Study Guide

The Natural Chapter 2

By Bernard Malamud

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Chapter 2

  • It's about 15 years later, and Roy shows up to play on Pop Fisher's team, the New York Knights.
  • At first Pop isn't interested in Roy because he's so old, but after he sees Roy play he decides to give him a chance.
  • Roy settles in, still lugging that old bassoon case, and while he's getting used to the new locker room he hears a familiar voice in the office.
  • It turns out to be old Max Mercy, the sportswriter, talking to a practical joker, a Knights player named Bump. Bump's supposedly dating Pop's niece, Memo Paris.
  • Max doesn't recognize Roy, and Roy doesn't want to remind him who he is.
  • Bump turns out to be a real jerk, whose teasing practically makes Pop cry. Well, that and the team's losing streak.
  • Pop sends Red Blow, the coach, to help Roy find a place to stay.
  • At the hotel, Bump shows up and asks Roy to trade rooms with him for the night because he's got a date and doesn't want everybody to know about it.
  • When Roy goes down to Bump's room he walks into the first open door he sees and happens upon a half-naked redheaded girl. She catches him looking and screams. Oops—wrong room.
  • Red and Roy go out for steaks, and Red tells Roy what started Pop's run of bad luck. It seems that many years ago, when he was a player, he lost a World Series for his team by tripping over his own feet while rounding third base.
  • Red tells Roy that the Knights are so terrible because the Judge, the team's owner, is trying to push Pop out of his job by selling off their good players and making it almost impossible to win.
  • Red begs Roy to play his best to keep Pop from getting canned.
  • Roy promises that he will and heads to bed. Suddenly, the redheaded girl crawls into bed with Roy and they have sex.

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