Study Guide

'Salem's Lot Chapter 9: Susan (II)

By Stephen King

Chapter 9: Susan (II)

  • It's a big confrontation scene between Susan and her mother. Ann tells Susan about Mike's death and implies Ben was involved.
  • Ann also tells Susan about Miranda's death (she learned about it from her gossip buddies) and says that Ben was drunk (though he wasn't).
  • Susan slaps her mom and says she's moving out.
  • Mom says Floyd came by crying, which Susan thinks is weird. Of course it's weird, because Floyd's a vampire. Duh. (Or at least he's a half-vampire).
  • Eva Miller calls Susan to tell her that semi-vampire Floyd put Ben in the hospital.
  • Over at the hospital, Susan learns that Ben's okay, though they want to keep him under observation.
  • Susan goes in to see him, and Ben half-consciously tells her to go see Matt and ask him to tell her everything. He also tells her to check and see if Matt knows Father Callahan.
  • Susan passes Weasel and Eva in the waiting room and tells them to come back tomorrow.
  • We're off to Matt's. Matt cautiously lets Susan in.
  • Before Matt tells Susan the vampire business, he asks her to give her opinion of Straker, whom she saw at the store.
  • Susan says he is very courtly and even sexy. He charmed all the women and lifted an enormously heavy chair for Mabel Werts to sit in.
  • But Susan didn't like him.
  • So Matt says it fits well, and then tells her the whole deal.
  • Susan isn't ready to believe in vampires. This is going to get her in big trouble later.
  • Anyway, Susan makes excuses. Maybe Matt was asleep, etc.
  • Matt says vampires can only come in if invited… but he invited Mike Ryerson in himself, which may not have been a great idea.
  • Then Matt and Susan hear something upstairs, and Matt insists he is going up to see what it is. He tells Susan to keep talking as if he hasn't left. Is this likely to fool a vampire?
  • Matt goes upstairs and is completely terrified. He remembers walking home along from the Cub Scouts as a kid, and he remembers how scared he was then. (King loves these flashbacks to childhood terrors.)
  • Upstairs, Matt doesn't turn on the light, and he goes into the room. Mike Ryerson is lying there. There are stitches where the coroner sewed up the body after the autopsy. Ick.
  • Mike tries to get Matt to look in his eyes and be hypnotized, but Matt breaks the glance and holds up the crucifix.
  • Matt revokes his invitation, and Mike goes out the window, hurling a threat behind him.
  • Then Matt has a heart attack. He yells to Susan downstairs to call his doctor, Jim Cody, which she does.
  • Susan now has to go back up the stairs to Matt, which scares her, even though she still doesn't believe.
  • Then Susan finds Mike Ryerson's class ring, which thoroughly terrifies her.