Study Guide

Serena Chapter 11

By Ron Rash

Chapter 11

  • Campbell comes to Pemberton with news: Rachel is back and she wants a job.
  • Pemberton knows Campbell thinks this is a good idea; it's the least we can do for her, the guy thinks.
  • Campbell points out that Rachel is a good worker so it's a win-win situation. Pemberton's not so sure Serena will go for it, though. He tells Campbell he'll let him know after he talks with his wife.
  • Pemberton finds his wife in the stable brushing her horse. First he tells her about setting up a meeting with Harris and they work out the details.
  • Next on the agenda is figuring out their future plans. They've made good progress in the past few months, and Pemberton thinks they might be done here in eighteen months. Serena bets it will be less.
  • Pemberton broaches the matter of Rachel but—surprise, surprise—Serena doesn't want to give Rachel any charity. She agrees the girl can have a job, though, on a few conditions: (1) She does not live in the camp; (2) She understands they owe her nothing; and (3) she steers clear of their food.
  • Pemberton agrees and also lets it slip that Rachel had a boy, to which Serena simply says "so it's a male."
  • Rachel is waiting to hear from Pemberton, and when she does, she's glad to have a job.
  • She agrees to the conditions, then she tells Pemberton the name she chose: Jacob Magill Harmon.
  • Where do those come from? His first name is from the Bible, and Magill is a family name. She starts to suggest Pemberton meet Jacob, but he's all business and tells her to start on the first of the month.