Study Guide

'Salem's Lot Chapter 5: Ben (II)

By Stephen King

Chapter 5: Ben (II)

  • Ben has dinner with the Nortons again. Susan still likes him; her dad still likes him; her mom doesn't.
  • Ann tells Ben that Danny Glick is dead.
  • Ben asks Susan to come with him to get ice cream.
  • Instead, Ben and Susan go to the park, where she asks him about his book. And then they have sex before he can tell her.
  • But eventually Ben and Susan finish with the sex, and he tells her the book is about the Marsten House.
  • In his research, especially talking to Hubie's sister-in-law, Ben learned that Hubie Marsten was really a contract killer. He'd killed lots and lots of people, but the mob put him out to pasture when he started to murder children for his own amusement.
  • So Marsten retired to 'Salem's Lot... where it seems likely he killed four children before hanging himself.
  • Ben says his book is about the recurrent power of evil.
  • Ben talks about ghosts and ESP and gets excited because he feels like the evil has maybe come for Ralphie Glick, though he doesn't know what to do about it.
  • Susan leaves Ben, telling him not to say anything to anyone. She also says she loves him.
  • It takes a long time for the vampires to get here, but the romance plot bustles along quickly.
  • Ben can't sleep, so he heads to Dell's Place, where they're playing "You've Never Been This Far Before," a song about sex, a semi-ironic reference to what Ben and Susan have been up to.
  • Ben runs into Weasel Craig, who is cadging drinks. He calls over Matt Burke.
  • Matt says he likes Ben's writing. He knows Ben is writing about the Marsten House because the librarian told him about what Ben's been taking out.
  • Matt asks Ben to come speak to his students about being a writer. Then they find out Weasel has passed out in the men's room; the two of them go in and help him out.
  • Ben takes Weasel back to the boarding house, where Eva takes care of him.
  • Ben lies down and can't go to sleep. He isn't looking at the Marsten House, though. Maybe King forgot, just this once.