Study Guide

Serena Chapter 15

By Ron Rash

Chapter 15

  • On Sunday, some of the men meet up to go hunting. There, Pemberton and Harris discuss buying the land from the men who are interested in selling so they can own a larger share.
  • Harris points out that copper grows in this region and the men gather that maybe they can find and sell a bunch of it to make money.
  • The men split up so they can catch enough deer and smaller animals to feed everyone.
  • Harris takes the upper region while Pemberton and Buchanan head to the lower region.
  • As Pemberton talks to Buchanan about mundane stuff—his family, his wedding, his life in general—he tries to convince himself to go through with it. Go through with what? Yeah, we're a little confused, too.
  • Buchanan shoots a deer, and Pemberton rushes over to help the guy with it. We're told that he gets his gun ready to shoot…
  • And the next thing we know, Pemberton and Harris are carrying Buchanan's body back home. Looks like Pemberton shot and killed Buchanan.
  • Of course Pemberton tells the sheriff that it was an accident, though—he was hunting and shot a deer, but got Buchanan by mistake. The guy wasn't even supposed to be that close.
  • The sheriff doesn't buy it since Buchanan was shot right in the heart which is a heckofa coincidence.
  • Pemberton agrees it's pretty unfortunate for the guy.
  • Sheriff McDowell questions some of the other men to make sure their stories line up. Since he gets nowhere, though, he has no choice but to leave Pemberton alone.
  • Later, Pemberton tells Wilkie that he'll buy his land for half the price the park offered. Pemberton knows that this is more than enough dough to keep Wilkie going for a while, and we get the sense that Wilkie is afraid of what will happen if he doesn't agree.
  • They shake on it and decide to draw up the papers that night.
  • When he gets home, Serena asks Pemberton if it's done. In case we still had any lingering suspicions, we now know for sure that there's no way Buchanan's death was an accident. These two planned the whole thing.
  • To celebrate, they decide to get busy under the sheets. When Pemberton reaches for protection, Serena stops him. It's heir-making time (and yes, we think that's a really gross turn of phrase).