-vampired, has decided to kill Matt Burke.
  • Ann has some excuses about how he's corrupting her daughter or whatever, but the main reason is that Barlow told her to.
  • Ann's got a gun and holds up a nurse, but Ann's feet are kicked out from under her by Mark, who got back just in time. Mark always saves the day.
  • Mark bursts out in tears in Matt's room because his parents are dead. He swears again to kill Barlow.
  • Father Callahan is walking alone on the streets. He tries to get into St. Andrews church, but he burns his hand; having drunk Barlow's blood, he's unclean.
  • Cut back to the hospital, where Matt tells everyone they need to make lots of stakes and be prepared to be tried for murder if they do manage to stake enough undead the next day to make a difference.
  • Matt quizzes Mark for clues, and Mark says he saw blue chalk on Barlow's fingers.
  • They think he might be in a school.
  • Matt is looking weaker, and Jimmy insists he take some pills to knock him out. He's worried he'll have a heart attack.
  • Over at the store, Miss Coogan is thinking what a quiet night it's been, when Father Callahan comes in and orders a ticket.
  • Callahan gets a ticket to somewhere—he doesn't care where. (New York City, as it turns out.)
  • Callahan warns Miss Coogan that the Lot has gone bad, though clever readers had probably figured that out already.
  • Charlie Rhodes hears someone honking his bus horn, goes out, and is eaten by all the vampire kids.
  • Ann Norton dies in the elevator in the hospital.
  • Eva Miller has an erotic dream about Weasel and wakes up to find he's a vampire, and she's a vampire, and they have to do something evil for Barlow.
  • The story lists some folks who are still alive: Parkins Gillespie, who seems to have figured out there are vampires everywhere and plans to get out of town. Mabel Werts and Bill Norton are also still kicking.
  • Reggie Sawyer is woken by someone banging on the door.
  • It's vampire Corey Bryant. Reggie ends up inviting him in, thinking he can shoot him with his shotgun.
  • That doesn't work, though. Corey ravishes Bonnie, who is happy about it. It's not clear what happens to Reggie, but it's definitely nothing good.
  • Callahan is on the bus thinking dark thoughts. He bribes the driver to get him alcohol to get the taste of vampire blood out of his mouth.
  • Dawn comes; the fearless vampire hunters wake up.
  • Fearless vampire hunters leave Matt asleep and go off to make stakes at Mark's house.
  • They go into town, where things are not good. They find Win Purinton's truck idling; presumably a vampire got him on his morning rounds.
  • They break into the furniture store to see if Barlow is there, but inside they only find vampire Mike Ryerson.
  • We're off to Mark's house, where his parents are still dead, which at least means they aren't vampires.
  • No Callahan, though; the guys think he's a vampire.
  • They cover the Petries up and argue. There's drama.
  • They decide that Ben will stay there making stakes while Mark and Jimmy go around finding vampires and marking houses so they can stake them.
  • Mark and Jimmy find the McDougalls under the trailer. They wonder if they can't kill them just by pulling them into the light. So they pull out the dad.
  • Mr. McDougall thrashes around blindly in the light and pulls himself back into the dark.
  • It is disgusting and terrifying. Mark and Jimmy figure they aren't going to kill the vampires that way, so they mark the house and move on.
  • Mark and Jimmy go to another house and find more vampires, and Jimmy suddenly figures out where the blue chalk came from.
  • This is the point at which if they all had cell phones, Jimmy could just call Ben, and things would work out so much better. Cell phones are hell on horror.
  • At the hospital, Matt has a visitor whose name he can't remember. Then he has a heart attack, and that's it for him. (King is merciless.)
  • And back again to Jimmy, who tells Mark the chalk comes from a pool table, and then figures out Barlow must be in the basement of Eva's boarding house.
  • Mark and Jimmy call Eva's, but no one picks up, so they head over there. Mark wants to get Ben, but Jimmy says they'll check and then get Ben if they need to. Bad move, Jimmy.
  • Mark and Jimmy look around. Lights are out in the cellar.
  • Mark and Jimmy separate, and then Mark hears screams.
  • King doesn't tell us what happened yet, but the vampires have booby-trapped the cellar by removing the stairs. When Jimmy walked down, he fell onto a bunch of knives and died.
  • Mark is completely freaked out; he gets in the car and manages to drive (erratically) over to Ben.
  • Ben has left the Petries, but he sees Mark come tearing along. He gets in the car and Mark fills him in on what happened.
  • Ben gives Mark a pep talk.
  • Anyway, Ben and Mark are going to call Matt and then talk to Parkins Gillespie.
  • Ben and Mark call Matt from Sonny James's gas station and find out he's dead. Things aren't going their way.
  • Ben and Mark talk to Parkins Gillespie. He already knows about the vampires. He figures the town deserves it, and he's heading out. He tells Ben and Mark that they should, too.
  • Ben and Mark go to the church to bathe in holy water and take some ampoules of the stuff along with them.
  • Ben and Mark meet Mrs. Curless, Callahan's landlady, who knows something is up in town. They tell her Callahan may be gone, and she says he was a good priest and tells them to be on about their business.
  • It's off to Eva's. Ben gives more pep talk to Mark.
  • Ben and Mark get into the cellar, but they can't find Barlow at first. Then they more a dresser and find a door behind it, secured with a padlock; it's the door to Eva's root cellar.
  • Ben puts holy water on his ax. It glows and bashes through the lock. Down they go.
  • Ben and Mark bring Barlow's coffin out, open it up, and Barlow's there, eyes open.
  • Barlow hypnotizes Mark and gets him to attack Ben.
  • Ben and Mark struggle… but now it's almost nightfall.
  • Finally, Ben knocks Mark out. Barlow sits up, but it's too late: Ben stakes him. And Barlow disintegrates.
  • Eva and the rest of the boarders show up, upset that the Master has been killed. They can't get Matt and Ben, though, since Matt and Ben are covered in holy water. (So what did they have to fear from Barlow? Oh, well…)
  • Ben tells Eva and the others they'll be back to get them all, then he and Mark get out of Jerusalem's Lot.
  • And that's finally the end of the chapter.