Study Guide

The Natural Chapter 5

By Bernard Malamud

Chapter 5

  • At the stadium, the Knights celebrate Roy Hobbs Day.
  • He makes a speech and gets tons of gifts from local businesses, like televisions, a tractor, even a goat. (This was in the days before baseball stars were mega-zillionaires.)
  • The coolest gift is a Mercedes-Benz, and Memo agrees to go for a ride with Roy to try it out.
  • Roy and Memo drive out into the country and Roy thinks they're being followed.
  • Memo starts to talk about Bump and Gus, and this irks Roy.
  • Memo explains that Gus is like a father to her, not her boyfriend. Roy gives up the secret to the magic tricks he did the other night: the club had a magic kit and showed him how to do it as a joke.
  • Memo tries to learn more about Roy's past but he doesn't want to tell her about the years he spent as a loser after Harriet shot him.
  • They start making out, but when Roy grabs Memo's breast she cries and asks him to stop (he seems to have that effect on women…).
  • She says that her breast is "sick", but that she won't go to the doctor because she doesn't like them (doctors, not breasts).
  • They drive away with Memo at the wheel, and she won't put on the headlights. Roy thinks he sees a kid and his dog, and hears a thud, but they don't stop. Shades of Daisy Buchanan…
  • Roy wants to go back to see if they hit someone, but Memo won't turn around. She says the cops are following them, and sure enough there's a black car behind them.
  • Finally they trade spots and Roy loses the car that was following them in the fog. He crashes the brand-new Mercedes into a tree, giving himself a black eye and Memo a bruise on her sick breast.
  • As you can imagine, Pop's not happy when his niece and his best player show up all banged up after their night out.
  • Pop tells Roy to stay away from Memo because she's bad news, but Roy says he's in love. Pop also tries to pay Roy what he's due for the whole season, but Roy won't take Pop's personal money.
  • When he gets back to the hotel, Roy sees Mercy waiting for him in the lobby and tries to get away before he gets a picture of his black eye.
  • Roy can't stop picturing the dead kid and dog he thinks that Memo ran over, but he does manage to slam the door into Max's camera before he can get a picture of him.

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