Study Guide

Serena Chapter 12

By Ron Rash

Chapter 12

  • Over the next couple of weeks the workers are more efficient, mainly because they aren't as worried about disturbing rattlesnakes—since the eagle's arrival, there have been no bites.
  • The men talk about a story in the local newspaper about the Secretary of the Interior visiting soon.
  • He wants to buy land or evict people on it who refuse to sell. The men agree that if it was just Buchanan and Wilkie, they'd be worried, but Pemberton and Serena won't let that happen.
  • Later that night, Pemberton and Serena talk about the visit while getting ready for bed.
  • Pemberton tells Serena that Albright isn't nearly as saintly as the papers suggest; in fact, he has a fondness for liquor.
  • She gets undressed and Pemberton is shocked at her beauty. He secretly wonders whether he'll ever not feel stunned when looking at her.
  • They do the dance with no pants and then fall asleep. Serena doesn't have bad dreams anymore since her time in the barn with the eagle.
  • The next morning, Pemberton meets Galloway outside and is surprised to find Galloway's mom joining them for the ride into town to get tobacco.
  • He doesn't like the idea, though he doesn't argue with it either.
  • Along the way the men see the Sheriff, who's already donated his land to a park when he dies.
  • It's clear he doesn't care for Pemberton and makes a few snarky comments about the guy, so before they get into any trouble, Pemberton suggests they go.
  • As they pass a woolshed on the way out, Galloway sees a ruby in the land. It's only very small, but if there's more where this came from, it could be worth something.
  • On the way back to the camp, Pemberton and Galloway see a funeral for a local villager.
  • Pemberton thinks that one of the weirdest things about funerals around here is that they take a picture of the dead guy.
  • Then he has an idea. He hands the photographer a five-dollar bill and asks him to take a photo of his son so he can keep it.
  • That night he dreams of hunting the bear with Serena, except this time, they hear a baby crying. Serena tells Pemberton that the baby is Galloway's.