Study Guide

Serena Chapter 14

By Ron Rash

Chapter 14

  • Pemberton, Buchanan, Harris, and Wilkie are all waiting for the meeting with the Secretary of the Interior when Doc Cheney and Reverend Bolick show up, demanding to talk to them.
  • We're a little busy right now, the men say, but the Reverend insists.
  • He wants a pay raise for the men—even a small one would make a difference to the families.
  • Wilkie points out that many people are without work right now, so at least they give men jobs. He tells him not to push it.
  • But the Reverend pushes anyway; dude really wants more money for the people so they don't starve.
  • Pemberton doesn't say much, but points out that Serena is on her way. Before she arrives, the Reverend and Doc leave—they can tell they're not wanted there.
  • The Secretary of the Interior arrives to discuss building a national park.
  • The men don't want it to go down because they'll lose their land. Everyone talks business, and Serena points out when the Secretary is being unfair. In fact, she even brings in some newspaper clippings from another similar settlement.
  • The only difference? The wealthy landowners got to keep their land, even though it was inside the park. How come they can't do the same?
  • This has been a complete waste of time so the Secretary and some of the other men leave.
  • Serena, Harris, and Pemberton discuss their game plan. She noticed during the meeting that Buchanan could hardly look them in the eye, so he must be ready to sell his portion.
  • Then Pemberton points out Wilkie wasn't as resolute as them, either.
  • It's decided: They need to rid themselves of Buchanan to make sure this deal doesn't go south.